Performance of the Week: Ronalds Kenins
We need to talk about Kenins. Because, well, who isn’t these days.
Ever since 23-year-old Ronalds Kenins made his NHL debut with the Canucks on January 29th, he’s been a force to be reckoned with, recording 7 points (3 goals and 4 assists) in 11 games. Oh, and he’s also dished out 24 hits, which already places him 10th among Canucks forwards despite playing about 40 games less than the regulars.
Not bad for a guy who’s got less than four weeks’ experience in the NHL under his belt.
Of note, his 7 points in 11 games in the NHL is only 5 points back his 12 points in 36 games with the Utica Comets this season; needless to say, playing in the big league is suiting him, and everyone around him, just fine.
While he’s been impressive through and through for the better part of a month, we’re gonna look at one play in particular, because that’s generally what these posts are about. On Sunday against the New York Islanders, Kenins set up Bo Horvat with this beautiful goal to give the Canucks a 3-0 lead..
I know I don’t need to explain the sequence of events as you can see it in the video, but indulge me anyway.
On that goal, Kenins made a slick pass to Dan Hamhuis to get it out of their zone; Hamhuis then passed the puck back to Kenins once he was in the Islanders’ zone, and then over to Horvat for the goal.
The more I watch this clip, the more I’m impressed with this kid’s composure.
The dynamic duo of Horvat and Kenins has thus far been pretty impressive to watch, and this play is no exception. Combined, the two rookies have 25 points in just 56 games, and plus, coach Willie D has been comfortable enough in recent games to occasionally deploy them against opposing teams’ top forwards — that’s pretty good. Who knows whether we’ll see them together on a line long-term, but right now, it’s pretty enjoyable to watch.
On a team riddled with injuries and currently consisting of about half of the Utica Comets in the lineup on a nightly basis (okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, I know, but the Canucks’ IR right now makes me weep), it’s comforting to know there are some guys like Kenins who have risen to the occasion on the big bad NHL stage. He’s provided offence when it’s been severely lacking, and his play on this particular goal was just a beaut.
Kenins was originally called up to replace Derek Dorsett when Dorsett was injured. If Kenins keeps this up, a permanent role on the roster doesn’t seem entirely out of line, and that’s, just, like, my opinion, man