2007-08: Ronalds Kenins left the Metalurgs Liepaja club in his native Latvia to skate for Pikes Oberthurgau in Switzerland. He was the leading scorer for the Pikes U17 team, scoring 14 goals with a team-leading 21 assists and had 60 penalty minutes in 30 games. In four playoff games he had 3 assists with 18 penalty minutes. Kenins played for the Latvian U18 team in the 2008 Division 1B World Junior Championship. He had 1 assist and was +2 with 2 penalty minutes. Latvia, the host team, finished second to Norway in the tournament.
2008-09: Kenins moved up to Switzerland’s National B league, skating for GC Kusnacht Lions as a 17-year-old, and played for Latvia in the 2009 Division 1B World Junior Championship. In 42 men’s league games he scored 2 goals with 8 assists and had 24 penalty minutes. GCK Lions finished last in the 11-team league, winning 8 of 41 games. Kenins scored 3 goals and was +2 with 4 assists in five games at the 1B WJC. Latvia was 4-1 in five games, capturing the tournament title and gaining promotion for 2010. Kenins played six games with the GC Kusnacht junior team — scoring 6 goals with 6 assists and had 6 penalty minutes.
2009-10: Kenins appeared in four National B league games with GCK Lions and was the third-leading scorer for the club’s U20 team. He scored 1 goal with 3 assists and had 4 penalty minutes in his brief stint with the men’s club. Kenins scored 13 goals with 18 assists in 30 junior games and had 38 penalty minutes. In nine playoff games he had 4 assists with 10 penalty minutes. Kenins skated for Latvia’s U20 team in the 2010 World Junior Championship; scoring 2 goals with 2 assists and finishing -7 with 6 penalty minutes. Latvia finished ninth out of 10 teams.
2010-11: Kenins played 11 games with GCK Lions in Switzerland’s National B league – spending most of the year with the club’s junior team – and played for Latvia in the 2011 IIHF World Championship and Division 1A U20 World Junior Championship tournaments. He scored 1 goal with 2 assists and had 8 penalty minutes with the Lions — who finished ninth. GCK/ZSC captured the elite junior championship. Kenins scored 7 goals with 14 assists and had 45 penalty minutes in 18 regular season games and had 4 assists with 10 penalty minutes in nine playoff games. He skated in six games with Latvia’s men’s team and was -1 with no points nor penalty minutes. In five games with the U20 team he was +6 and had 3 assists and 4 penalty minutes. Latvia finished first in the six-team tournament.
2011-12: Kenins moved up to Switzerland’s A league — skating for ZSC — and played for Latvia in the 2012 IIHF World Championship. Skating for the veteran Zurich-based club which featured former NHLers Jeff Tambellini and Domenic Pittis, he scored 6 goals with 12 assists in 47 games and was +7 with 48 penalty minutes. The Bob Hartley-coached club captured the playoff championship after finishing seventh in the regular season. Kenins had 4 assists and was +2 with 6 penalty minutes in 15 playoff games. In five games at the World Championship he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was plus 1 with 6 penalty minutes. Latvia finished 10th in the 16-team tournament.
2012-13: Kenins returned to ZSC for his second season in the Swiss A league, skating in 45 of 50 regular season games and finishing as the club’s fourth-leading scorer in the playoffs. Kenins had 3 goals with 13 assists during the regular season and was +6 with 12 penalty minutes. Zurich, coached by former NHL coach Marc Crawford, finished fourth and lost to Fribourg-Gotteron in the playoff semifinals. Kenins scored 4 goals with 4 assists and was +3 with 10 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games. He played for Latvia in the qualifying games for the 2014 Olympic Games and in the 2013 World Junior Championship. In 10 national team games he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -5 with 8 penalty minutes. Kenins signed a two-year contract with Vancouver as a free agent in July 2013 and was loaned to ZSC for the 2013-14 season.
2013-14: Kenins skated for ZSC in the Swiss National A league and played for Latvia in the 2014 Olympic Games and World Championship tournaments. He scored 8 goals with 17 assists and was +15 with 40 penalty minutes skating in 39 of 50 regular season games; missing time after fracturing his jaw in November 2013. Coached by long-time NHL coach Marc Crawford, ZSC finished first in the regular season and won the playoff championship. Kenins scored 4 goals and was +1 with 6 penalty minutes in 18 playoff games. He had no points and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes in five games at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia and was +1 with 4 assists and 4 penalty minutes in seven games at the World Championships for Latvia.
Kenins plays a hard-working, two-way game and uses his size and strength to compete in all areas of the ice. Combining strong acceleration and speed with his willingness to pay the price in the slot, he is effective in the forecheck and has the instincts of a playmaker.
Kenins attended training camp with the Canucks and was assigned to AHL affiliate Utica to start the 2014-15 season. In his first professional season in North America, he was a solid presence in the Comets lineup in 36 games. Since being recalled by Vancouver at the end of January 2015 he has shown an offensive component to go along with his responsible two-way game. Whether he can maintain his offensive output remains to be seen. His long-term scoring potential may be limited but what makes Kenins valuable as an NHL forward is his willingness to compete in all three zones and his speed and aggressiveness.