December 13, 2018
When Liam Kindree was a 16 year old at Rockets training camp in 2016 the coaching staff was faced with a hard task, return the young forward for another season of midget hockey or keep him with the WHL club.
The Rockets ultimately decided with the former, a move they also made with Kole Lind when he was 16.
The North Vancouver native returned to the Vancouver Northwest Giants with one challenge from the Rockets coaching staff, to be the best player out there.
Kindree took the challenge seriously, at the end of the 2016-2017 season he sat atop the BCMML’s scoring race with 67 points (28G, 39A) in 40 games played.
He was also named the league’s top forward.
As a rookie with Kelowna last season, Kindree was tasked with a bit of an unfamiliar role.
Instead of lighting up opponents nets on a constant basis, he did a lot of learning while chipping in when he could.
In 50 games he put up 27 points (8G, 19A) and 24 penalty minutes. He dressed for all four of Kelowna’s playoff games picking up an assist.
Kindree credits Dillon Dube with helping him adjust to major junior.
“Dillon Dube guided me through my first year in the Western Hockey League,” said Kindree. “Some of the things that he taught me have really helped me improve my play this year.”
Heading into this season without leading scorers Cole Lind (95 pts last year), Dillon Dube (84 pts) and Carsen Twarynski (72 pts), the Rockets were expecting more from their young winger.
He has risen to the challenge, in 27 games played he’s fourth in team scoring with 25 points (7G, 18A).
The 5’10, 177-pound winger says his confidence has helped him the most this season, but he’s happy to play any role the coaching staff needs.
“From last year to this year, there has been a lot of confidence added to my game. With being one year older, it makes that much more of a difference in the league. But the biggest thing that has changed from last year to this year is confidence in myself. It’s nice to know that the coaches think of me that way (as a scorer) and can rely on me. Whatever role they need me to play, I’m willing to step up and do that,” said Kindree.
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