Kadyn Robinson’s goals for this weekend’s Minnesota adapted floor hockey state tournament are simple.
“Go play hard and hopefully get another state title.”
It would be Brainerd’s fourth straight state title and for Robinson, a second-year sophomore on the Brainerd Warriors, an addition to his career highlight so far.
But Brainerd’s three state titles, its 52-game winning streak and 8-0 record heading into this year’s state tournament haven’t gone to Robinson’s ego.
“Sometimes we feel kind of cocky about it, but we try not to be,” Robinson said. “But if someone needs help we slow down and try to take it a little bit slower for the other team.”
Robinson’s does all the talking needed with his hockey stick. In eight games, Robinson has tallied 19 goals to go with a team-high 22 assists. His 41 points are tied for the team-high with Matt Allord.
“Last year, he came off the bench for us, but this year we’ve asked him to be a starter right away,” Brainerd head coach Todd Person said. “When we put him in last year, he would play a little bit more wing for us and stuff, but we put him at the center this year and so he’s kind of had to learn a new position that way. I think the thing that has helped him the most is just his work ethic in practice. He’s there every single day and always pushing and gives 100% all the time. That shows when we get to the game situations. He’s able to produce.”
The sophomore center’s biggest improvement has been with his shot. He said he’s always working on it.
“Last year, I wasn’t really hitting the net as much or getting the puck up in the air,” Robinson said. “Halfway through the year, I started getting the puck up in the air, but they were going too far to the side and not really hitting the net.
“During drills and stuff, whenever we shoot, I shoot a lot. Whenever I go home and I don’t have practice or anything, I have a ball and I shoot at home, too.”
In a 14-0 rout of Anoka Feb. 20, Robinson tallied three goals and five assists. It was his fourth hat trick of the season. He scored three goals against Dakota United Jan. 11, Anoka Jan. 30 and Robbinsdale Feb. 11.
Robinson scored a point in all eight of Brainerd’s wins.
“His shot has definitely improved and he continues to work on that,” Person said. “He’s playing the center position and we’ve asked him to help keep that puck in the zone a little more, but one thing he does a really nice job of is crashing that net and looking for those rebounds and things when it’s there.”
This is Robinson’s first year starting. The added pressure of that role hasn’t hindered him.
“Telling other people what to do and supporting other teammates and helping them with where to go if they don’t know,” Robinson said. “I just look for open people and if I have the puck and I have an open shot I’ll shoot.”
Last season, off the bench, Robinson tallied 27 points helping Brainerd to a 13-0 record.
“There are sometimes we have to keep reminding ourselves that he is just a second-year player as a sophomore,” Person said. “Just the growth that we’ve seen this year has been great. But we expected him to be a leader on the team.
“He’s been a good fit on that first line. It helps that he’s at practice every single day and he continues to work. That shows the other kids his commitment. Again, he’s only in his second year and we have veteran guys like Tre’Von (Otey) and Blaise (Edinger) who have been there for a number of years, but just knowing he’s out there as one of the starters has helped him into that role. We’ve had to move him into some different spots, like back on defense, and he’s handled that really well.
“It’s nice to know we have a guy who has his motor on all the time. He just never slows down.”
Sport: Adapted floor hockey
Career highlight: Winning last year’s state title
Favorite class: Gym
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite TV show: “9-1-1”
Favorite website or app: Snapchat
Favorite restaurant: McDonald’s
Parents: Andrena and Josh Crook and Seth Robinson