Kole Lind – 2017 Canucks Prospect Development Camp Round-up

By: Connor Jung

Jim Benning couldn’t believe that Kole Lind was available at 33, as most scouting services had him inside the 1st round. So when the Canucks braintrust had the opportunity to pick a smart, patient, scoring winger, he jumped at the chance. Personally, I liked the pick because scoring is at a premium right now and there are no guarantees on the wing with prospects like Nicolay Goldobin, Jonathan Dahlen, Markus Granlund, Jake Virtanen and others still unproven. With that being said, I was hoping the Canucks would have nabbed a defenceman at #33 with a great value option in Nic Hague going one pick later. Both Ryan and I had Hague on our honourable mention lists for top-10 mock drafts. Regardless, I was excited to see Lind’s skillset on display at the Summer Showcase where I assumed his strengths would shine. I was disappointed for the most part.

ISS Hockey - Mar. 16th

“Lots to like about his game: size, speed, work ethic, & ability to create chances w/ skill & vision.”
— ISS Hockey
A smart and skilled but not overly dynamic offensive forward…a slippery skater who is able to hang onto the puck for lengthy periods thanks to his good awareness of where pressure is coming from…is very agile and accelerates quickly, enabling him to get a bit of room from opponents…
— Future Considerations

After watching Lind through the skill drills, flow drills, and the full scrimmage there were parts of these scouting reports that I agreed and disagreed with. He’s a very crafty player, who loves to hold onto the puck and his shot is a weapon — he was always one of the last players to leave the ice after practice working on one-timers. His “slippery [skating]” is due in large part to the fact that he’s a little off-balance when moving at high speeds and may not fully have his feet under him. I personally think that his skating is one of his shortcomings, that his first stride is quite chunky which ties back to him looking off-balance. The scrimmage is where I thought he’d excel because of his hockey sense, but he looked invisible throughout the game, and I questioned if I ever saw him engaged or carry the puck.

In my limited viewing of Kole Lind, I believe he has a great toolkit of skills that lays a foundation for an impact skilled forward down the road. Though, it’s possible that nerves got the best of him at his first development camp, so I’ll have a keen eye on him as to how he plays against international competition while vying for a spot on Canada’s National Juniour Team.