Skip to content

Hitchcock: Cole has opportunity to be top-six defenseman

Sep 1, 2014, 1:30 PM EST

Ian Cole Getty Images

Ian Cole was taken in the first round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, but his climb up the ranks has been gradual.

He spent three years in college and then another three seasons bouncing between the AHL and NHL before he stuck with the Blues in 2013-14. However, he still only ended up playing in 46 games and averaged just 15:05 minutes per contest when he did dress. That could change next season though.

“This is a real opportunity for Ian,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s paid his dues. He spent time in the minors. He’s spent time as the seventh defenseman. He’s matured as a person and as a player. It’s his time.

“There’s an open spot, a regular shift. There’s everything there waiting for him, just step up and grab it.”

Hitchcock will be looking for Cole to play a physical game and join the rush. He also expects him to find a balance between playing aggressively and not making “irrational decisions” defensively. That being said, the Blues bench boss is willing to live with some defensive mistakes as a trade off for his work with the puck.

At the same time, Cole’s been focused on improving his positioning as he gets ready to compete for a top-six spot during training camp. Even if the opportunity is there, it’s not a given that Cole will stay out of the press box in 2014-15. Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Barret Jackman are all expected to play regularly when healthy, so Cole will be fighting for one of two spots with Jordan Leopold, Carl Gunnarsson, and Chris Butler.

Latest Posts
  1. More good news for Columbus: Murray off IR following 36-game absence

    Jan 30, 2015, 11:37 AM EST

    Ryan Murray Ryan Murray

    Just one day after Artem Anisimov drew back into the lineup.

  2. With Berglund and Lehtera out, Blues recall AHL sniper Rattie

    Jan 30, 2015, 11:21 AM EST

    Detroit Red Wings v St. Louis Blues Getty Images

    St. Louis’ forward depth about to be tested.

  3. Welcome John Moore to the trade rumor mill

    Jan 30, 2015, 11:06 AM EST

    New York Islanders v New York Rangers Getty Images

    Rangers d-man has struggled to get games recently.

  4. Blackhawks legend Mikita diagnosed with suspected dementia

    Jan 30, 2015, 10:33 AM EST

    Stan Mikita Stan Mikita

    74-year-old was the first player to ever have his jersey retired by the organization.

  5. Report: Coyotes could get first rounder, good prospect for Vermette

    Jan 30, 2015, 9:56 AM EST

    Antoine Vermette Getty Images

    There’s lots of interest in him, but teams that see him as a rental might balk at that price.

  6. Dubnyk makes case for top Wild gig with shutout

    Jan 30, 2015, 12:17 AM EST

    Arizona Coyotes v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    Head coach Mike Yeo said he earned that goose egg, too.

  7. Sharks chase Bryzgalov, down Ducks

    Jan 29, 2015, 11:47 PM EST

    Joe Pavelski, Ilya Bryzgalov Joe Pavelski, Ilya Bryzgalov

    So much for some rest for Frederik Andersen.

  8. WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Sharks

    Jan 29, 2015, 9:33 PM EST

    San Jose Sharks v Anaheim Ducks Getty Images

    Another strong game on NBCSN.

  9. Video: Senators pay tribute to Spezza

    Jan 29, 2015, 8:49 PM EST

    Jason Spezza AP

    Nice applause in his return to Ottawa.

  10. Here’s why Brodeur is working for Blues (instead of Devils)

    Jan 29, 2015, 7:12 PM EST

    Martin Brodeur, Doug Armstrong AP

    To some extent, it was about staying closer to the game.

  11. WATCH LIVE: Canadiens at Rangers

    Jan 29, 2015, 6:17 PM EST

    Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers Getty Images

    Bask in a budding rivalry.

Featured video

Kings come back in third to top Blackhawks
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (3488)
  2. E. Malkin (3139)
  3. C. Price (2759)
  4. K. Letang (2725)
  5. T. Johnson (2486)
  1. M. Brodeur (2370)
  2. P. Hornqvist (2366)
  3. P. Rinne (2340)
  4. T. Hall (2298)
  5. S. Bobrovsky (2290)