Skip to content

Hitchcock: Cole has opportunity to be top-six defenseman

Sep 1, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

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. Video: Pens edge Sharks, reclaim second in Metropolitan

    Mar 30, 2015, 12:01 AM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    Perron and Crosby scored in the shootout for the win.

  2. Blackhawks’ Sharp: ‘We knew we had to get two points’

    Mar 29, 2015, 11:15 PM EDT

    Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks on in the first period of Game Three of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on June 4, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
(June 3, 2013 - Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    Chicago moves into third in the Central Division.

  3. Video: Brian Engblom takes a puck to the head

    Mar 29, 2015, 10:10 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 9.34.27 PM

    He left the broadcast for stitches, but did return.

  4. Isles’ Tavares: ‘We needed two points, especially at home’

    Mar 29, 2015, 10:02 PM EDT

    John Tavares Getty Images

    New York snapped a seven-game home losing streak.

  5. Flames jump back into third in Pacific, beat Preds

    Mar 29, 2015, 7:55 PM EDT

    Michael Ferland Michael Ferland

    Michael Ferland’s first NHL goal was the winner.

  6. Ovechkin, Chimera help Caps add to wild card lead

    Mar 29, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Alex Ovechkin AP

    Washington scored four unanswered to beat New York 5-2.

  7. Report: Doan won’t be punished for Letang hit

    Mar 29, 2015, 1:38 PM EDT

    Kris Letang

    The Penguins defenseman suffered a concussion.

  8. Panthers sign Bjugstad’s former roommate, Minnesota Gophers captain Kyle Rau

    Mar 29, 2015, 12:55 PM EDT

    Kyle Rau Getty Images

    Rau recorded at least 40 points in each of his NCAA campaigns.

  9. Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen

    Mar 29, 2015, 12:11 PM EDT

    Kris Letang, Steve Downie, Rob Scuderi AP

    The good news is that he’s out of the hospital.

  10. Patrick Roy remains upbeat about Sabres’ Grigorenko

    Mar 29, 2015, 10:42 AM EDT

    Gabrioel Landeskog, Ryan O'Reilly, Mikhail Grigorenko AP

    Roy coached the forward in the QMJHL.

Featured video

Hammond leads Ottawa's turnaround
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (2040)
  2. H. Lundqvist (1977)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1855)
  4. D. Dubnyk (1769)
  5. A. Hammond (1636)