For your consideration: Cole Sillinger

Draft Day is a 2014 American sports drama film directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Costner. The premise revolves around the fictional general manager of the Cleveland Browns (Costner) deciding

By now, you’ve hopefully recovered from the rollercoaster ride of losing Flames hero Mark Giordano in the expansion draft and acquiring uh Tyler Pitlick in the past 48 hours. If you have, we congratulate you on your deadened emotional range. If you haven’t, I’m very sorry, but we’re moving on to the NHL entry draft. There’s no time to waste.

The Flames currently hold the 13th/12th overall pick, the former being the official designation and the latter being the functional one due to the Coyotes cheating. Regardless of what you call it, both numbers are blessed numbers in Calgary Flames lore, a sign that they will select a special teenager for us to pin our hopes and dreams on.

The special teenager? His name is ̶A̶l̶b̶e̶r̶t̶ ̶E̶i̶n̶s̶t̶e̶i̶n̶ Cole Sillinger, and the entire Scorchstack organization has officially endorsed him as the 2021 Calgary Flames draft pick. No, it’s not because we didn’t plan any comprehensive draft coverage, it’s because we all agreed this was the guy we wanted the Flames to draft and didn’t bother talking about anyone else. Seriously, not a joke.

Who is Cole Sillinger?

Sillinger is a left-shooting centre, standing at 6’0” and has some bulk to him, coming in at 201 pounds. He usually plays for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL, but spent his 2021 in the USHL with the Sioux Falls Stampede. A western Canadian boy playing for a team called the Stampede? C’mon, he’s destined to be a Flame. That’s pretty much every Darryl Sutter draft pick (ed. note: Mikael Backlund notwithstanding), except Sillinger is actually good.

If the name sounds familiar, he is the son of former NHLer Mike Sillinger, who was pretty decent and somehow managed to play for 17 years with an NHL-record 12 different teams. He has two brothers, none of whom are as good as Cole, so it fits with the Flames profile of drafting the best brother from hockey families.

What are the buzzwords/phrases they’ll use to describe him on the broadcast?

High motor, high hockey IQ, best shot in the draft, big boy, power forward, goes to the dirty areas, someone you’d hate to play against.

Is he good?

Yes.

Sillinger led the WHL in points per game among U17 players in the 2019-20 season and finished third in the USHL for first-time draft eligibles this season. Not bad for a guy coming in cold to a new league after a COVID-19 diagnosis.

The two players ahead of him in scoring this year, Matthew Coronato and Chaz Lucius, make for two easy points of comparison as they are also linked to the Flames 13th/12th overall pick. All are fine players, and tempting selections given Lucius’ goal-scoring ability and Coronato’s bonkers stat line. I figure that if the Flames pick either of these kids, they will come away with a pretty strong prospect.

But I would wager that Sillinger remains the better player when you look at his production within the greater context. Coronato’s run of 85 points in 51 games is absurd, but even more absurd is his team. The Chicago Steel scored 265 goals all season. Adjusting for time missed, Coronato was involved in 34.09% of all Steel goals and was the primary contributor on 26.87% of them. For Lucius and Team USA, those numbers are 31.25% and 29.86%.

Sillinger blows them out of the water, contributing to a ludicrous 49.12% of Sioux Falls goals, and made the primary contribution on 35.94% of them. This is because Sillinger played on an extremely cruddy team, leading the Stampede in scoring by nine points despite playing 19 fewer games than the player who finished in second place. Without Sillinger, Sioux Falls was a doormat franchise. With Sillinger, they were still that (there’s only so much one guy can do), but they actually put up a fight. Only seven Stampede players had more points than Sillinger had goals, that’s the disparity in talent between him and his teammates.

Playing heavy minutes in all situations, Sillinger was thrown into the fire with little help and came out looking pretty good. Compared to Coronato and Lucius, he did more with less and was generally a more impactful player on his team than the other two. That’s pretty good.

What’s a terrible nickname for him?

I think we should call him “Goal Sillinger” on account he scores a lot of goals. If we want to make it worse, go with Cole “with the goal” Sillinger.

Other options:

  • “Skoal” Sillinger, if he uses dip (100%)

  • Cole Silly-ger, if he’s a ridiculous personality in the dressing room and/or does silly things on the ice

  • Dole Sillinger, if he’s like 1996 Republican nominee for president Bob Dole and refers to himself in the third person

Does he pass the vibe check?

The Scorchstack heavily emphasizes the vibe check, setting us apart from all other hockey websites. It is crucial to both our amateur and professional scouting. We are both pleased and dismayed to announce that Sillinger is a himbo, perhaps the biggest one in this draft.

Look at this man. 50% vibes, 50% muscles, 0% thoughts.

We’ve arrived at this conclusion by doing the all-important social media check. Sillinger doesn’t have much in the way of social media, just an Instagram page where he posts about:

  1. playing hockey;

  2. hanging out shirtless with his friends, and;

  3. hanging out shirtless with his hockey friends. He also promotes donating blood, which I think is pretty cool. Standard fare stuff for a hockey player.

Most of the research comes from this Athletic profile on Sillinger, which raises some major red flags. First and foremost, he idolized Rick DiPietro as a kid and wanted to be a goalie, two eyebrow-raising revelations (his father, Rick DiPietro’s teammate, had to tell him that no, you should not idolize Rick DiPietro). Perhaps we can attribute this to his young age, as he namedrops Johnny Gaudreau as a player he models his game after. Boy, doesn’t that sentence make you feel old?

