Well, well, well, we’re finally at the end of our prospect series! Why not end it off with a bang. The prodigy son of former NHLer Mike Sillinger has certainly made some noise over the past few years. The 6 foot centre has an absolute howitzer from all areas in the offensive zone. The native of Regina, Saskatchewan (by the way of Columbus, Ohio) is a “pure sniper” who can easily walk around opposing defencemen to get a goal when it matters most.
Sillinger’s offensive talents are undeniable. He has a great shot and a nose for the net, and he’s able to manipulate defensive coverages and attack soft spots within the O-Zone. Sillinger’s effort in the defensive can be lacking at times but his biggest issue is his skating ability. That’s pretty much the only knack on his game, as he’ll have to work hard to improve if he is going to be able to take advantage of his offensive skills at the next level.
Like I said earlier, Sillinger is a pure sniper. He might be the best pure shooter in this draft class. His wrist shot is powerful and accurate. He has quick hands and is able to get the shot off quickly. Sillinger also does a good job of changing the angle on his shot, fooling goaltenders. But the biggest negative in his game is his skating. Scouts have been concerned about his skating since last season, especially regarding his acceleration and stride. He has made improvements while with the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL), which is promising, but it still is not at the same level as many of his peers in 2021 Draft Class.
Sillinger has a ton of offensive talent, however deficiencies in his skating and defensive game will need to be addressed before he is ready for the next level. He will probably head back to the WHL next season, and working on those aspects of his game for a couple of years in junior/ the minors would really help him. Another aspect of his game that goes unnoticed is his leadership (something that the Flames don’t have a lot of these days). Scott Wheeler of the Athletic did a deep dive on Cole Sillinger and his head coach from Medicine Hat (Willie Desjardins) had some high praise for him.
“What I learned about him is really that he’s a great leader. He doesn’t just bring his game to the table, he changes culture because he’s such a good kid and a hard-working player. It’s his compete. Some guys they just play. For him, when the game’s on the line he always plays his best. And that’s something you can’t see from the outside.”
Sillinger seems like he could be one of those players who a few years from the draft, people are asking “How did this guy fall to the twelfth pick?” A player with the type of offensive talent he seems to have is a rarity, and even if he’s not the complete package at this point, he seems willing to continue working on the areas of his game that need the work. He’s a very intriguing prospect that I myself have been very high on since the start of this year. Hopefully come draft day on Friday he drops to the Flames and we can Bask in his glory.
Below you will find a highlight package of Sillinger. This shot first centreman is one who thrives off his quick release. While the Flames top centre Sean Monahan is another guy whos offensive prowess comes from his shot, Sillinger does most of his scoring wide of the hashmarks or off the rush. He's a player that can create his own shot, akin to former second overall pick Tyler Seguin. Seguin as a comparison is quite the lofty goal for a guy ranked outside the top 10 on most draft boards, but if Cole can work on his skating and playmaking abilities there is really no reason to project this guy as anything less than a high end second line centre with the potential to be a bonafide top line centre in the NHL.
So thats it for our prospect series! Later on today we will be releasing our google forum in which we want you guys to rank Sillinger among the other prospects we have covered as to who you would like see don the Flames red come July 23rd.
Thanks for reading!
- Taranjot Vining (StraightOuttaCalgary)