Ottawa Senators sign defenceman Tyler Kleven to three-year, entry-level contract

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OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators have signed defenceman Tyler Kleven to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Thursday.

The 21-year-old set career-highs with eight goals, 10 assists and 18 points over 35 games in his third season at the University of North Dakota.

Expected to joined the Senators on Friday, the six-foot-five, 213-pound Kleven and the Fighting Hawks were eliminated from the NCAA playoffs by St. Cloud State last week.

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The native of Fargo, N.D., was selected 44th overall by Ottawa at the 2020 NHL draft.

Kleven represented the United States at both the 2021 and 2022 world junior hockey championships, winning gold alongside Senators defenceman and North Dakota teammate Jake Sanderson at the tournament in Edmonton two years ago.

Ottawa entered play Thursday seven points back of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"We're very pleased that Tyler has recently made the decision to begin his pro career," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a release. "He's a big, rangy, hard-nosed defender.

"We've been especially impressed with his overall development."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 23, 2023.

The Canadian Press