A theory I’ve had for a while is that Sillinger does not know how to read. I don’t think it’s a matter of ability - he could read if he wanted to - it’s just that he radiates himboness and is a hockey player, two major barriers to literacy. When you factor in the NHL DNA, reading is not a skill you necessarily need if you’re genetically and financially three steps ahead of everyone in grade school.

Unfortunately, the Athletic has confirmed my suspicions:

Does that sound like a kid who paid any attention in school? Anecdotal evidence, but for comparison, the hockey players I went to school with were definitely not Cole Sillinger good and they were frequently absent from class, either physically or mentally. If he knew he was going to be a hockey player in elementary school and only focused on that one career, everything else is just extra baggage. I do not wish to think about the subjects Cole Sillinger does not have knowledge of.

If Cole Sillinger is available at the 13th overall spot and there are not any surprise players who have been skipped on, should the Flames draft him?

Yes.

Players we are also fine with but don’t necessarily endorse: Mason McTavish, Fabian Lysell, Kent Johnson

The Scorchstack mock mock draft

As you can see above, we don’t do traditional draft coverage. There’s no use puking up the words “hockey IQ” and “good mobility,” they do not describe anything and are of no use to anyone.

Instead, we are going to make fun of tonight’s potential picks. Until now, they have been mostly flying under the radar of legitimate media criticism, happy to exist in their little world of positivity where no one is making fun of their haircuts. Welcome to the big time pal, the gloves are off.

Now, you may have questions, such as “how is this any more helpful than traditional draft coverage?” or “is it a good look to bully teenagers?” And we’ll get back to you on those answers, for sure!

  1. Buffalo Sabres- Owen Power (LHD, Michigan)

    Owen Power? More like Owen-82 (yes, this is a verbal joke in text form), because you’re going to Buffalo pal. They lost 19 games in a row this season with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart in the lineup, and both of those guys are bolting for the exits. I’m sure Mr. Power will fix things, though. (ed note- this was written before the Sabres traded Rasmus Ristolainen away, perhaps Mr. Power does stand a fighting chance after all)

  2. Seattle Kraken- Matthew Beniers (C, Michigan)

    The only NHL Matty the Scorchstack recognizes is Jim Matheson. Matthew Beniers is no Jim Matheson.

  3. Anaheim Ducks- Dylan Guenther (RW, Edmonton Oil Kings)

    Getting pretty close to that 60s beehive hairdo there, bud.

  4. New Jersey Devils- Luke Hughes (D, USNDT)

    If we’re following the brothers rule of hockey, the last brother is always the worst brother (see: Gretzky, Staal, Tkachuk. Exception is Sillinger, because I am the one who made up this rule). Sorry Luke, you’re doomed to stink. Your parents used up all the good genes on Quinn and Jack, you get the hand me down genes. Jack is going to noogie you every game.

    This roast will be rescinded if the New Jersey Hughes brothers get the Vancouver Hughes brother out of there

  5. Columbus Blue Jackets- William Eklund (LW, Djurgardens)

    I would probably stay in Sweden if I was William. P.S: your rumours are terrible, stop posting them.

  6. Detroit Red Wings- Mason McTavish (C, EHC Olten)

    Mason is going to come into the league with a wealth of NHL knowledge passed down from his uncle Craig, the most important being that when you’re driving, (Ed note- they are not related) uhhhh oh hmmmmmmmmmm. Well don’t hit a person with your car anyways.

  7. San Jose Sharks- Jesper Wallstedt (G, Lulea)

    Martin Jones is somehow still under contract until 2024, so I’m just saying that it’s possible he will mentor the best goalie prospect in many moons. Sounds like the funniest thing possible to me.

  8. Los Angeles Kings- Brandt Clarke (D, Barrie)

    Could you imagine the insight that would pour out of a guy named Brandt who’s from Ontario.

  9. Vancouver Canucks- Kent Johnson (C, Michigan)

    His name is Kent and he looks like this, he’s absolutely going to abandon his hockey career to sell crypto. Kentcoin to the moon.

  10. Ottawa Senators- Simon Evinsson (D, Frolunda)

    Ottawa has famously never wasted the careers of high profile Swedes, don’t worry kid. You’ll be fine.

  11. Arizona Coyotes- forfeited picks

    Cancel culture is out of control.

  12. Chicago Blackhawks- Sebastian Cossa (G, Edmonton Oil Kings)

    Given where the Blackhawks are in the year of our Lord 2021, it remains possible that they select the player who was outed as a sex criminal this week and removed himself from the draft.

  13. Calgary Flames- Cole Sillinger (C, Sioux Falls Stampede)

    Unlike Sillinger, you can read above and see our roast of him.

  14. Buffalo Sabres (from PHI) - Chaz Luicus (C/RW, Team USA)

    If I’m being honest, I’m really only interested in Cole Sillinger going to the Flames and I’ve set up this entire mock draft with that end goal in mind. Who cares what happens after this point, I’m tuning out. The Flames have Cole Sillinger, all is right in the world.

  15. Dallas Stars- Fabian Lysell (RW, Lulea)

    This article is over.