While Jim Benning has made clear his desire for a puck-moving defenceman, after day one of the draft he stated his intention to draft the best player available rather than by need with the 33rd overall pick.
After passing over a high-scoring, playmaking forward out of the WHL in the first round, the Canucks selected another in the second: Kole Lind.
Lind finished not far behind Cody Glass in WHL scoring, with 87 points to Glass’s 94. Among first-time draft eligible players, Lind was fifth in points-per-game in the WHL last season. That represents great value in the second round.
Lind is listed as a centre, but projects more as a winger according to scouting reports. It also remains to see what style of player he’ll become: while he’s got some playmaking ability — he had 60 assists in 70 games — he gravitates towards a power forward style, going hard to the front of the net to finish off passing plays and clean up rebounds.
McKeen’s Hockey calls him out as one of the most underrated players in this draft class and says, “We rank him among the second rounders instead of in the first 31 picks as there really is not any one trait at which Lind excels. Everything is quite good, but nothing is spectacular.”
Hockey Prospect praises Lind’s skating, accurate shot, and hockey IQ. You can see it in the highlight video above: he anticipates well, getting to the right spot on the ice to finish off plays. They suggest he has a high ceiling: "Lind has top-6 forward potential as a scoring winger with his combination of speed and hockey sense."
International Scouting Services suggests his playmaking is his best attribute, saying, “his vision and skill set are high end, he is one of the best pure passers in the WHL.”
Also, he has this picture on his Instagram:
It’s fair to say that I love this pick, even if just for this amazing photo.