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. Getzlaf: ‘I was terrible’ in Game 6

    May 27, 2015, 11:47 PM EDT

    Frederik Andersen, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf AP

    He wasn’t the only Anaheim player that deserved to be blamed tonight.

  2. Of course: ‘Hawks, Ducks’ back-and-forth series is going to Game 7

    May 27, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Chicago endured Anaheim’s comeback attempt to win this one.

  3. Video: Goalie interference? Silfverberg bumps Crawford on Stoner goal

    May 27, 2015, 10:29 PM EDT

    Stoner goal

    The Ducks might have caught a break there.

  4. Video: Maroon stays hot in playoffs, gives Ducks hope

    May 27, 2015, 10:08 PM EDT

    Maroon goal

    He has seven goals in 15 playoff games.

  5. Video: Saad comes up short in first frame, opens floodgates in second

    May 27, 2015, 9:46 PM EDT

    Saad goal

    Chicago scored three goals within four minutes.

  6. Kings’ AHL team advances to Calder Cup Final

    May 27, 2015, 9:32 PM EDT

    Jordan Weal Getty Images

    Jordan Weal has been a big part of Manchester’s success.

  7. Voynov’s wife in counseling, still doesn’t want to testify

    May 27, 2015, 7:04 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptzhzjmymgu1y2i3mgyxogjlmddmmte0zdlimze1mwjm AP

    She’s previously been warned that this course could lead to her being found in contempt.

  8. WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 6

    May 27, 2015, 6:06 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptzinjawowi5ytdjzgvlogu3zwq0ndm4ywmxndq3zmu2 AP

    Anaheim has a chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Final tonight.

  9. Ehrhoff likely headed to free agency

    May 27, 2015, 5:24 PM EDT

    Christian Ehrhoff Getty Images

    After just one year in Pittsburgh.

  10. McQuaid camp ‘holding out hope’ to re-sign with Bruins

    May 27, 2015, 4:16 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Tampa Bay Lightning Getty Images

    One of the many decisions facing new GM Don Sweeney.

  11. As Bolts deal with illness, extra day of rest could prove beneficial

    May 27, 2015, 3:49 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three Getty Images

    Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final goes Friday at MSG.

  12. Robinson calls DeBoer ‘a good choice’ for Sharks

    May 27, 2015, 3:27 PM EDT

    New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers - Game One Getty Images

    The two men worked together for a season in New Jersey.

  13. Etem likely to draw back in tonight versus Chicago

    May 27, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    Tomas Fleischmann likely on his way out.

  14. Foley moves company to Vegas, hopes NHL sees him as ‘local owner’

    May 27, 2015, 2:21 PM EDT

    Hockey Vision Las Vegas News Conference To Announce NHL Season Ticket Drive Getty Images

    “We’re going to be embedded in this community.”

  15. Hitch thinks ‘goaltending is the least of our problems’

    May 27, 2015, 1:46 PM EDT

    Jake Allen AP

    “I get the fact there were three goals that went in that were ugly. That’s the growth of a young player.”

  16. On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’

    May 27, 2015, 12:39 PM EDT

    Rangers forward has had issues with it thus far.

  17. Report: Sharks to name DeBoer head coach

    May 27, 2015, 12:32 PM EDT

    Peter DeBoer Getty Images

    Former Panthers and Devils coach will take over a team that missed the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

Featured video

End of an era coming for Blackhawks?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Nash (1483)
  2. M. Carle (1396)
  3. K. Yandle (1293)
  4. A. Vermette (1285)
  5. G. Bettman (1123)