The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today that the team has signed free-agent defenseman Ian Cole to a three-year contract through the 2020-21 season.
Cole, 29, is a two-time Stanley Cup champion, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back titles in 2015-16 and 2016-17. He split this past season between the Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets, tallying 20 points (5g/15a) in 67 combined games. The Ann Arbor, Michigan, native recorded 13 points (3g/10a) in 47 games with Pittsburgh before being traded to Ottawa on Feb. 23 and then to Columbus three days later on Feb. 26. He went on to pick up seven points (2g/5a) in 20 regular-season games for the Blue Jackets, and added three assists (0g/3a) in six playoff contests.
"Ian has been a part of two (Stanley) Cup teams, brings leadership and a veteran presence to our blue line," said Avalanche Executive Vice President & General Manager Joe Sakic. "He's a strong puck-moving defenseman who is solid in his own zone and kills penalties. We are pleased to have him under contract for the next three years."
Selected by St. Louis in the first round (18th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Cole has compiled 97 points (20g/77a) with a +75 plus/minus rating in 405 career NHL games. The 6-foot-1, 219-pound rearguard has also appeared in 62 career playoff contests, tallying 17 points (1g/16a). Cole did not miss a postseason game during the Penguins' back-to-back Stanley Cup campaigns, dressing in all 24 contests in 2016 and all 25 in 2017.
A product of the United States National Team Development Program, Cole represented Team USA at both the 2008 and 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, and won a silver medal with the United States at the 2007 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Following his stint with the NTDP, Cole played three seasons at the University of Notre Dame (2007-2010), where he was named to the CCHA First All-Star Team and NCAA (West) First All-American Team as a sophomore in 2008-09. He made his NHL debut with the Blues on Nov. 6, 2010.