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2022-23 Player Review: I was right about Cole Sillinger?

I started writing for this blog just before the 2021-22 season. My first ever article? A piece on my worries with throwing Cole Sillinger into the mix for his age 18 season, which you can read here. The Columbus kid would go on to score 16 goals and 15 assists in his rookie year, playing all but three games. At the time, that was good enough for the third most goals and seventh most points for a CBJ rookie. The future looked bright, and I wasn’t afraid to eat my words.

I may have jumped the gun a bit.

To say Cole Sillinger took a step back would be a massive understatement. He recorded just three goals and eight assists, was sent to Cleveland in late March, and despite injuries to enough centers to force Patrik Laine to play 1C (before he also got injured), didn’t see NHL ice the rest of the way. Once with the Monsters, he didn’t fare much better, recording just six points in 11 games.

2022-23 Stats:

Games: 64
Goals: 3
Assists: 8
Points: 11
Plus/Minus: -23
PIM: 22
5v5 Corsi%: 45.2%
5v5 Fenwick%: 45.3%
Zone Start %: 58.8% Offense – 41.2% Defense


Sillinger has one more season left at $925K; he’ll be an RFA in the 2024 offseason.

High Point:

There isn’t much to pick from. He had two goals in three games from November 12-17, banging in a rebound on the powerplay versus the Islanders, and getting lucky with a point shot going off a defenseman against the Habs. His prettiest goal was probably his netfront deflection against the Ducks on March 17th, also on the powerplay. That’s literally it.

Low Point:

You’ll notice that his second goal was on November 17th, and his third was on March 17th. Four months. He played 46 games in that span. I got a feeling that that may be it. Though his pitiful performance in Cleveland, just two goals in 11 games, also bears mention.

Player Comparisons:

I finished off last year’s review by comparing Sillinger’s rookie years with other rookies in the cap era:

Sillinger’s comparables include established top players like Mark Scheifele (13-21-34 in 2013-14), Tyler Toffoli (12-17-29 in 2013-14), Jake Guentzel (16-17-33 in 2016-17), and Zach Parise (14-18-32 in 2005-06). That’s some exciting company! However, also in range are noted talents Magnus Paajarvi, Andrew Ebbett, Antti Miettinen, and Mr. Blue Jacket himself Devin Shore.

Now that we have two seasons of sample size, who’s Cole tracking with? Scheifele and Toffoli both put up 49 points in their second full season, with Guentzel one notch down at 48. Zach Parise blew them all out of the water at 62, in 2007 no less! He was even outscored by Antti Miettinen and Devin Shore, who both scored their sophomore year as many times as Cole Sillinger registered on the scoresheet, period. Unfortunately, he’s tracking more with Magnus Paajarvi, who put up eight points in 48 games, and Andrew Ebbett, who got a combined 15 in 61 with three different teams.

Report Card:

I mean, can it be anything but an F? Going from Mark Scheifele to Magnus Paajarvi as a comparable is truly disheartening. We can hope Cole Sillinger rebounds, but it looks grim.

I’ve been wrong about this guy before though.