SEATTLE – After being selected by the Seattle Kraken in the Expansion Draft, forward Kole Lind began preparing for the season as he usually would. Little did he know that he would soon go viral. Lind, 22, had posted a video of him working out by jumping onto a giant tire and people took notice.

Box jumps, or in this case tire jumps, are commonplace among athletes, but Lind added a flair to his. He did it wearing skates.

“It’s something that my trainer came up with this summer,” Lind said after Thursday’s practice at the Kraken Community Iceplex. “I decided to just get freaky with it, I guess. We were doing box jumps and stuff like that. We usually do tire jumps in our shoes, so I just wanted to try it and I landed it, so I was pretty happy.”

The video made the rounds on the internet and spread outside the hockey world.

Reactions to it were a mix of awe and some questioning how safe that workout was. Self-proclaimed internet experts were sure it would result in injury.

“It was a lot of mixed emotions from what I heard,” Lind said. “But I did it like five times. I landed every single time. So, you know, 100% ratio of getting it done so the safety’s there.”

On the ice, Lind is in camp with the Kraken trying to earn a spot on Seattle’s roster.

Kole Lind had a frustrating season last year

He’s coming off a frustrating season with Vancouver. He began the year in the AHL with the Utica Comments and got off to a blistering start, scoring five goals and eight points over his first eight games of the season.  

Then he suffered what he described as a “freak” injury.

“I got a high stick and broke my nose in a place where I wasn’t able to play,” Lind said. “Vancouver called me up and I did my recovery through there and as soon as I was skating for maybe three or four days, we got shut down again for the big COVID outbreak. It’s really tough to stay in a rhythm through all that.”

Lind was in the NHL, on the taxi squad, but wasn’t playing.

Skating with the team is one thing but not being able to play hurts. The games are where young players like Lind benefit the most.

“You cannot replicate it at all,” Lind added. “I think you ask anyone in professional hockey, there’s nothing replicated, even in summer training. You try to do whatever you can, but there’s nothing like playing an actual hockey game for sure.”

Lind played seven games with the Canucks down the stretch and ended the season with a total of 15 games between the AHL and the NHL.

All year long he was talked about as a player that for sure would be protected by the Canucks. He was one of Vancouver’s top prospects, he’s young, and he has talent. That all changed the day before NHL teams had to submit their protected lists. Vancouver made a few moves, most notably acquiring a forward in Jason Dickinson from Dallas, and suddenly Lind was on the block.

Once exposed, the Kraken jumped and selected Lind, something that he says is an “honor”.

“It was bittersweet because at the same time (Vancouver) brings you up and you’ve been with them the whole time,” Lind said. “There’s a lot of connections that way but it is nice to get the newest of starts you can get. It’s so fresh here, you know, new team, new organization. Everything about it is awesome.”

Lind looking to stick with Kraken

Lind is still young, and his best hockey may still be in front of him.

He’s in a fight to crack a Seattle roster that is deep with forwards, many of which have more NHL experience under their belts. Like all players, making the NHL roster is goal number one but at the end of the day, Lind wants to play a full season.

“Obviously I want to be here, but you know there’s a lot of different things that go into it,” Lind adds. “I’m just gonna do whatever I can, day to day to stay positive and try to do whatever I can to be an NHLer every day in my future.”

When he does play for the Kraken in Seattle, Lind knows what to expect from the locals.

Prior to being drafted by the Canucks in the second round of the 2017 NHL Draft he played in the Western Hockey League for the Kelowna Rockets. During his tenure with the Rockets, he played big playoff games in Seattle against the Thunderbirds.

He’s heard the roar and will be working to hear it again, this time in the NHL.

“I’ve had a couple tough encounters with the crowds out here in Seattle, that’s for sure. So maybe I’ll be on the other side.”