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Rebels Kalan Lind hopes to bring the energy in return to the lineup

Lind returns with just two games left
Red Deer Rebels forward Kalan Lind redirects a puck on net against the Prince George Cougars in WHL action at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Ian Gustafson/ Advocate staff)

Junior hockey is a game of energy.

Skating with pace, bodychecks that provide a spark, passion shown through effort, and even trash talk all impact that facet of the game.

Those also are also arguably some of the many attributes Red Deer Rebels forward Kalan Lind possesses in his arsenal.

And after nearly two months of watching from the stands with an upper-body injury, Lind will be unleashed Friday night with a clean bill of health.

“At four weeks I was kind of getting antsy ready to come back and then I was back on the ice getting ready to go. I feel good now,” he said.

The 18-year-old forward hasn’t played since Jan. 28 against the Winnipeg Ice when he left the game after taking a crosscheck to the upper body.

Before that, Lind was having a career season surpassing his point total from last year with 42 points (15 goals and 27 assists) in 41 games. In the 2021-22 season, Lind had 38 points in 61 games.

Lind explained it was tough having to sit out for so long but admitted it also has its own perks in terms of studying the game.

“You get to watch where there’s open ice and what plays you can make, even on the powerplay when I’m playing net front and what I can see from up top,” he said.

“It sucks being up there though when the guys are down in energy. I think I can bring a boost to that category.”

With just a pair of games left in the regular season both against the Lethbridge Hurricanes, the Rebels will enter the WHL playoffs as the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

Who they’ll play against is still up in the air.

If the playoffs started today they’d be playing the Calgary Hitmen in the seventh spot. However, the Medicine Hat Tigers are only one point behind, followed by the Swift Current Broncos who are within four points.

“We are almost a week away now so it’s getting pretty dialed in around the rink now. I think all the guys are ready to go and getting pretty serious,” he said.

Lind will most likely be kicking off some rust from his long stint off the ice but gave credit to the coaching staff who got him back into shape.

However, just as Lind returns forward Ben King is listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury and will miss the final two games of the regular season. Defenceman Christoffer Sedoff is also listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. In other news forward Frantisek Formanek will miss Friday’s game due to a one-game suspension after he received a game misconduct penalty against the Broncos last weekend.

The Rebels have also been playing at a high level as of late winning three of their last five games.

“The boys have been playing really well. There have been ups and downs but I think we’ve played really good throughout this span of games,” he said.

“I’m coming back into a really hot team and I think we’re kind of just at the peak of our game right now going into playoffs.

“I think I bring that energy in a seven-game series. In the playoffs I think I’m going to be a little rat in guys’ faces, being physical, and working hard like I do in the regular season. I don’t think my game’s going to change very much.”

In the WHL’s new documentary series Road to the NHL Draft, the multi-episode series gives a behind-the-scenes look at some of the top NHL draft prospects from the WHL.

On Thursday night’s debut of episode three, Lind will be featured in the episode with an appearance from his brother Kole Lind who plays in American Hockey League.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “You get to kind of experience the draft and go through everything… It’s pretty cool I get to be a part of that and get my own episode.

“Obviously there are some pretty good players in this league and they’ve got a good series going.”

Ian Gustafson

About the Author: Ian Gustafson

Ian began his journalism career as a reporter in Prince Albert, Sask. for the last three years, and was born and raised in Saskatchewan.
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