Weight: 175 pounds
Date of birth: April 25, 2001
Hometown: Kitchener, Ontario
Position: Right wing
OHL Draft: Round 4, 69th overall, 2017 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November: C prospect. Mid-term 131st North America
Mississauga Steelheads pivot Cole Schwindt is a graduate of the Kitchener Junior Rangers Minor Midget AAA squad where he appeared in 31 games during the 2016-2017 season. He scored 12 goals and added 15 assists and the Steelheads would select him in the 4th round, 69th overall at the 2017 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
Schwindt made his OHL debut on September 22, 2017. He scored his first goal 3 games later and followed that by adding his first assist and multi-point game (1 goal, 2 assists) in his next contest. He finished his rookie campaign with 8 goals and 10 assists while appearing in 66 games.
This season Schwindt appeared in all 68 regular season games with the Rangers. He notched 19 goals while assisting on 30 others. He hit the goal 150 times this season, which puts him at 12.6% shooting percentage. In the faceoff circle, he was 551 for 1041 for a 52.9% success rate.
Breaking down his numbers, you’ll find Schwindt was 5 for 27 (18.5%) from high danger zone areas, 6 for 22 (27.3%) from mid-danger zone areas and 8 for 101 (7.9%) from low danger zone areas. His primary and secondary assists were split evenly at 15.
At 6’3” Schwindt has some very good size but really needs to add some bulk. He’s got good mobility on his skates and his top speed is sufficient. I think he could add a little jump in his first few steps.
Schwindt is a strong puck possession pivot and very smart. He sees the ice extremely well and has an ability to slow the game down using his patience to wait for opportunities to sort themselves out. And this bodes well for him as I see him as a playmaking pivot.
Physicality is an area Schwindt does not shy away from. Whether it’s initiating contact, or taking a hit to make a play, you can count on him being involved. In the O-zone, he gets in on the forecheck and will take advantage physically against opposition defenders. In the D-zone, he’ll battle for pucks along the walls – something he rarely loses at. One can only imagine how much more effective he will be once he adds some needed muscle.
Defensively, Schwindt is above the development curve that you’d expect to be at this level – as he was in minor midget as well. He can be trusted against the top players on the other side and to kill penalties. He uses his hockey smarts to defend, knowing how to take away lanes, use an active stick and to use that long reach he possesses effectively. He has excellent anticipation skills and can create turnovers from it.
There is still room for Schwindt to develop offensively. And we can see a similar path taken by Guelph Storms’ Nate Schnarr. However, he has the skillset to be a defensive forward who can kill penalties and provide a touch of offense at the next level.
And that is not a bad thing to carve out a professional career.