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2021 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Cole Sillinger has a high ceiling and Columbus connections

He’s the son of former Blue Jacket Mike Sillinger

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Mike Sillinger Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

We are less than a month away from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft (July 23-24), so it’s time to start researching the prospects likely to be selected in the first round. The Columbus Blue Jackets currently hold three picks in that round: #5, #24, and #31.

Cole Sillinger

Position: Center/Left Wing
Team: Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
Date of Birth: May 16, 2003
Birthplace: Columbus, OH
Height: 6’ 0”
Weight: 201
Shoots: Left


Ranked #13 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #14 by NEUTRAL ZONE
Ranked #17 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #17 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #10 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #15 by SPORTSNET’S
Ranked #15 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Ranked #11 by TSN/McKenzie

2020-21 Stats

Games Played: 31
Goals: 24
Assists: 22
Points: 46
PIM: 39

Son of former Blue Jacket Mike Sillinger, Cole scored at an impressive rate in the USHL and was named Rookie of the Year after having playing in the WHL in the prior season. He looks to be the next son of a Blue Jackets’ alumni to be selected in the first round. The last was Jake Sanderson, who was selected fifth overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2020.

We are getting to the group of players that would all be a stretch at the fifth pick and Cole Sillinger is no different. This is the type of player, however, that you immediately take if he’s available with any subsequent pick. Multiple profiles cite Cole’s high ceiling, great hands, and dangerous shot. In Scott Wheeler’s draft ranking in The Athletic, Wheeler quotes a source that says, “I’d say Sillinger is ahead of Guenther. He’s more dynamic. He can take over a game by himself. Guenther’s very good, really good, but Sillinger is scary. He’s a freak. Sillinger’s a stud.”

Scouting Reports

Sillinger is possibly the best pure shooter in the draft. He can get a shot off in a variety of ways and from various hand positions. He has some selfish tendencies but with a shot like that, I would too. He played on the penalty kill but wasn’t really a defensive stalwart by any means. He was more committed this season which is nice to see. His offensive ceiling may be as high as almost anyone in the draft class. - Tony Ferrari, Dobber Prospects

Sillinger’s one of the players I’m higher on than most in this draft. His biggest asset is that he’s got some of the best hands in the draft and he’s strong over pucks. So he can beat defenders one-on-one without ever getting touched and then when they do bump him, he’s able to shed past and maintain control too. Those skills also complement a wrist shot that pops off of his blade in line with the two other best shooters in the draft (Lucius and McTavish). - Scott Wheeler, The Athletic

Being one of the more unique players in the draft, Cole Sillinger tends to remind of Mark Scheifele. Both players had questionable skating at the time of their draft but made up through it with deception, a tendency to hunt for open space, strong off puck play and an eye for narrow passing lanes. - Smaht Scouting