Kindl dreams of Red Wings roster spot
"A long time for an 18-year-old is a week; They don't think in terms of years," said Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.
Jakub Kindl is a 19-year-old defenseman in the
Waiting another year or more isn't easy when you're a teen-ager and that which you wait for is a dream.
"I was hoping last year that maybe I had a shot to play in the NHL," said Kindl. "I wasn't going to say it, but I was hoping. I didn't have a bad camp. I had a couple of points in four games. I don't want to say that I wanted to be there, but I was hoping. I didn't get that much opportunity. They told me that I have to come here and be stronger. So that's what I was doing with my summer, spending a lot of time in the gym. We'll see how things go this year."
Kindl has been a force on the blue line for the Red Wings at their prospects camp, which concludes Tuesday. He did the same last year and then carried that momentum through the team's main camp and the preseason.
In fact, Kindl remained with the Red Wings in preseason long after the other junior-eligible players were sent back to their 20-and-under teams. His talent for offense from the blue line while remaining defensively responsible teased
"About a week before we did send him to juniors, we said that we were going to send him out," said
With seven NHL-experienced defenseman on the team at training camp last fall, there was little chance that Kindl would wind up in
This year, however, there will be no juniors. Kindl is no longer eligible and signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Red Wings. This year, Kindl might wind up with the Red Wings or more likely with the Grand Rapids Griffins. When the Griffins called him up for seven American Hockey League playoff games last spring, Kindl wound up on the first power-play unit.
Jakub Kindl is taking his first strides as a professional.
"My dream is to play in the NHL, but I'm looking forward to playing in
Kindl's command of the English language has matured as much as his game. Two years ago, he was shy about giving an interview. This past weekend, his personality shone as he spoke about getting ready to live on his own as a pro, about annoying former
The big thing about Kindl is his talent. Drafted 19th overall in 2005, Kindl is still the Red Wings' highest selection since taking Martin Lapointe 10th in 1991. Kindl was an OHL all-star in
Kindl's resume is similar to Jiri Fischer in that both are Czech, both came to North America to play junior hockey and both were first-round draft picks by
Will Kindl do the same as a 19-year-old?
"We think that we have four players (Kindl, Derek Meech, Kyle Quincey and Jonathan Ericsson) who have a pretty good chance to be NHL defensemen down the road," said