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FUTURE WATCH : Kellan Lain

by Ashley Docking / Edmonton Oilers

Oklahoma City Barons forward Kellan Lain has had a taste of what the NHL has to offer, but his journey to get there nearly came to a crashing halt early in his career.

“It was a dream come true to be able to play in the NHL, it’s a big jump (from the AHL) so you kind of learn from guys up there, what it takes to stay there.  It’s hard to get to that point but it’s another thing to stay up there,” Lain said.

Last season, Lain signed a two-year free agent contract with the Vancouver Canucks. In the running for the fourth-line centre role, eventually Lain was assigned to the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets. 35 games into the season, was called up for nine games in what was a very memorable NHL stint.

The most publicized event during that time came in Lain’s first ever NHL game. It was at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The Canucks were hosting the Flames and right after puck drop, or maybe even while the puck was still headed down towards the ice, a 5-on-5 line scrap broke out. 

The fight put the 6-foot-6 centre’s name straight into the record books as the fastest fight to start a career at just two seconds, surpassing the previous record of 12 seconds. That record was set by John Ferguson of the Montreal Candiens and Ted Green of the Boston Bruins in 1963.

Lain’s dance partner was none other then Kevin Westgarth.

“The first game with the big brawl, that’s what everybody knows and it’s cool to be known for something like that,” Lain said.

That may be the moment  everyone else remembers, but for Lain it was his first goal that remains his proudest accomplishment.

Ironically, that milestone came against Oilers goaltender Ben Scrivens.  Three days after the now infamous brawl, Lain banked the rebound off of Scrivens pad.  It was his first shot on his second shift in his second game at the NHL level - his only point before finishing his first full AHL season with the Comets (7 goals, 12 assists in 63 games).

Now a part of the Oilers system, after a trade that sent Will Acton to Vancouver, Lain is adjusting well to the new environment.

“The first two games I felt great out there,” Lain said. “I didn’t have to think too much about the guys or the systems. My linemates made it easy for me. I was actually surprised how easy the adjustment was.”

On being traded, Lain admitted that he was. “very excited.”

He explained, “It’s a fresh start and you want to be somewhere where the organization really wants you, so I’m excited to be here.”

Earlier this week, Oilers Captain Andrew Ference made mention of the fact that players in the NHL need to be thankful for the opportunity to even don a team jersey, something that Lain understands like few others. That chance was nearly taken away from him.

In March of 2009, during a game with the OJHL’s Oakville Blades, the opposing goalie’s skate cut deep into Lain’s wrist slicing his ulnar artery.  After two surgeries and nearly a year of recovery, Lain is left with a permanent reminder on his left wrist of what he nearly lost and that experience allowed him to enjoy every moment of the game.

“Coming to the rink every morning, it puts a smile on your face.,” Lain said. “If you’re just coming to the rink, having fun and playing with confidence and being able to play your game it makes a big difference in and outside of hockey.”

Courtesy: Getty Images

But now after a taste NHL hockey, the 25-year-old has bigger aspirations on his mind and understands what it will take to become a full-time presence in the big league.

“You see how hard those guys work and it makes you want to work that much harder in the off-season and during the year to practice those little things that will get you there,” Lain said. “These two leagues are skating leagues and it’s something you can never work too much on, so just getting stronger and faster were two of my focuses.”

The big (let me emphasize that— he’s big) new Baron wants to contribute to the team in a multitude of ways.

“I’m a two-way centereman who takes care of his own end first and plays a checking roll,” he said. “(I consider myself) hard to play against and as someone who can chip in (on offence) as well.

In a contract year, Lain isn’t concerned with the numbers or what will transpire after this term expires. He just wants to enjoy every moment and have some fun.

“I just try to come to the rink everyday with the same mindset, which is just to work hard and get better,” Lain said. “Everything else is out of your control.  Just focus on the little things and playing well is all you can really do.”

Lain has overcome a lot to be in the position he is today. He’s been given a second chance and will surely to make the most of it this season with the Barons.

Barons Player StatsAHL StandingsBarons Schedule | Past Prospect Stats: 13-14 | 12-13 | 11-12


Stats Updated as of Wednesday, December 3, 2014 | * - Player on AHL contract with Oklahoma City Barons

Oklahoma City (AHL)


Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM
KEITH AULIE D 25 8 0 1 1 -6 0
BRANDON DAVIDSON D 23 12 1 2 3 +3 13
TRAVIS EWANYK F 21 18 1 2 3 -5 22
MATT FORD* F 30 17 6 6 12 +2 6
MARTIN GERNAT d 21 16 0 3 3 +3 10
LUKE GAZDIC F 25 5 2 0 2 -1 7
CURTIS HAMILTON
F 22 18 4 6 10 -1 12
RYAN HAMILTON
F 29 18 8 6 14 +5 2
BRAD HUNT D 26 12 5 12 17 +7 2
KALE KESSY
F 21 17 3 3 6 -7 61
JUJHAR KHAIRA
F 20 17 1 2 3 -3 16
OSCAR KLEFBOM   d 21 9 1 7 8 +10 4
ANTON LANDER
F 23 19 4 12 16 -1 12
KELLAN LAIN F 25 2 0 0 0 0 4
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 8 1 1 2 -3 13
MARTIN MARINCIN
D 22 2 0 1 1 0 0
ANDREW MILLER F 26 18 4 7 11 +2 0
MITCH MOROZ F 20 15 0 1 1 +1 13
DAVID MUSIL D 21 15 0 2 2 -2 13
JORDAN OESTERLE  D 22 20 4 5 9 -1 4
IIRO PAKARINEN F 23 14 8 4 12 +7 4
STEVE PINIZZOTTO
F 30 9 0 6 6 +3 40
TYLER PITLICK
F 23 14 3 6 9 +2 8
DILLON SIMPSON
d 21 18 2 0 2 -6 4
JASON WILLIAMS*
F 34 18 8 12 20 +5 12
BOGDAN YAKIMOV
F 20 15 1 5 6 +2 4
Bakersfield (ECHL)
Name POS age    GP G A P +/- PIM
GRAEME CRAIG* D 21 20 3 2 5 -3 22
CONNOR JONES* F 24 20 7 13 20 -2 29
KELLEN JONES* F 24 20 5 13 18 -3 10
C.J. LUDWIG* D 24 0 0 0 0 0 0
JOSH WINQUIST* F 21 17 5 17 22 -7 11
Canadian Hockey League
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
BEN BETKER   d 20 24 1 6 7 +9 20 EVERETT (WHL)
GREG CHASE  C 19 15 2 13 15 +2 20 CALGARY (WHL)
6 3 2 5 -4 4 victoria (whl)
JACKSON HOUCK
f 19 26 8 14 22 -6 30 VANCOUVER (WHL)
DARNELL NURSE D 19 16 6 10 16 +2 30 SAULT STE. MARIE (OHL)
KYLE PLATZER F 19 25 9 20 29 +8 20 OWEN SOUND (OHL)
MARCO ROY
F 20 20 10 8 18 +6 10 QUEBEC (qmjHL)
NCAA, Junior A & USHL
Name POS age  GP G A P +/- PIM team
EVAN CAMPBELL   f 21 12 3 6 9 +1 12 UMASS-LOWELL (NCAA)
LIAM COUGHLIN
F 20 25 11 13 24 0 14 VERNON (BCHL)
WILLIAM LAGESSON
d 18 19 1 11 12 +9 32 DUBUQUE (USHL)
JOEY LALEGGIA  d 22 10 5 6 11 +8 19 DENVER (NCAA)
JOHN MCCARRON   f 22 9 0 5 5 +1 8 CORNELL (NCAA)
AIDAN MUIR   F 19 13 1 4 5 +3 2 WESTERN MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TYLER VESEL F 20 12 3 6 9 0 5 NEBRASKA-OMAHA (NCAA)
Europe
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
ROMAN HORAK
f 23 33 16 9 25 +5 20 VITYAZ (KHL)
PHILIP LARSEN
f 24 34 1 10 11 -8 22 YUGRA (KHL)
ANTON SLEPYSHEV
f 20 35 4 7 11 -3 8 UFA (KHL)
ANTTI TYRVAINEN
F 25 22 4 4 8 -3 16 TAMPERE (FINLAND)
DANIIL ZHARKOV
F 20 6 0 0 0 +2 4 NIZHNY NOVGOROD (KHL)
20 1 3 4 -5 8 HK SAROV (VHL)
2014 World Junior Hockey Championships
Name POS age GP G A P +/- PIM team
TBD - - - - - - - -   -
Goaltenders
Name age GP w l T SO GAA SV% team
RICHARD BACHMAN   27 10 6 1 3   0 2.39 .917 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
KEVEN BOUCHARD  18 17 5 7 2   0 4.62 .852 VAL D'OR (QMJHL)
LAURENT BROSSOIT 21 7 4 2 0   1 2.67 .915 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)
TYLER BUNZ   22 8 4 2 1   1 1.87 .920 wichita (ECHL)
ZACHARY NAGELVOORT
20 11 5 5 0   1 2.63 .911 MICHIGAN (NCAA)
TY RIMMER*
22 14 6 5 1   2 3.29 .894 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
Frans Tuohimaa   23 7 3 3 1   0 2.39 .910 BAKERSFIELD (ECHL)
3 2 0 1   0 4.22 .904 OKLAHOMA CITY (AHL)

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