Union College is usually highlighted for basketball. However in recent years hockey has brought a lot of eyes on the town of Schenectady, NY. The past two ice hockey seasons have shown success as one of its stars is leaving Union College early to enter the NHL. Keith Kinkaid, the 2011 Ken Dryden Award winning goalie, has been signed by the New Jersey Devils.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Weinstein, the Assistant Sports Information Director for Hockey, about Keith and his time at Union.
Union College has a big commitment towards hockey and the coaches and staff do a great deal of scouting. They often find players that are overlooked, the best kept secrets in hockey. The dedication to scouting has paid off with Keith Kinkaid. He won the starting goaltending position halfway through his first season and started the ECAC Finals against Cornell all in his freshman year. In his sophomore year he lead Union to their first NCAA Division 1 appearance – which might have raised some eyebrows for the Devils. This was Union’s first appearance in the national tournament since making the move to Division 1 in 1991.
Keith’s road to success started a little later than some. A lot of players are looked at from a young age. It wasn’t until his year playing with the St. Louis Bandits in the North America Hockey League that he began to get some attention. That year’s hard work turned a lot of heads. While with St. Louis Bandits, Kinkaid had a GAA at 1.78 and a record of 30-5-4. He helped lead the Bandits to their third consecutive NAHL Championship. Keith posted a 10-2 record with a GAA of 1.12 in the playoffs. Union Hockey became interested in Keith and the scouts and organization were able to convince him to come join the Dutchmen where his success continued.
Talking with Jeff Weinstein, I was able to find out a little more about this young goaltender. Keith has a fun personality and is always smiling but is prepared and ready for those big games. I asked more about Keith’s style of play since many fans have yet to see Kinkaid in action. Kinkaid stays in position and does not give up a lot of rebounds. Keith’s style is more of a hybrid, not a stand up or a butterfly. As a Devils’ fan this makes me believe he has a similar style and approach to our own Martin Brodeur.
Since he was able to earn a spot and lead Union to a NCAA appearance within two years, lets see how quickly we see Keith at the NHL level.
Thanks again to Jeff Weinstein of Union College for the interview and insight into Keith Kinkaid.