Colton Sissons, an 18-year-old from North Vancouver began playing junior with the Westside Warriors (Junior A, BCHL) when he was 15-years-old and tallied 6-16-22 in 58 games in his final Junior A season. He then joined the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL after they acquired his rights from the Saskatoon Blades at the 2010 trade deadline.
In his rookie season (2010-11) he posted an impressive 17-24-41 in 63 games and a lead the team in plus-minus with +15. The strong rookie debut earned him a "C" to start the next season in Kelowna and his strong rookie season also earned him an invite to the CHL Top Prospects Game that took place in February, where he was named Captain of Team Orr and picked up an assist on the game’s first goal. He is coming off of a similar season as far as points go, tying his rookie point score in five less games. (26-15-41)
Sissons explained that his leadership ability was one of the most common questions asked by the NHL teams during the interview earlier in the week.
"It's definitely a huge part of my game," Sissons said at the NHL Scouting Combine on June 1st in Toronto. "I had the biggest leadership role on my team obviously and I think that's something that I'll take into the pro level.
The 6-foot-1, 187-pound forward is ranked 14th overall by NHL Central Scouting among North American skaters, which makes him the highest ranked forward from the Western Hockey League.
"I'm definitely a two-way forward," said Sissons on his style of play. "I like to play physical and get into the dirty areas of the ice, I'm not too scared of that. At the same time I feel like I can put up numbers and score some nice goals. I definitely think that two-way style of hockey is right up my alley."
The NHL Scouting Combine just wrapped up on Saturday afternoon in Toronto and when the results came in, Sissons made it into the top ten in a couple of the tests. He tied for fifth place with Derrick Pouliot of the Portland Winterhawks in the 4-jump mat exercise, completing it in .49 seconds. He also showed off his strength in the bench press category tying for eighth place with a handful of guys after doing 11 reps. He was 10th on the list for lb/lb body weight on the bench press with 8.8 lbs.
"I'm so happy it's over, biggest sigh of relief I've ever had," Sissons said after his tests were done Saturday. " The toughest was probably the wingate. The V02 was tough too but I felt a lot worse after the wingate for sure. I had done the wingate before so I knew what to expect and knew it was extremely hard, but the VO2 was a lovely surprise."
Earlier in the week, Sissons met with 23 different NHL teams for 20 minute interviews.
"I felt they went really well. I felt confident and I was myself so you can't do much more than that. I was surprised with the questions, nothing out of the ordinary, pretty straight forward."
With the draft just weeks away Sissons said, he'll try to not think about the end result just yet and just focus on being in the moment.
"Surreal would pretty much sum up my feelings the best," he said. "It was crazy being here this week and draft is only a couple weeks away now. It'll be in the back of my mind for sure but I'm going to try to stay as stress-free as possible until Pittsburgh when it's right in front of my eyes to see what happens."
Sissons on his favourite part of the NHL Scouting Combine:
"It was pretty nice to be around so many guys that you don't even know and everyone is wishing each other good luck and being courteous and supportive of each other so that was definitely a nice surprise."