Vancouver Canucks prospect, Kole Lind was snubbed from the Canadian 2018 World Junior Championship roster and now he’s been robbed of a WHL All-Star roster spot, despite chalking up 95 points in 58 games for the Kelowna Rockets.
Giants F Ty Ronning and G David Tendeck were named to the 2nd Western Conference all-star team. 95 points in 58 games and #Canucks prospect Kole Lind didn't make the 1st or 2nd team.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) March 22, 2018
Lind has been a monster this season, helping lead the Rockets into third place in the competitive Western Conference and fifth in the WHL. The Rockets will enjoy home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Kole Lind 2017-18
Lind has had a remarkable season and checked off some serious accomplishments in the past year; from being drafted, dominating the CIBC Canada/Russia Series, putting up his aforementioned point totals to signing his entry-level contract with the Canucks.
Draft Day, Kole Lind
At the end of the first day of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Canucks general manager Jim Benning was mic’d up and quoted as saying, “Why hasn’t anybody taken Kole Lind?” Early on the second day, Lind was taken second in the second round at 33-overall. In an interview with Lind, he told me what it’s like knowing Benning so confident in his abilities.
“It feels good that he’s on my side and he has a lot of trust in me and likes the way I play and everything, so I think that’s really cool, but at the same time I think that that adds on — he expects a lot of things from you and expects you to play at a high pace and a high level every single night, so that’s something that I try to do.” – Kole Lind
Lind is well aware of the caliber of the Canucks’ prospect pool but says he’s happy to be drafted by Vancouver because he feels it’s a team he can fit in with sooner rather than later.
CIBC Canada/Russia Series
Lind tore it up in the series and was arguably the WHL team’s best player. He stole the show in the team’s 7-0 victory with two goals and one helper and put his well-rounded play on display, contributing offensively and also playing with a chip on his shoulder.
— David O'Connor (@DavidSOConnor) November 7, 2017
Lind With the Rockets
Lind has dominated the WHL with the Rockets and leads his team in points, followed by his linemate and best friend, Dillon Dube. The duo has established a tremendous amount of chemistry, which is on display in Kelowna regularly and was deadly in the Canada/Russia Series.
Their dominance with the Rockets and also in the Canada/Russia Series made it confusing when Dube captained the 2018 Canadian WJC team while Lind was overlooked. Now, with the 2018 WHL All-Star rosters being announced, Lind was again snubbed while Dube made the second team.
Lind’s Canucks Contract
The cherry on top of Lind’s year was signing an entry-level contract with the Canucks in early March. It was a huge step for his career and, with the aforementioned talent he’s competing against, he knows how he needs to play to stay relevant.
“You know, just going out and playing my game. I think that’s something my coaches, even Vancouver, got the point across that they want me to go out and be a tough competitor every night and a tough guy to play against and everything else will come with it.” – Kole Lind
Lind is looking forward to the Canucks’ camp next season where he hopes to impress management and land a spot in the NHL. However, he’s happy to take the path presented to him, should he be shipped down to play for the Utica Comets.
Why the Snub?
Lind finished 11th in WHL scoring this season while playing only 58 games. To paint a picture, the leading scorer played 72 games. He dominated the Canada/Russia Series, which is a showcase of the best that the CHL has to offer and now the Canucks see him as an NHL-capable asset.
So, why the snub? I can’t wrap my head around it. He’s performed well on every stage and out-competed a lot of the players on the All-Star roster, and yet, he’s been told ‘no’ once again. That being said, he’s not about to let this get to him and hold him back.
“I think something that I’ve focused on for a long time is my mental toughness and, you know, my ability to bounce back from things that obviously don’t go your way and just battling through that — not really sulking and pouting about it and instead using that for motivation.” – Kole Lind
What do you think about Lind being held off the roster? Was it the right decision? Was it a terrible mistake? Let me know in the comments below!
Matt is a longtime fan, player and student of the game of hockey. Broadcast and Online Journalism student at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.