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Joel Heyman

Kellan Lain Talk

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He's in town now, should be here to do some testing and orientation and watch both today's and tomorrow's games.

klain19

Just touched down in Vancouver!

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I hadn't seen anyone post the CDC article on him yet, so here it is:

Introducing Kellan Lain

He is big and mean and skilled – oh and did we mention big? He is Kellan Lain, the newest member of the Vancouver Canucks family.

At 6-foot-6 and 222-pounds, Lain is an intimidating presence on the ice and instantly becomes the largest Canucks prospect in height and weight after a signing a three-year entry level contract with the team on Saturday. Lain will report to the Canucks American Hockey League affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, in the next few days.

“Kellan is a big, strong center with pretty decent skills that skates good,” said Jim Roque, who coached Lain for the last three seasons at Lake Superior State University in the NCAA.

“Obviously his role on my team will be different than what is asked of him at the pro level; on my team he was asked to score a little more and be an offensive guy, I think he has those traits, but I think he is more of a third line checking center, faceoff guy.

“He is competitive, competes hard and has an edge to him”

Canucks director of player development Dave Gagner agrees.

“Kellan is a big, strong, detailed player; wins face-offs, finishes checks, plays with an edge, is hard on his opponents and skates well too.”

Lain, a native of Oakville, Ontario, spent the last three seasons with the LSSU Lakers, where he accumulated 39 points (21-18-39) and 210 penalty-minutes in 108 games, including 111 penalty minutes in 32 games this past season.

“He hits hard, he is physical, that’s his game,” added Rogue. “He has to play with an edge, play physical and stick his nose in there to be effective.”

At 220 pounds one would think size wouldn’t be an issue, however Roque said adding some weight to his already large frame is a must in order to for him to keep a physical presence at the pro level.

“His body needs to fill out, he needs to get thicker,” said Roque. “He is still a thin kid for a big kid. His body needs to fill out and get bigger if he is to play at 80 games plus playoffs at the pro level.”

In the NCAA, 111 penalty minutes in 32 games is a staggering amount, but Roque says Lain’s size and punishing hits led to referees handing him his share of penalty minutes strictly due to his large stature.

“When you get a five in our league you also get a 10 with it to and he had a couple check from behinds and a couple hit to the heads. To be honest, our league kind of ran him out of college hockey as every time he hit a guy it was a penalty because he is so big.”

As far as off-the-ice, in just speaking to the 23-year-old Lain you can instantly tell he is a laidback, smart guy who comes from a strong family.

“He is a good kid, that comes from a nice family, his parents are educators,” said Roque. “Real good team guy, easy to get along with and likes to have fun.”

And now ladies and gentleman, we present 10 things you may or may not know about the newest Canucks prospect Kellan Lain:

His dad, a teacher, taught Manny Malhotra through high school. “I got the chance to meet him a few times when he was playing in Guelph and he is someone I looked up to growing up,” said Lain.

– He is good friends with Sam Gagner, so he got to know Sam’s dad, Dave Gagner pretty well and is friends with fellow Canucks prospect Jeremy Price. “The familiarity with everyone played a big part into my decision to come to Vancouver.”

– The last time he was in Vancouver he was five-years-old.

– His job this past summer was promoting Bud Light.

He missed almost a year of hockey when a skate blade from an opposition goaltender cut his wrist in a playoff game, which required surgery. Instead of starting his freshman season in the NCAA the next season he spent the year recovering from the injury and joined his OJHL team at the end of the year. “That was really scary, I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to play hockey again.”

He took college classes while playing junior in Oakville, which he was able to transfer to Lake Superior State and will graduate with a degree in marketing this spring after only three years at the school. “I didn’t want to leave school without my degree so it’s really nice to sign an NHL contract and obtain my degree at the same time.”

– He feels the one thing he needs to work on is his strength. “I need to get stronger and bigger, not in height but in weight.”

He feels he plays a similar role to current NHL players Paul Gaustad and David Steckel.

– Off the ice he describes himself as big family man that is laidback and likes to play golf in the summer and also enjoys hitting the gym.

– His thoughts on dealing with all the media requests on the day he signed: “This is crazy, I have never been around anything like this before, and it’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be, but it’s really fun!”

Welcome to the hockey market that is Vancouver, Kellan.

So skating, faceoffs, work ethic and physicality are his positives. He took extra classes to graduate early and that was important to him. Knowing a few of the players in our system as well as meeting Manny when he was younger factored into him signing here. He's been penalized a lot, but his size alone has been part of the reason for a number of 10 minute misconducts so he'll have to be careful with that. And the injury to his wrist delayed his development somewhat so we may see a little more from him with a two way game.

