2008-09: After putting up decent offensive numbers for Peace River in Midget AA hockey in 2007-08, Darren Kramer’s focus was more on physical play in his first year of junior hockey. In just 38 games with the Alberta Junior Hockey League-champion Grand Prairie Storm, Kramer amassed 220 penalty minutes, including 22 fighting majors, while scoring four goals. The Edmonton Oil Kings selected Kramer in the 10th round (207th overall) in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft.
2009-10: Though Grand Prairie failed to repeat as AJHL champions, Kramer emerged as a team leader in his second year with the Storm. In 58 games, he displayed the scoring touch that he showed in Peace River scoring 19 goals with 11 assists while leading the AJHL with 311 penalty minutes – including 25 fighting majors.
2010-11: Kramer was named captain of the Storm in his third season but after ten games decided to forego the possibility of playing college hockey and joined the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. An instant favorite of both the Chiefs’ fans, his Spokane teammates and Chiefs coach and former NHLer Don Nachbaur, Kramer scored 7 goals with 7 assists and topped the 300-minute mark in penalties (306). Spokane, after being eliminated in the first round in 2009-10, advanced to the WHL semifinals before falling to Portland in six games. In 17 playoff games, Kramer scored 5 goals with 3 assists and was +5 with 21 PMs. Two of his three goals came on the power play. In his 10 games with Grand Prairie, he had 4 goals with 1 assist and 28 PMs. Kramer was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the 6th round (156th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
2011-12: One of the “heavyweights” in the WHL, Kramer hit the 200 penalty minute mark for the fourth straight season but was also the third leading goal scorer (20 goals) for Spokane in his second WHL season. Kramer’s 200 penalty minutes in 71 games were a big improvement (he topped 300 minutes in the two previous seasons) as he seemed to pick his spots. He had a career-high 18 assists and finished the season plus-four. The Chiefs finished third in the U.S. Division and reached the second round of the playoffs. Kramer scored 3 goals with 3 assists and was plus-five with 20 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games. He signed a three-year entry-level contact with Ottawa in May of 2012.
2012-13: Kramer made the jump from junior to pro hockey, splitting the season between Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton and the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals. Building on the reputation he established in juniors, he scored 1 goal with 83 penalty minutes and was -3 in 21 games with Binghamton. The Senators were second in the East Division and had the AHL’s fourth-best record before being swept by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a first round series. Kramer did not see any action in the playoffs. Kramer missed nearly a month due to a November injury but showed some offensive aspects to his game with the Jackals— scoring 3 goals with 7 assists in 19 games — while finishing +1 with 127 penalty minutes.
2013-14: Kramer skated for Ottawa AHL affiliate Binghamton in his second pro season — leading the Senators with 178 penalty minutes despite appearing in just 45 games. He scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was -15 for Binghamton. The Senators lost to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a first-round playoff series after finishing first in the East Division in the regular season. Kramer played in three of four playoff games, finishing with no points and 2 penalty minutes.
2014-15: Kramer played in 70 of 76 games for Binghamton in his third pro season — leading the AHL with 284 penalty minutes. He scored 5 goals with 12 assists and was -5 for the Senators. Binghamton missed the AHL playoffs, finishing third in the East Division.
Kramer is one of the toughest fighters in hockey with some offensive ability and a keen understanding of situational play. While his skating and technical skills, particularly stickhandling and passing, are areas which need improvement, he has been on winning teams at every level of hockey and brings a team-first approach to the game. His size, shot and willingness to go to the net are potential power play assets.
Kramer is currently an unrestricted free agent heading into the 2015-16 season. He will likely receive a tryout from a team looking to add a heavyweight. His potential appears limited.