It’s no secret the Canucks aren’t exactly the model of consistency. They go periods of time where no goals are scored and then the floodgates open, they allow boatloads of goals and then practically shut the door for a week. This season a player like Loui Eriksson goes off for a week and then falls silent for almost a month.
The Rebuild has seen pockets of production and growth but nothing that suggests the script has finally been flipped.
Enter Kole Lind.
He is currently on an impressive tear with the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL:
#Canucks prospect Kole Lind picks up 2 goals and 2 assists tonight for Kelowna.
He now has 66 PTS (24-42-66) in 38 WHL games – he is currently on a 16 game point streak.
He has 32 PTS (12-20-32) during that streak.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) January 25, 2018
He’s no Aleksi Heponiemi, but Canucks fans need reinforcement that their favourite team is starting to hit on their draft picks and a player of Lind’s ability speaks well for the future. Since being drafted in the second round last year, Lind has been targeted a lot more. Not really surprising for a guy taken as high as he was.
It would be reasonably expected to see a player like him regress slightly with the added attention after being drafted but Lind is getting better, and his confidence is visible when he strides down the wing. Lind has a “don’t take any crap” attitude, and he isn’t a stranger to the penalty box either with 49 PIM this season.
In the tweet above, Lind isn’t just on a point streak that sees an assist here and a goal there — he’s averaging two points-per-game. Ridiculous! Brock Boeser could use a guy like that on his off wing. There is a chance in the not too distant future where that could become a reality, and it’s safe to say the playmaking winger could benefit even more from a player like Boeser and vice versa.
Lind started the season on an eight-game point streak netting seven goals and ten assists with four of those games being multi-point outings. He started a new eight-game streak just six games later. Lind took one game off before starting his current 16-game tear. Kelowna has relied so heavily upon Lind to drive play and provide offence especially while Dillon Dube, Lind’s Rocket teammate, was away captaining the Canadian World Junior team to a Gold medal.
The 33rd overall pick didn’t just carry the team during that time; he dominated for it.
Kole was cut from the Canadian Junior Team this year, and much like Brock Boeser channelling his anger after the recent hit from Trevor Lewis, Lind was pissed right off and took it out on his opponents.
He responded the only way he knew how: by putting up points.
In his first game back with Kelowna, Lind arrived in Prince Albert to play the Raiders and notched a hat-trick. Not bad for his first game back. It didn’t end there, though. The very next night in Saskatoon, Lind couldn’t find the back of the net, but his teammates did, four times off passes from his stick.
OK, but then Christmas came, so he probably took some time before he got going again, right? Nope. First game back against the Kamloops Blazers he notched a goal and the very next night in Kamloops he decided to put up yet another hat-trick.
Just in case you needed a reminder, Lind is consistent.
But, it’s not just his repeated contributions that are the bright spot in his game, it’s the way he’s getting it done. He leads the Rockets with five GWG and six times this season he has scored the first goal which in the Canucks case is very important. Having your top players lighting the lamp first is a great way to lead by example.
His advanced stats are just great:
Looking at Lind’s percentage of team goals created, he leads the Rockets with 34.25%, over half of his goals come at even strength, and 63% of his assists are primary assists. One would think then that everything flows through him, but then you have to remember that Dube is also on that team as are brothers Cal and Nolan Foote. It’s an embarrassment of riches in Kelowna.
If you’ve missed out on everything Lind has done, Canucks Army’s prospect guru Ryan Biech has kept fans visually informed with every goal Lind has scored via his famous GIF tweets. Hopefully, he has a massive hard drive to store all of those goals.
Kole Lind is as steady as they come and right throughout his statistical library, he consistently leads a ton of categories. The Canucks truly hit a home run with that pick and sooner than later, he’ll be impressing Canucks fans just as he has the locals in the Okanagan.