Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ian Cole has been pesky on both sides of the game, but he does bring necessary grit to the play.
The Colorado Avalanche, like the rest of the NHL, have put their season on pause. Players are still in their home cities — those who left anyway — and have been advised they must stay in quarantine until April 4.
So, while the whole world seems like it’s on hiatus, we here at Mile High Sticking are going to keep up with our coverage. Right now, we’re taking a look at how players were doing before the hockey hiatus.
Here are some of the players we’ve covered so far:
Today, we’re going to switch over to defense again to look at Ian Cole.
Brief History of Ian Cole
Defenseman Ian Cole was a high draft pick in 2007. The St. Louis Blues selected him 18th overall. Cole spent three years playing for Notre Dame in the CCHA. At the conclusion of that season, he signed his professional contract with the Blues. He reported to their AHL affiliate. Cole bounced back and forth between the NHL and AHL for a couple years until the 2013-14 season, when he stayed in the NHL.
The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Cole at the trade deadline on March 2, 2015. He played 20 regular season and five playoff games with Pittsburgh. He then signed a three-year contract extension just in time to win the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017.
The Penguins traded him the following trade deadline year, in 2018. He played 20 regular season and 6 playoff games with the Blue Jackets to finish out his contract. The summer of 2018, Cole was an unrestricted free agent. The Colorado Avalanche signed him to a three-year contract on free agency day.
Ian Cole Stats with the Colorado Avalanche
Ian Cole played 167 games with the Blues, recording 9 goals and 22 assists in that time. With the Penguins, he played 218 games, recording 9 goals and 50 assists. In his short time with the Jackets, he earned 2 goals and 5 assists.
Cole has played 136 games with the Avalanche. He has 6 goals and 35 assists. This season, at 65 games, he’s matched his career best of 26 points earned in 81 games with Pittsburgh.
Evaluation of Ian Cole with the Colorado Avalanche
The 31-year-old Cole can be a bit controversial with Avalanche fans. He is a gritty, physical defenseman. That’s a quality a skill team like the Avs need. However, he doesn’t always use that grit to best effect for Colorado. In fact,many Avs fans have a running joke of how many days it’s been since the latest Cole shenanigans.
Last season, Cole recorded 115 penalty minutes. He’s far lower this season with just 36, but I can tell you that every single one of them came at the worst possible time for the Avalanche. Also, he butt-checked Philipp Grubauer in the head at the Stadium Series game, which took the goalie out.
Cole doesn’t put up big offensive numbers, but he does have a game-winning goal on the season. He could be a real asset to the team if he’d control himself a little better.
Hopefully we get to see Ian Cole work on that with the resumption of the season. Otherwise, we’ll have to wait until October.