Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Ralph Klassen
Speedy centre Ralph Klassen was an effective playmaking and checking forward for nearly ten years in the NHL. He was chiefly an NHL skater as a pro but did spent a bit of time in the minors and also represented Canada internationally.

Born in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Klassen was a clever playmaker for the WHL's Saskatoon Blades from 1970 to 1975. He was regularly among the league leaders in assists while finding the net himself on occasion. In 1974-75 he was a member of the Western Canada all-star squad that represented Canada at the World Junior Championships. Later that year he was the top scorer in the post-season as the Blades narrowly lost to the New Westminster Bruins in the league championship series.

Coming off an exemplary junior career, Klassen was the third player selected in the 1975 Amateur Draft when the California Golden Seals called his name. He played 71 games as a rookie during the last year in which the team was based in California. Klassen came east when the franchise relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. During this period he often formed an effective line with Bob Girard and Gary Sabourin. He scored 32 points for the Barons in 1976-77 and was a member of the Canadian team that ended the country's dispute with the IIHF by playing at the World Championships.

Klassen started the 1977-78 season in Cleveland but was eventually traded to the Colorado Rockies. He played a solid defensive role for Colorado in 1978-79 then was claimed briefly by the Hartford Whalers in the 1979 Expansion Draft. The next day he was traded to the New York Islanders then shipped to the St. Louis Blues a few minutes later.

The Blues were the first half-decent team on which Klassen played. He skated parts of five seasons with St. Louis before retiring in 1984 with 497 NHL regular season games under his belt.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1970-71 Saskatoon Blades WCJHL 61 1 8 9 29 3 0 0 0 0
1971-72 Saskatoon Blades WCJHL 62 17 38 55 64 8 1 5 6 7
1972-73 Saskatoon Blades WCJHL 68 19 47 66 80 16 5 3 8 16
1973-74 Saskatoon Blades WCJHL 68 23 54 77 110 6 0 3 3 7
1974-75 Saskatoon Blades WCJHL 41 21 47 68 34 17 5 23 28 14
1974-75 Canada WJC-A 4 0 3 3 0
1975-76 California Golden Seals NHL 71 6 15 21 26 -26
1975-76 Salt Lake Golden Eagles CHL 4 3 3 6 4
1976-77 Cleveland Barons NHL 80 14 18 32 23 -25
1976-77 Canada WEC-A 10 1 5 6 0
1977-78 Cleveland Barons NHL 13 2 1 3 6 -2
1977-78 Colorado Rockies NHL 44 6 9 15 8 -19 2 0 0 0 0
1978-79 Colorado Rockies NHL 64 6 13 19 12 -25
1978-79 Philadelphia Firebirds AHL 18 3 9 12 2
1979-80 St. Louis Blues NHL 80 9 16 25 10 -19 3 0 0 0 0
1980-81 St. Louis Blues NHL 66 6 12 18 23 -5 11 2 0 2 2
1981-82 St. Louis Blues NHL 45 3 7 10 6 -3 10 2 2 4 10
1982-83 St. Louis Blues NHL 29 0 2 2 6 -3
1982-83 Salt Lake Golden Eagles CHL 21 9 10 19 8 6 2 6 8 5
1983-84 St. Louis Blues NHL 5 0 0 0 0 -5
NHL Totals 497 52 93 145 120 26 4 2 6 12


Transferred to Cleveland after California franchise relocated, June, 1976. Traded to Colorado by Cleveland with Fred Ahern for Rick Jodzio and Chuck Arnason, January 9, 1978. Claimed by Hartford from Colorado in Expansion Draft, June 13, 1979. Traded to NY Islanders by Hartford for Terry Richardson, June 14, 1979. Traded to St. Louis by NY Islanders as part of three-team transaction that sent Barry Gibbs and Tom Williams to NY Islanders (June 9, 1979) and Tom Williams to Los Angeles (August 16, 1979), June 14, 1979.
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