TORONTO, ON - Utica Comets fourth-year forward Kole Lind realized his dream, making his NHL debut for the Vancouver Canucks in their game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Thursday.
The Canucks lost the game 4-1, but it will still be a night Lind will never forget.
"There aren't really words to put a game like that," said Lind after the game. "My dream just came true playing that game. I would have preferred a win, but overall I thought I had a solid game."
The 22-year-old Canadian waited parts four pro seasons and 126 games in the AHL with the Comets before finally getting a taste of NHL action.
Finding out he'd be in the lineup was a special moment for himself and his family.
"Coming off the plane last night [head coach Travis Green] let me know I'd have a shot to be in tonight," said Lind. "I found out this morning it was confirmed. I didn't get much sleep last night, obviously a lot of emotions running and a lot of joyful tears."
He saw 17:12 of ice time in his debut, where he registered two shots on goal, a hit, and one blocked shot.
"There were jitters for probably most of the first period, I think I was trying to get comfortable with the speed and everything," Lind said. "I felt a lot more comfortable out there in the second period and I think you can tell in my game, I started to make a few more plays."
Lind said that lining up against players such as likely future hall of famer Joe Thornton, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner was a surreal experience and that he had to try to stay composed throughout and focus on the task at hand.
Through all of the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic over the past year, the experience of reaching a goal he has had since he was a young kid gave him a silver lining to smile about.
"This has been a tough year for a lot of people. I'm just really thankful that I finally got this opportunity."