Special to AnaheimDucks.com
Freshman defenseman Kevin Lind
wasn’t supposed to be playing Division I hockey at Notre Dame until next year, but eight months later found himself with his Fighting Irish teammates at the 2011 Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Scheduled to play this season with Tri-Cities of the USHL, just eight days prior to classes starting last August, the Ducks sixth round draft choice in the 2010 Entry Draft got a call from Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson asking him to join the team right away due to the departure of Jarred Tinordi to the Ontario Hockey League.
“First and foremost, I want to thank the coaching staff (at Notre Dame) for bringing me in this year,” said Lind after his team’s semifinal loss to eventual champion Minnesota-Duluth. “Opportunity is everything in this game and he gave me an opportunity to succeed with a lot of great guys.”
He made an immediate impact assisting on Notre Dame’s first goal of the season in a win over Holy Cross and a week later had his first multi-point game against Lake Superior State.
Lind uses his huge 6-3, 218-pound frame to clear the crease and generally play a defensively responsible game. The suburban Chicago native scored his first and only goal of the season—a game winner—at Michigan in November and registered 11 points overall during his inaugural 31-game campaign.
“Over the first couple weeks of the season I proved that I could play and really worked hard coming in because I knew it would be a battle, so I’m really looking forward to the next couple of years here.” Lind said.
He played his second junior season last year with the Chicago Steel of the USHL where he had six points and ten assists with 76 penalty minutes in 55 games.
The 19-year-old also has played for Team USA twice in his career winning a gold medal with the Junior Select Team at the World Junior A Challenge in 2009 and finishing fourth in 2008 with the Under-18 Select Team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia.
And like every Ducks prospect, just weeks after last summer’s draft Lind found himself in camp last summer.
“It was great and I met a lot of great people and made a lot of new friends," he said.“In talking with (Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations) Dave McNab, he was pretty impressed with me and (Executive VP/GM) Bob Murray said he was surprised by how well I played. It’s all a process and all about development so we’ll see over the next couple of years how it goes. I would like to stay in college until I’m ready and if that takes four years that’s fine.”