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Only a one year contract - which I believe will start next season as he will just sign a ATO for the Wolves for the remainder of this season.

I was thinking the same (ATO and then 2013-14 contract) but Capgeek just added him to this year's reserves with a contract expiring at the end of this season (2013 RFA):

http://www.capgeek.com/canucks/reserve-list/

Capgeek has been wrong on occasion but given that they waited a while before actually adding him to their page, it suggests that they've done some "due diligence" on this and they probably have things right.

If true, it still shouldn't be difficult to retain him as an RFA.

Definitely expect the Canucks to be watching his progress in Chicago closely, given that they'll only get a portion of a season to see how he adjusts and performs as a pro before they'll need to make a decision about the next contract.

Also of note, Capgeek has added Blomstrand now and his deal will start next season (2013-14) as expected: http://www.capgeek.com/canucks/reserve-list/?year_id=2013

His deal is the standard 3-year with a 2016 expiry (RFA).

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I was thinking the same (ATO and then 2013-14 contract) but Capgeek just added him to this year's reserves with a contract expiring at the end of this season (2013 RFA):

http://www.capgeek.c...s/reserve-list/

Capgeek has been wrong on occasion but given that they waited a while before actually adding him to their page, it suggests that they've done some "due diligence" on this and they probably have things right.

If true, it still shouldn't be difficult to retain him as an RFA.

Definitely expect the Canucks to be watching his progress in Chicago closely, given that they'll only get a portion of a season to see how he adjusts and performs as a pro before they'll need to make a decision about the next contract.

Also of note, Capgeek has added Blomstrand now and his deal will start next season (2013-14) as expected: http://www.capgeek.c...t/?year_id=2013

His deal is the standard 3-year with a 2016 expiry (RFA).

I was just coming back to correct myself on that one - beat me to it--- haha +1 for you.

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I was thinking the same (ATO and then 2013-14 contract) but Capgeek just added him to this year's reserves with a contract expiring at the end of this season (2013 RFA):

http://www.capgeek.c...s/reserve-list/

...

The CDC article I mentioned for Lain says it's a 3 year ELC, but that might be force of habit.

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YAH . Boyle with 53 points in best college year and Lain with 16 in same league. YOU DO THE MATH. This guy sucks!!!!

We are comparing his game to a nhl player. Brian Boyle fail miserably to meet expectations as a top 2 centerman. Brian Boyle is pretty much a 3rd line /4th nhl player. Lain is expected to become a 4th line player and it not cost us a first round pick. Boyle comparisons are fair.

LOLz, grew up a Leafs fan. I'm totally cool with that, Honest kid.

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we need a big left handed centermen whos good at draws right now! Can he step in? All he's gotta do is be like Manny , but have a couple fights here and there. Solid D, big draws, occasional points... Wish he was NHL ready today and hope he is ASAP!

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Well spoken, seems to have a good head on his giant shoulders.

Here's hoping for a steal of a free prospect.

I was impressed that his parents are teachers and he took some college courses early so he could graduate in 3 years (this year). He certainly has the physical tools to be an NHL player, but maybe his ability to think and learn the game will give him a better chance at moving past the 4th line.

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Lain's on his way to the Wolves:

klain19

Had a great time Vancouver. Loved everything about it. Unreal hockey city! Now heading to Chicago to join the wolves

The Wolves next game is the Marlies on Friday, so he should have a day of practice at least and we'll see if he slots in. Blomstrand would likely be on his way there as well.

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Thanks Stone Cold for posting the interview and pix.

Great stuff.

Also liked getting a look at Ludwig; he seems like he's built like the proverbial brick "out" house.

They look like they both will have a positive impact on the Wolves.

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Cory Pronman posting his writeup on Lain:

http://www.hockeyprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=339

Kellan Lain, Center, Vancouver Canucks (Lake Superior):

Lain is an older than usual Junior, a 23 year old who turns 24 in July. His main asset is his physical game, at 6′6′’ 222 not only is he tall and strong but tough as well. He’s a big center who can win battles and make opposing defensemen aware of his presence on the ice. He also skates at a decent level for a man his size. Lain doesn’t have a whole lot of offensive upside, notching 39 points over 108 NCAA games, but he does have some defensive value and I think he can stay at center at the pro level. He actually led Lake Superior in face off % this season, winning 56% of his 571 draws. That’s not a great sample, but it is nevertheless intriguing.

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Guest Gumballthechewy

Sounds like a perfect 3rd/4th liner for us.

I like how it sounds like he's a decent skater for his size and it sound like he may be pretty good in the faceoff.

Can't wait to see him in action.

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