Denver product, Thunderbirds, Flyers grad Klee sees NHL dreams get closer, chosen by San Jose in 2023 NHL Draft
David Klee spent the 2022-23 season playing his rookie season in the USHL for the Waterloo Black Hawks.
That season saw NHL clubs take notice, with the San Jose Sharks being impressed enough to take the Denver native in the seventh round (196th overall) of the NHL Draft June 29 in Nashville.
“I found out I was drafted actually after we finished a skate and workout at Drill House,” said Klee. “We had just gotten back up to the room, me, my brother and a couple of my closest friends, and then I got a text saying ‘Congrats’ and ‘Welcome aboard’ from the Sharks, and that’s kind of just how I found out. It was pretty special being with the people who I was with, the people who are my closest friends and people who push me everyday and have helped so much getting me to this point.
“I don’t think it truly has set in yet because I’m out at (Sharks) development camp already getting to work, so I’m just trying to learn the most I can and try to gain knowledge on how it is and what I need to do to be there one day. So I think after it’s over and I go home, I’ll be able to kind of let it set in and just enjoy everything that has happened so far.”
Drill House is a summer program that Klee is a member.
“We have a great pro and college group and we skate and work out together and skate 2-3 days and work out four days a week,” Klee explained. “It’s been great. Eric Lacroix takes great care of us and we are extremely lucky to be there.”
Earlier this offseason, Klee was traded to the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
Klee played in 57 games for the Black Hawks season, going for three goals and 10 assists for 13 points. He was ranked 188th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting in the service’s final pre-draft rankings.
“I think this is a huge summer for me to be prepared at Muskegon, to have a huge year and develop myself physically and mentally to have an impact at North Dakota (in 2024-25),” Klee said. “We are putting in a lot of work this summer to be ready, and I couldn’t be more excited for the year.”
During his youth hockey days, Klee played for the Colorado Thunderbirds and Foothills Flyers and said one of his biggest highlights with the Flyers was winning the Quebec Qualifier and representing the Colorado Avalanche at the Quebec International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament. He also played in Syracuse, N.Y., with the Syracuse Nationals.
Photo/Stephanie Lyn Photography
— Matt Mackinder
(July 5, 2023)