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Right out of College, Justin Kloos debuts at 21 in our Top 25 Under 25

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The former University of Minnesota captain will play his first full pro season this year.

2014 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship - West Regional Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Even though he wasn’t a Minnesota Wild prospect, fans of the Wild living in the Twin Cities have probably heard Justin Kloos’s name before. A right-shot center, Kloos has spent the last four years playing for the University of Minnesota and spent the past two years as the team’s captain. Kloos signed a two-year Entry Level Contract with the Wild as an undrafted free agent after the Minnesota Gophers’ season ended this past spring. In addition, Kloos played the last few games of the Iowa Wild’s 2016-17 season.

Before his first season of college hockey, Kloos played for his local high school Lakeville South, and with the USHL Waterloo Black Hawks. Kloos finished his first high school season with the third most points on the team while having played seven fewer games than the teammates above and below him. He scored the most points on his team in both of the following seasons and was at the top of the league in points scored in both years.

Kloos didn’t play many games in his first two years with the Black Hawks, but in his third, and final, year, he scored the second most points both on his team and in the league overall. In college, Kloos never scored less than the fourth most points on his team, and he lead the team in points through his Junior year. In the nine games Kloos played with the Iowa Wild last season, he only scored one goal.

Career Statistics

SEASON TEAM LEAGUE GP G A TP PIM
SEASON TEAM LEAGUE GP G A TP PIM
2009-10 Lakeville South High USHS 18 21 17 38 2
2010-11 Team Southeast USHS 20 9 16 25 10
Lakeville South High USHS 24 35 44 79 8
Waterloo Black Hawks USHL 10 3 2 5 2
2011-12 Team Southeast USHS 24 18 32 50 2
Lakeville South High USHS 25 34 47 81 4
Waterloo Black Hawks USHL 2 2 2 4 0
2012-13 Waterloo Black Hawks USHL 54 29 58 87 22
2013-14 Univ. of Minnesota NCAA 41 16 16 32 16
2014-15 Univ. of Minnesota NCAA 39 13 19 32 26
2015-16 Univ. of Minnesota NCAA 37 16 27 43 26
2016-17 Univ. of Minnesota NCAA 38 18 25 43 28
Iowa Wild AHL 9 1 0 1 4
Obtained via Elite Prospects

For those who haven’t seen Kloos play over the last few years, here are some highlights.

The most glaring reason Kloos went undrafted is his size. Standing at 5’9” and weighing about 180 lbs, Kloos isn’t the smallest player ever, but he is well below the NHL average. That said, his size alone won’t prevent him from ever playing in the NHL.

During the Wild’s summer development camp, Kloos managed to impress two of our writers, Barry and Brandon (dsm_captive). Barry noted Kloos’s speed and good hands while Brandon was impressed with his offensive skillset.

Most of the votes Kloos recieved were around where he ended up, with a batch of votes from 20 to 25. However, his highest placed vote was at 10, while his lowest placed vote was at 40 (out of 41).