Canucks: Kole Lind officially selected by the Seattle Kraken

Kole Lind is officially no longer a member of the Vancouver Canucks.

On Wednesday evening, the Seattle Kraken selected the 22-year-old right winger to join their franchise, the 32nd one in the NHL. The announcement wrapped up the 90-minute broadcast, coming directly from owner Jerry Bruckheimer.

For most Canucks fans, this didn’t come as a big surprise.

Earlier that morning, insider Rick Dhaliwal first reported that Seattle would not be taking forward Jonah Gadjovich, leaving Lind, as well as netminder Braden Holtby, and forwards Zack MacEwen and Matthew Highmore, as the remaining options. Shortly after Dhaliwal’s news, former TSN insider Frank Seravalli followed up on the report, confirming Seattle’s intent to select Lind.

All of this took place approximately 10 hours before the actual expansion draft broadcast.

Lind was selected 33rd overall in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The Shaunavon, Saskatchewan-native put up solid numbers in the Western Hockey League prior to being drafted, registering 44 goals and 84 assists in 140 games with the Kelowna Rockets. He remained with the Rockets for the 2017-18 campaign, which proved to be a great decision for the kid. Lind led his team in scoring with 39 goals and 56 assists in just 58 contests, finishing the year with a 1.64 points-per-game rate.

Unfortunately, his offensive production didn’t follow him to Utica.

In his first full AHL season, Lind registered five goals and 12 assists in 51 games. He improved on the scoresheet the following year, putting up 44 points in 61 games, but still had yet to prove that he was ready for a full-time NHL gig.

Lind eventually made the jump to the big leagues this past season, and was one of six rookies to make their NHL regular season debut with the Canucks that year. Lind’s addition to the roster came shortly after the team recovered and returned from their COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined them for three weeks. He was also called up from Utica when the Canucks were essentially eliminated from playoff contention.

Lind ended up going pointless in seven contests.

Prior to the list submission deadline, it was reported that Lind would slot in as one of the final protected forwards. However, he ended up being on the outside looking in after the Canucks acquired third-line centre Jason Dickinson from the Dallas Stars. The trade occurred moments before the 12pm PST roster freeze on Saturday afternoon.

Although most Canucks fans won’t lose too much sleep over Lind joining the Kraken, he also wasn’t necessarily the option that everyone was hoping for.

By selecting Lind, Seattle opted to not go for Holtby between the pipes, a name that was causing quite a bit of speculation leading up to Wednesday.

The former Washington Capital will be turning 32 years old in September, and would bring strong veteran leadership and a championship pedigree to any locker room, even in a back-up role. He only has one year remaining on his current deal, but it comes with an AAV of $4.3 million, which appeared to be too much of a financial burden for Seattle, especially if Vancouver wasn’t willing to retain salary.

Holtby has also struggled quite a bit over the last two seasons, as indicated by his 3.39 GAA and .893 SV% during that span. Seattle ended up going with a much younger trio of netminders, selecting Chris Driedger (27) from Florida, Vitek Vanecek (25) from Washington and Joey Daccord (24) from Ottawa.

It will be interesting to see what Seattle does with Lind moving forward, especially given how much cap space the league’s newest franchise has available right out of the gate. No matter what ends up transpiring, however, Canucks fans will have to get used to seeing Lind in another jersey.

And if he does end up staying in Seattle, let’s all hope that he doesn’t prove to be a game-changer in the league’s newest West Coast rivalry.

What are your thoughts on Lind heading to Seattle? Let us know in the comments!