HUMBOLDT — Dylan Lindal’s versatility, work ethic, and willingness to do whatever the team needs – on and off the ice – has made the Humboldt product a valuable member of the St. Paul Jr. Canadiens.
In 2019-20 as a rookie, the son of Kelsey and Fern Lindal was moved from forward to defence as his North Eastern Alberta Junior B Hockey League (NEAJBHL) team was short on the backend. This season, before the league paused and eventually cancelled the campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the strong-skating Lindal saw ice time back at forward.
“I had a stronger backend to start this season, so I moved Lindy up front and he was amazing on the forecheck and put up a point a game,” St. Paul head coach Shawn Germain said. “He's a great kid and seemed to have matured a ton over the summer. I've never had an issue with him as a kid. He's a good teammate and will do whatever I ask.”
The 5-foot-10, 178-pound Lindal scored two goals and recorded five points in three games for the Jr. Canadiens this season. He saw time on the power play and the penalty kill. Lindal has displayed a willingness to go to the hard areas of the ice.
“He is very good down low. The kid has never seen a corner he doesn't like,” Germain said. “Loves the physical side of the game. Late last season I used him as our net front guy on the power play and he was very successful in this role because a) he was willing to pay the price to be there and b) he was a puck hungry animal that would retrieve loose pucks and reset for us.”
While competing for the Humboldt U18 AA Broncos, Lindal played both forward and defence. In his final U18 season, he served as an affiliated player with the AAA Tisdale Trojans. He suited up for the team as a forward for some games at the Telus Cup Western Regional in Tisdale as well as at the Telus Cup national championship in Thunder Bay where the Trojans claimed the bronze medals. When asked by the Jr. Canadiens if he could play defence, he jumped at the opportunity because he already had that experience.
“I knew that it was the right decision and the best choice for the team and myself moving forward,” said Lindal, who was named the team’s Most Dedicated Player as a rookie.
The Jr. Canadiens have been impressed with his work ethic away from the rink as well as at it. General manager Dean Smyl noted that Linda maintained a job as a shop custodian at an autobody shop and said he was the first to volunteer for school visits, helping at the food bank and other community efforts.
“That kind of dedication wears off on all the boys in the dressing room, which led him to be one of your leaders on and off the ice,” Smyl said.
Lindal said that he has enjoyed various things about playing for the Jr. Canadiens, who went 3-0 this season. He would like to return to them if there is a 2021-22 hockey season.
“The most enjoyable moments are practicing and playing at the Clancy Arena with my teammates and awesome coaching staff,” Lindal said. “Our team had a very successful previous season, making it all the way to the league final to be cut short by COVID. We were excited to get going this year to finish off what we started and again were shut down.”
Competition in the seven-team NEAJBHL is pretty fierce.
“There is a big rivalry with all the teams, which adds a lot to the atmosphere of every game,” Lindal said. “Each game is a battle. The support we get from the fans on game nights is huge.”
He also knows that he has the support of his parents.
“Their choice to drive five plus hours to watch me play just shows me how much support I get from my family,” Lindal said. “They always want me to improve as a player and learn new things, like playing a new position. If they can't make it to the games, they always watch at home on the TV. My dad has been a huge role model for me as he has guided me through my minor years.”