Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: RW Kole Lind

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Once again the Vancouver Canucks failed to secure a spot in the NHL playoffs. So, instead of competing for the Stanley Cup, Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the upcoming months to prepare next season’s roster. Now that the organisation is officially in a ‘transition period’, the 2017 NHL Entry Draft will be of utmost importance.

A four-game winning streak to start the 2016-17 season gave fans hope for the playoffs. But — blame the coach, the roster, injuries or anything else — unfortunately, the team was unable to play competitively for an entire season. With that, they are guaranteed another high draft pick this year.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming draft by profiling as many eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

This year’s draft seems wide-open, with no real consensus in any of the seven rounds. So, it will certainly be interesting to see who will put on a Vancouver Canucks jersey come June.

Today we are taking a look at WHL Kelowna Rockets winger Kole Lind!


Embed from Getty Images

Name: Kole Lind

Position: Right wing

Shoots: Right

Birthdate: 1998-10-16

Height, weight: 6’1”, 176 lbs

Team, league: Kelowna Rockets

Stats (from eliteprospects.com): 

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

703057877936

Rankings:
#24 by Hockeyprospect.com
#18 by ISS Hockey
#48 by Future Considerations
#20 by McKeen’s Hockey
#23 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2/5, 3.5/5

NHL-potential: Second-line winger

Draft Range: Top 50

Scouting report

"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…has good puck skill using his hand position and speed to bring pucks in tight to his body, protecting it…can run himself out of space by trying to hold onto the puck and make that extra move…very heads up passer who leads his man perfectly…makes gorgeous saucer passes…is a playmaker but doesn’t mind taking shots, although his release is a little slow…his speed and smarts allowed him to find a lot of openings to get chances…defensively he uses his stick to close off options…not consistently physical but has shown some fire in his belly after the whistle, getting in faces and causing commotion…strong awareness and smarts should help with his potential to contribute at the pro level.  (Future Considerations, November 2016)"

Strengths

The Kelowna Rockets manage to develop NHL talent year after year, and Kole Lind is just another prospect who exceeded expectations. The 87th-overall pick of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, Lind has developed into a potential NHL first-round selection. He is a dangerous offensive player who finished the 2016-17 season 15th in league scoring as a WHL sophomore.

A lot of Lind’s game is based on being in the right place at the right time. Lind constantly positions himself in dangerous scoring areas, ready to receive a pass or jump on a rebound.  He can score multiple ways and in various situations thanks to his smarts as well as a strong shot arsenal.

However, Lind is an excellent playmaker as well. In fact, he might project as a playmaker rather than a scorer at the NHL level. Lind has outstanding vision and consistently finds open teammates with his passes. He possesses great puck skills and, although he is not very flashy or dynamic, can avoid defenders before making a dangerous play.

Weaknesses

Lind missed 2016 eligibility by only a month, so he is one of the older players of this class. Because of that, some scouts believe he should be further ahead in his development than he is. How much better can he get?

More from Draft

The reasons for that include his strength and skating. Lind comes in at 6-foot-1 and 176 pounds, but he sometimes struggles against bigger opposition and is not very physical. His skating is not great either. He is quite agile and gets around well, but his stride looks awkward and lacks strength.

Furthermore, Lind’s two-way upside is a question mark. He is aggressive on the forecheck and can be strong on the backcheck, but doesn’t always show that. His effort level isn’t always as high as you would like to see from a team’s top player and potential first-round draft pick.

Final Thoughts

When a player scores 30 goals and 87 points in his draft year, it won’t go unnoticed. Lind has proven he can be a smart, dangerous forward who can make those around him better. But how much better can he get himself?

There aren’t many players, even in this year’s draft, that are as polarising as Lind when we look at rankings. ISS Hockey has him at 18, Future Considerations ranks him 48th. His draft position will probably lie somewhere in between. Personally, I do not have him in the first round of my mock draft and would prefer someone else for the Canucks’ 33rd pick.

Next: 2017 NHL Draft Profile Overview

Yet, if he is on the board, he is certainly someone Vancouver will take a look at. The Canucks need prospects on every position, and after seeing the scoring struggles in the 2016-17 campaign, adding goal-scorers is an excellent idea.