Minot, ND – The Minot Minotauros are proud to announce that former Tauro and reigning North American Hockey League Rookie of the Year Kyler Kleven has committed to play NCAA Division One hockey at the University of Minnesota Duluth. UMD is the two time defending NCAA DI National Champion; Kleven will join another Tauros alum Jake Rosenbaum at UMD who will be a senior when Kleven reports to campus for the 2021-22 season.
Kleven posted 53 points on 25 goals and 28 assists in 48 games last season in earning NAHL Rookie of the Year honors. He also represented the Minotauros at the 2020 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament as a member of the NAHL Blue Selects team. For his career Kleven posted 54 points in 55 games in Minot; his .982 points-per-game is the most by any Tauro with more than 15 games played. Kleven, along with linemates Jay Buchholz and Dan Russell made one of the most dynamic lines the Tauros have ever had. Posting 54 combined goals last season the trio have all moved on to the USHL for this season before heading to college next year.
The choice to head to UMD for Kleven was about more than going to the two-time defending National Champion and had a lot to do with the way in which he was recruited. “[They were] calling me every week for months and I built such a strong relationship with the coaching staff. It’s also one of the best college hockey programs in the country. There was no doubt in my mind that they were the one.” Once he reports to campus Kleven intends to major in business while trying to continue UMD’s winning tradition.
Tauros Head Coach and General Manager Shane Wagner praised Kleven, the first Tauro to commit to an NCAA DI school since Wagner was elevated to the head job, “I am very excited for Kyler. The commitment was much deserved.” Wagner continued, “Kyler is not only a great player but a great kid. He is always working as hard as he can is constantly improving on his game. Last year there were a lot of games that he and his line mates where the best in the league. I am thrilled to be a part of Kyler’s hockey career and can’t wait to see him grow as a player.”
Kleven pointed to his time in Minot as being a key to his development as a player. “I can’t thank the entire Tauro organization enough. They helped develop me into the player I am today. You learn so much from your time in Minot I couldn’t be any happier to have played there the last 2 seasons.” Kleven continued, “I would like to thank all the coaches and staff, my billet family, the community, and most importantly all of my teammates; I couldn’t have done it without them.”