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Prospect Profile: Bryce Kindopp
By Thomas Harrington
In March, the Anaheim Ducks signed right winger Bryce Kindopp to a three-year entry-level contract. The undrafted free agent had played for the Everett Silvertips of the WHL for his entire junior career.
Kindopp’s first full season in the WHL was in the 2016-2017 season, where he suited up for 60 games with the Silvertips and scored seven goals and 14 points. He played in 10 playoff games and scored one goal. He followed that up by scoring 24 goals and 36 points in 72 games in his second season in Everett. In 22 playoff games, he scored two goals and five points. Kindopp’s offensive increase was a good step for him, but it was in his third season of junior hockey where Kindopp really exploded. In 67 games, he scored 39 goals and 73 points, leading his team in goals and finishing second in points. In the playoffs, he played in 10 games and scored five goals and 11 points.
In virtually any hockey league, scoring at over a point-per-game pace in the playoffs is a sign that a player has really figured things out and was ready for the next step. After such a strong performance, Kindopp was named captain of the Silvertips for the 2019-2020 season. In his final season of junior hockey, Kindopp continued his trend of bettering his offensive numbers. In 63 games, he scored 40 goals and 74 points. While it’s only one goal more, it was in six fewer games. Kindopp tied for the team lead in points, and for the second straight season, led Everett in goals. His 40 goals ranked fourth in the entire WHL, and his 74 points were tied for 12th. Kindopp finished his junior career with 110 goals and 197 points in 266 games. He ranks second all-time in goals scored by a Silvertips player and is tied for fifth in points.
In signing Kindopp, Anaheim has added another prospective scorer to their ranks. Kindopp scored more goals than he did assists in every full season of junior hockey that he played, except for his rookie season where he had the same number of each. While it’s always good to find well-rounded players, one thing that Anaheim has been desperately missing for the last couple of seasons is a pure goal scorer. While Kindopp won’t be the answer this season, he might be in the future.
Assuming this coming season happens, Kindopp will report to San Diego and start his professional career. Some junior players take time to adjust to the pro game, and I don’t think Kindopp will be any different. However, I’m hoping that his goal-scoring will translate at the AHL level sooner rather than later. I don’t expect him to lead the Gulls in goals or even crack 20 in his rookie season, but I’d be happy to see him score in the 15 to 20 goal range. Depending on how things shake out, Trevor Zegras could start the year in San Diego as well. If that happens, I’d be very interested to see these two play together and see if they can build some chemistry. Zegras is easily the best passer among Anaheim’s prospects, and if he and Kindopp can start filling the net together on a regular basis, they could be a fun pair to watch in Anaheim in the future.
In terms of his NHL future, Kindopp won’t be a top-line right-winger, but I could see him developing into a second or third-line winger. However, that’s only if everything works out for him and he develops well with the Gulls and successfully adapts his game to the AHL level and then the NHL level. He’s got a long way to go to get to this point, but I’m hopeful that he’ll be able to do it.
I don’t think we’ll see Kindopp with Anaheim in the 2020-2021 season. The Ducks already have a lot of NHL talent at right-wing: Troy Terry, Jakob Silfverberg, David Backes, Danton Heinen, Carter Rowney, and Kiefer Sherwood can all play right wing. Kindopp just needs to focus on improving his game and adjusting to the pro level this season, and then I think he’ll have a chance to make his NHL debut in the 2021-2022 season, but I don’t think he’ll be a full-time NHLer until the 2022-2023 season, if even then.
I don’t want to put too many expectations on Kindopp’s first season with San Diego, but I do want him to fill the back of the net with some regularity. More importantly, I’d like to see him get time on San Diego’s powerplay, and also for him to be on the ice when the Gulls need a goal late in the game and pull their goalie. If Kindopp is put into those situations it will show that the Gulls view him as a dangerous offensive threat, a good sign for his future. Unfortunately, he’s never played in a professional game. He was probably going to get some ice-time towards the end of San Diego’s season, but the cancellation of the AHL season put a damper on that. Because he has yet to play any professional games, it’s a little difficult to really set expectations for him. As a result, it could take more time than expected for him to earn the trust of San Diego’s coaching staff and be given important minutes.
Kindopp’s three-year entry-level contract will begin this coming season and he’ll be a restricted free agent when it’s over. Right now, it’s impossible to say whether or not Anaheim will look to re-sign him when it’s over. If he develops slowly but consistently over the next three years, I believe they will. If his play is erratic and all over the place, the Ducks could look to move on from him. If he develops at a faster than expected pace and makes Anaheim’s roster this coming year, then the Ducks could look to extend him in two year’s time and not wait for his current contract to expire. It’s hard to say what the future holds for Kindopp, except that it’s really up to him. If he can step in and just blow people away, then he’ll get rewarded as a result.
The next prospect profile will be on Axel Andersson.
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July 10th, 2020