Red Deer Rebels Kalan Lind has been all business this season.
That mindset and more earned him a spot on the 2023 NHL Top Prospects Game on January 25 in Langley, B.C.
The 18-year-old forward from Shaunavon, Sask. will play with and against some of the top players in major junior hockey with NHL scouts front and centre.
“It’s pretty cool,” Lind said. “Obviously there’s a lot of great players that are ’05s and ’04s but getting to be named to the Top Prospects Game that’s a pretty big achievement.”
“I think going out there and proving myself is going to be a big thing.”
Lind was rated a ‘B’ prospect by NHL Central Scouting for the 2023 NHL Entry Draft and at the beginning of the month was ranked 39th on NHL analysts Craig Button’s prospect list.
Lind certainly isn’t unfamiliar to the big stage after he played at the Capital City Challenge in Ottawa in 2021 and most recently for the gold-medal-winning Canadians at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer in July.
Many of his former teammates from his Team Canada experience last summer will participate in the game including the likes of Brayden Yager, Zach Benson, Riley Heidt, Caden Price and Cameron Allen.
“They’re all pretty great hockey players. You’ve got your Hockey Canada guys that we’ve played with this summer. That should be pretty cool to be able to see and talk to those guys and hopefully get to play with them,” he said.
Price, Heidt, Lind and Yager all have a history of playing together after the quartette played for the U18 AAA Saskatoon Contacts during the COVID-19 shortened season in 2020-21. The team went 5-1 and Lind contributed seven goals and seven assists.
Fast forward to his second full year with the Rebels, Lind has been dynamite on the ice with eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points as they reach the halfway point of the season this weekend.
Lind has also been great as of late riding a five game point streak with four goals and four assists.
“There’s been a couple ups and downs but I feel like recently the teams been rolling, I’ve been starting to roll a little better. It’s just about keeping this pace,” he said.
With the opportunity to get drafted in the upcoming summer Lind has stepped up his game and is on the doorstep of surpassing his assist total from last year with 18 in 61 games.
Lind’s brother Kole, who is currently under contract with the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and playing for their affiliate team the Coachella Valley Firebirds in the American Hockey League, took a similar route to professional hockey through the Kelowna Rockets.
Lind worked out with his brother in the offseason and constantly keeps in touch with him.
“You see lots of things he does and all the little stuff he does being at that next level and I’ve pretty much followed him through every step of his hockey career. He’s had a big role in my life leading and guiding me through my experiences,” Lind explained.
The Rebels sophmore plays a physical gritty style of play that can also score goals and play a complete game.
You’ll also often see him taking part in the art of trash-talking and doing whatever it takes to get inside his opponent’s head between whistles.
“I quite enjoy being under guy’s skin. I feel like that’s one of the biggest things in my game is getting under their skin and make them a little bit mad or pissed off at me.”
“… But that’s how I kind of like it.”