Where coach Willie Desjardins goes, Linden Vey is sure to follow.
Or so it seems anyway.
The coach and player have been linked in junior hockey with the Medicine Hat Tigers, in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks, and now with Team Canada at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
It really was not so long ago that Vey was a junior and minor league scoring star. Despite great hopes, he just could not find his way in 138 games, mostly with Vancouver but also with LA and Calgary. In total he scored 14 goals and 44 points.
For the 2017-18 season Vey departed North American and has been playing with the KHL team Barys Astana in Kazakhstan. Despite a supposed lack of a foot speed at the NHL level, the bigger ice seems to suit Vey well. At the time of this writing he was the third highest scorer in the entire KHL. The KHL is considered to be the second best league in the world.
“Linden’s had a great year in the KHL” said Desjardins. “I think he’s probably playing a little more relaxed than he was before. His time in Vancouver was a tough time. He had a lot going on.”
As Vey was trying to cement his NHL opportunity with Vancouver, he faced great off-ice distraction as his father was charged and later found guilty of conspiring to murder his mother and her
Expect Desjardins to utilize Vey a lot like he tried to in Vancouver. He will likely be a good third liner who can move up when offense is needed and on the power play.
Vey and Desjardins are the only Saskatchewan natives to be a part of Team Canada 2018.