When Kole Lind scores goals, they tend to come in bunches — at least that’s been the case this season.
The Kraken forward prospect notched a hat trick, his second of the season, during Coachella Valley’s 8-3 victory over the San Jose Barracuda on Dec. 10.
Lind’s goal-scoring outbrust came in the Firebirds’ fifth consecutive win, which was eventually snapped the next night in a 5-4 overtime loss to Bakersfield.
Lind, 24, leads Coachella Valley with 10 goals on the season and is third on the team in points with 20. He also leads the team in penalty minutes with 35.
The Shaunavon, Saskatchewan native, who starred for the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL during his junior career, figures to be one of the next forwards up in case Seattle needs to call up a forward. The second-round pick played in 23 games for the Kraken last year, scoring two goals and tallying eight assists.
With how the Kraken’s lineup looks currently, and with Eeli Tolvanen recently claimed off waivers from Nashville, it will likely take an injury for Lind to break the Kraken lineup. However, it’s certainly encouraging to see Lind producing at the AHL level in the meantime.
New arena opening in Coachella Valley
Speaking of Lind and the Firebirds, Coachella Valley will play its first game in its new home rink, Acrisure Arena, on Sunday, Dec. 18, against the Tucson Roadrunners. The Firebirds, who recently concluded a 16-game road trip, practiced on the new arena’s ice for the first time on Monday. The Desert Sun has the full story.
World Junior Championship update
Team Canada released its final roster for the 2023 World Junior Championship, and it came with little surprise. Shane Wright, who was loaned to Canada for the tournament, which begins on Dec. 26 in Moncton, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia, unsurprisingly made the team and is expected to star for Canada.
Additionally, all of the local connections that started camp with the team made the final roster. Seattle Thunderbirds forward Reid Schaefer was particularly excited.
Finland is another team to watch for Seattle fans. Forward Jani Nyman and goaltender Niklas Kokko, both second-round picks last year, will play for the Finns.
Nyman, who has seven goals and 10 points for Ilves in Liiga — Finland’s top league — this season, is expected to play a big role for a strong froward group. It will be ineresting to see if Kokko will earn the starting job for Finland between the pipes.
Kyle Jackson piling up points
Kyle Jackson, the Kraken’s seventh-round draft pick in 2022, is on a nice little stretch for the Ontario Hockey League’s North Bay Battalion. The 20-year-old forward is riding a nine-game point streak and has notched at least two points in seven of those contests.
Jackson boasts 37 points with 17 goals in 29 games this season.
North Bay is a team to monitor for Kraken fans, as defense prospect Ty Nelson also plays for North Bay. The third-round pick’s 35 points rank third amongst OHL defensemen and amongst his North Bay teammates.