Ian Cole
Ian Cole
30-Year-Old DefensemanD
Colorado Avalanche
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Cole checks out as a well-rounded defenseman possessing a nice blend of strength and physicality, yet a dual hip injury, one that's expected to cost him at least the first two months of the 2019-20 campaign, renders the 30-year-old worthless in the vast majority of fantasy leagues. By the time Cole is ready to return, he may have to settle for a third-pairing role, as 2017 fourth-overall pick Cale Makar is expected to step right in for Tyson Barrie, who's now property of the Maple Leafs. While Cole's approach within the attacking zone has led to 112 points (22 goals, 90 assists) over 476 career contests, he'll be hard-pressed to log enough playing time upon his return to warrant a serious look. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $12.75 contract with the Avalanche in July of 2018.
Registers four hits
DColorado Avalanche
November 1, 2019
Cole posted two PIM and four hits in a 2-1 loss against the Stars on Friday.
The 30-year-old is still waiting to record his first goal, but he has excellent numbers elsewhere for a depth defenseman. He has six assists with a plus-10 rating and 12 PIM, and he's only played in nine games. Cole also has 15 blocks and 15 hits. He's never posted more than five goals during an individual season, so Cole won't put up a lot of points, but he's very useful for plus-minus, PIM, hits and blocks.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The veteran defenseman gave the Blue Jackets some invaluable minutes on the blue line down the stretch last year after being acquired from the Senators just three days after Ottawa picked him up from the Penguins. While Cole's strengths are in his own end -- particularly as a shot blocker -- and he lacks elite offensive skills, he has posted consecutive 20-plus point campaigns and has developed into a reliable secondary contributor at even strength. After signing a three-year deal with the Avalanche, the 29-year-old will attempt to help steady a young but improving roster.
Cole was in the minority of Penguins defensemen who managed to stay healthy last year, as he appeared in 81 regular-season contests and only sat out the inconsequential finale for rest ahead of the playoffs. As a result, the shutdown specialist was able to post career highs in goals (five), assists (21) and average ice time (19:49). Unfortunately, even those modest totals may prove to be hard for him to replicate, as the Michigan native’s physical style of play is not conducive to getting on the scoresheet, while he was barely used on the power play. Indeed, Cole’s defensively oriented game made him a key member of Pittsburgh’s penalty kill amid the club’s rash of injuries in 2016-17. He’s a fan favorite on the heels of back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, but there’s no fantasy category for locker-room leadership and other intangible contributions.
Cole may be a former first-round pick, but he's never shown anything at the NHL level that would imply he earned the honor. With an inability to win more than third-pairing minutes and a career high of just 17 points (set last year), there doesn't seem to be much upside here. The mitigating factor working in his favor is that Cole put up eight points in 20 games after being dealt to Pittsburgh last year. However, with the team's blue line now much healthier than it was during that time, he's unlikely to enjoy either heavy minutes or power-play time, which will accordingly limit Cole's value to leagues where his modest hit and blocked-shot totals keep him in play.
Cole is something of a favorite within the organization, but he’s rarely received the sustained run in the lineup necessary to make the most out of the size and strength he brings to the ice. Despite remaining on the NHL roster the entire season and dealing with no notable injuries, Cole appeared in just 46 games, and was a healthy scratch for the Blues’ first-round playoff series with the Blackhawks. The former first-rounder managed to contribute a respectable 11 points and a plus-15 rating in spot duty, but the latter figure was mostly by-product of matching up against inferior competition. He’ll be back with the Blues once again to compete for third-pairing or seventh-defenseman duties, with the uncertain ice time undermining most of his fantasy value.
Cole took a step back last season, notching just one point in 15 games with St. Louis. This minor setback didn't keep the Blues from signing him to a two-year contract in May, though. In 67 career games, the defenseman has 11 points and a plus-9 rating. The top six blueliners in St. Louis are pretty set, but Cole could make the team as a seventh guy or if an injury occurs. Regardless of his roster situation, he is not someone to target on draft day.
Cole has seen part-time duty with the Blues, playing 52 games total in his first two years with St. Louis. At some point, we're going to have to find out if Cole is ready for full-time duty on the blue line and that may come this season. The team looked to land a top-four defenseman in free agency, but that never materialized, therefore Cole could get a full-time role. The Blues are in a position to compete for the Western Conference finals and they must be certain Cole is ready for that job. There's some offense to his game, but he'll earn a full-time gig with attention in his own zone.
Cole, 21, played most of the season for the AHL Peoria Rivermen, but did make his NHL debut when injuries hit the St. Louis blue line. In 26 games, he registered four points and a plus-6, including a plus-8 in his final 13 games with the Blues. He’ll compete with Nikita Nikitin and Kent Huskins for the final two spots, but the Blues will want him playing every day rather than having him sit around as a seventh defenseman.
Cole, 21, got a taste of professional hockey when he joined the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL for the final nine games of their season. He left a good impression in his nine games, which isn't surprising. The Blues felt he was ready for the pro game last year, but he opted for one more year of college. He's got the size to be effective in his own end, but his real skill is in the transition game. Cole could probably use more time in the AHL, but he'll compete for the sixth defenseman job.
Cole, 20, will return to Notre Dame for his junior year, but the Blues feel he's ready physically to make the leap to the professional game. He has a reputation as a sturdy defender, good in the corners and in front of the net, but can also rush the puck. He's developed his offensive game in college, scoring 46 points (14, 32) in 81 games with the Irish.
Cole will spend 2008-09 as a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame. He is probably at least two seasons away from playing in the NHL.
The 18-year old is a stay-at-home defenseman with strong passing skills. He is not expected to crack the Blues' roster for at least a couple of seasons. He will spend at least one more season at the NCAA level, playing for the University of Notre Dame.
Cole has a cannon for a shot and plays with moxy. But we're not so sure he'll develop into anything more than a stay-at-home pulverizer. Mind you, he has quick feet, good vision and can make those tasty stretch passes so there's always hope. He's going to need a full four years at college to mature his game.
More Fantasy News
Productive in OT win
DColorado Avalanche
October 18, 2019
Cole had two assists and was plus-4 with two shots on goal and three blocks in Friday's 5-4 overtime win over the Panthers.
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Records first point of 2019-20
DColorado Avalanche
October 16, 2019
Cole posted an assist with a plus-1 rating, four PIM, four hits, one block and one shot on net in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Penguins on Wednesday.
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Steady in return
DColorado Avalanche
October 14, 2019
Cole (hip) went plus-2 with one blocked shot in Monday's 6-3 win over the Capitals.
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Officially ready for season debut
DColorado Avalanche
October 14, 2019
Cole (hip) will play in Monday's game against the Capitals, Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press reports.
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Activated from IR
DColorado Avalanche
October 14, 2019
Cole (hip) was lifted from injured reserve Monday, per the NHL's official media site.
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