When the Columbus Blue Jackets drafted Cole Sillinger with the organizations second first round draft pick (12 overall) in 2021 the thought was that the young forward would slide into one of the center positions quickly. That did happen and now Sillinger is firmly planted as the second line center. Not bad for an 18 year old. In what started out as a shaky rookie campaign, Sillinger has turned up his game. Yet, it feels like he can give even more.
14 goals, 13 assists with 27 points (as of this moment.) Cole Sillinger has had a nice rookie season for the Blue Jackets. The young center went from starting to being a healthy scratch to starting again to earn time on the second power play line. Such is rookie life in the NHL.
When he came into the league, Sillinger was known as a pure sniper. In fact many scouts had him listed as the best shooter in the draft. Playing center however is more tricky and there is considerably more responsibility as centers do not just fire the puck at the net. Centers must set up line mates and pass into the tough areas all that means is there is a lot to learn.
Being the youngest player in the NHL means that even though Cole Sillinger has had a nice rookie season, he feels like a player who can give more and by and large will give more.
In my opinion once Sillinger learns his craft even further he should be closer to 20-25 goals and 50 points. I do not think that is a stretch. In fact Sillinger has shown enough flashes of what he will be once his development is complete.
Things that can not be taught are toughness and playing with an edge which Sillinger does. He is also more than capable to take over a game such as when he sored his first career hat trick against the Vegas Golden Knights. The sky seems to be the limit for Sillinger.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have had a glaring need at center for some time, Sillinger has helped to ease that need. He is one player fans should focus on this offseason as a player who could very well have his breakout next season.