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Monday, November 12, 2007

Prospect Pulse: Kyle Klubertanz

Anaheim drafted this Wisconsin Badger in the 3rd Round in 2004. An averaged size (6'0, 178) defender who plays an offensive style game, Klubertanz has always caught my eye for his feisty-bordering on dirty play. A smooth skater, Klubertanz can be seen ranging all over the ice and jumping into the play. He has the speed to get back when the puck is turned over and he will often initiate the rough stuff, despite his lack of size.

In a recent game with North Dakota that was getting ugly in the 3rd period, he started a fracas after one of his teammates was run over down low. In the ensuing melee, he and fellow Badger Kyle Turris were moving from fight to fight, sometimes jumping in and other times just watching. He was also poking at the feet of Sioux players while the referees were not looking. Though I am not one to advocate hurting other players, I like the dirty nature of a player like this because it forces other teams to worry about him instead of worrying about the game. Before the other side knows it, they have taken a bunch of penalties trying to kill the pest and Kyle Turris et al. have pumped 3 PP goals on you.

In addition to his rambunctious game, Klubertanz has other marketable skills, namely as a puck mover. He sees the ice well and is adept at quarterbacking the powerplay. He had an off-year as a junior, but is scoring at a little better than a point-per-game clip as a senior. Scouts note that he will need to improve his defensive play and strength to move on to the next level, but also comment that his work ethic can carry him to the next level. He may be in tough to crack a reasonably deep Anaheim blue line, but would likely benefit from a stint in the AHL.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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