Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ralph Klassen

You look back now at the career of Ralph Klassen and you wonder what went wrong. He was an extremely high draft pick, 3rd overall in a weak class of 1975, selected ahead of names like Pierre Mondou, Tim Young, Bob Sauve and Doug Jarvis. Yet despite his lofty draft position, the center iceman from Saskatchewan only scored 52 goals in his 9 year career. Only once in those 9 seasons did he reach double digits in goals!

Despite his lack of offensive contributions, Klassen actually was a valuable member of some weak teams in California/Cleveland, Colorado and St. Louis. He was a jack of all trades utility player who would do the unnoticed deeds that help a team win. Klassen is the perfect example of a player who's contributions simply never could be quantified by any statistics.

An explosive skater, Klassen was a top shadow and premier penalty killer. He learned how to use his speed expertly, thus making him even more potent. Instead of going full throttle all the time, Ralph knew how to turn on the jets at just the right time.

Despite his less than daunting offensive statistics, Ralph wasn't lacking in offensive talent. He actually was a pretty good playmaker, though rarely played with elite scorers to put up big numbers himself.

Had Ralph Klassen played with some of the stronger teams in the NHL during the 1970s and 1980s, he could have been a higher profile player. He was a desired player, appearing in 497 career contests. He is also believed to be the only player who was property of 4 different NHL teams on the same day, thanks to a series of complicated trades


Graham Clayton March 22, 2015 at 3:37 AM  

According to this page, Klassen was traded 4 times in the space of two days, not one day:

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