DRAFT YEAR PRODUCTION: Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL), 31GP, 24G, 22A, 46PTS
RANKING: 10th North American Skaters, Central Scouting
WHATS THE BUZZ
"Sillinger is a skilled offensive player with a great shot and release, a high hockey IQ, and excellent vision and playmaking ability." Mike Morreale, NHL.com
CUT TO THE CHASE
That's how Cole Sillinger, son of former NHL player Mike Sillinger, is described by those who have seen him play. His offensive numbers against his peers will leave little doubt, that's where his greatest asset lies. In the past two seasons, Sillinger has played in both the Western Hockey League with the Medicine Hat Tigers and the United States Hockey League with the Sioux Falls Stampede and averaged well above a point-per-game with both clubs.
As a rookie, Sillinger scored 53 points in 48 appearances with Medicine Hat, before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-two of those points were goals. When the Canadian Hockey League season remained in jeopardy for the 2020-21 season, Sillinger had a decision to make about his future, a significant one with his draft year. Because he is a dual citizen of both Canada and the United States (Sillinger was born in Columbus, Ohio when his father was playing for the Blue Jackets), he was able to play in the USHL this past season, with the blessing of Medicine Hat. Although his request to join Sioux Falls was originally denied by Hockey Canada, Medicine Hat made the decision to loan their player to Sioux Falls for the entire season, putting his development as a hockey player well above any potential of a WHL season resuming.
"It was felt that this option would give him the best ability to showcase his talent for the upcoming NHL Draft," said Tigers general manager Willie Desjardins with CHAT News Today on Jan. 13, 2021.
The club made the decision knowing that Sillinger, one of their top stars, would not be able to rejoin the team once the WHL resumed.
And showcase Sillinger did, bringing his sniper shot with him south of the Canadian border. In his first 23 games, he had already amassed 37 points, 19 of which were goals. By season's end, he had 46 points in his 31 games, with 24 goals and 22 assists.
While his shot is what he's touted for, there is plenty to be said for his playmaking abilities. He's been known to set up his teammates with both his forehand and backhand, showcasing his vision and hockey sense, making him more than a single threat in any given game.
DID YOU KNOW
Sillinger is one of five players in the top 50 of Central Scouting's North American Skaters list who has a father who once played in the NHL.
He joins Mason McTavish (ranked 2nd, NA Skaters), son of Dale McTavish (9 games played with the Flames), Tyler Boucher (ranked 25th) , son of goaltender Brian Boucher (328 GP, PHI, PHX, CGY, CHI, CBJ, SJS, CAR), Chase Stillman (ranked 35th), son of Cory who played 1,025 NHL games with six franchises (CGY, STL, TBL, CAR, OTT, and FLA) and Justin Robidas (ranked 47th), son of Stéphane who played 937 games with Montreal, Dallas, Chicago, Anaheim, and Toronto.