The Seattle Kraken select forward Kole Lind from the Vancouver Canucks at the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
After acquiring center Jason Dickinson in a trade with the Dallas Stars on Saturday, the Canucks had no more protection slots leaving Kole Lind as one of the odd men out amongst the forwards. The Kraken, who are looking for young players to start their franchise off on the right foot will be getting someone who could potentially fight for a job in the bottom six depending on who else they select.
About Kole Lind
Lind was drafted in the second round (33rd overall) by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Professional Journey Through 2020-21
Born in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, Lind spent his entire junior career playing for the Kelowna Rockets of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). After a draft year that saw him score 30 goals and 87 points, he was selected by the Canucks in the second round along with fellow unprotected forward Jonah Gadjovich.
After making his professional debut in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Utica Comets at the end of the 2017-18 season, he played two full seasons without impressing the brass enough for a callup. His first season was a bit of a struggle as he only put up five goals and 17 points in 51 games. His sophomore campaign was a different story though, as he transformed into the gritty offensive player that got him drafted in the first place. Finishing with a career-high 14 goals and 44 points in 61 games, he served notice to everyone that he was someone to watch moving forward.
The 2020-21 season was more of the same as he excelled with the Comets to the tune of five goals and eight points in eight games. After rehabbing an injury that eventually cost him over a month of action (due to COVID shutdowns in both the AHL and NHL), he made his debut with the Canucks on April 29, 2021 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He ended up playing seven games with the club and averaged over 15 minutes of ice time in his first few games, lining up with names like Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, and J.T. Miller in the top six.
Lind is currently in the third year of a three-year entry-level contract he signed with the Canucks in 2018. He will only take up $891, 666 in cap space for the Kraken’s 2021-22 inaugural season. After that, he will become a restricted free agent (RFA).
What Lind Brings to the Kraken
Potential. Lind is a bit of an unknown at the NHL level after only seven games, but he has loads of potential as a top-six forward. In the games he did play, he didn’t look out of place which bodes well for his NHL future. Known for his speed, physicality, and tenacity on the forecheck, he could turn out to be the Kraken’s version of Vegas Golden Knights’ forwards Chandler Stephenson and Nicolas Roy.
Lind is also only 22-years-old and on a very budget-friendly contract right now. Even if he breaks out and scores 20 goals, his future RFA contract shouldn’t be too high for the Kraken to swallow. As an expansion team building for the future, he is the perfect bottom-six forward for them at this point. Add on his potential to be an integral part of the team’s second line, and this was a no-brainer for general manager Ron Francis.
Still on the Canucks
With Lind now a member of the Kraken, the Canucks still have several notable players on the roster, including a certain goaltender who everyone assumed they would be taking instead.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, editor, part-time journalist, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.