Kinkel was New Jersey’s ninth-round draft pick, No. 281 overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
In his first year in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers, Kinkel scored 1 goal and 2 assists in 53 games. Played mostly on the fourth line and used his size effectively in obtaining 75 penalty minutes.
Kinkel spent the 2003-04 season with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League, totaling 23 points (12-11=23) and 174 penalty minutes in 62 games. Kinkel’s penalty minute total ranked second on the team. He also appeared in five playoff games, scoring one goal and accumulating 22 penalty minutes. In three junior seasons with Kitchener and Kingston, the 6’5, 239-pound Buffalo, N.Y., native recorded 51 points (23-28=51) and 390 penalty minutes. He was nominated for the Dan Snyder Memorial Trophy in 2003-04, given to the OHL player that best demonstrates outstanding qualities as a positive role model in the community.
Signed to an AHL contract by the Houston Aeros for the 2004-05 season. Assigned to the ECHL Pensacola Ice Pilots.
Kinkel has good size.
“Kinkel is a player who will become a fan favorite early on,” said Aeros general manager Tom Lynn in a press release. “He’s not afraid to go into the corners and in front of the net. He’s a hard working player, and that combined with his community awareness will fit right in with our team philosophy.”