Shaunavon’s Kalan Lind snapped a lengthy Southwest slump when he was selected sixth overall by the Red Deer Rebels in the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft on Wednesday.
Lind became the first Southwest player drafted in the first round since Swift Current’s Craig Cuthbert was drafted with the final pick of the first round in 2003.
“It’s just exciting for my family, for me, to go to such a great program in Red Deer. They’ve been successful for most of their whole history. They’ve been near the top of the league every year, so it’s just exciting to be there,” said Lind.
Lind had an incredible season with the Swift Current Pure Chem Broncos as he finished second in the Saskatchewan Bantam AA Hockey League with 68 goals in 27 games and third in league scoring with 120 points to go along with 90 penalty minutes. He added five goals and four assists in three playoff games.
He also added one goal and one assist in nine games with the Swift Current Midget AAA Legionnaires and then scored a goal in his two Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League playoff contests.
Lind didn’t have to wait very long to hear his name called, but he said it was still a nervous process.
“I didn’t sleep very well last night,” he admitted. “I went to bed pretty late and then got up early this morning. The tummy was turning a little bit. Watching the first couple picks go by you are thinking ‘What’s going on and when am I gonna go?’ It’s just exciting when it happens.”
His older brother, Kole, was a fourth round pick of the Kelowna Rockets in 2013 before being drafted in the second round by the Vancouver Canucks.
“It’s been great,” said Kalan of learning from his brother’s experience. “He’s been one of my biggest role models throughout my whole life. I’ve wanted to be like him my whole life. Just watching him go through it and him getting to see me go through it is just very exciting for me and him.”
Kalan Lind also became the highest Southwest drafted player since Braydon Coburn (Shaunavon) and Stefan Meyer (Fox Valley) were drafted first and second overall in 20000.