Photo Credit: Lucas Chudleigh/Apollo Multimedia
Scouting Report written by Josh Tessler
Cole Jordan is a 2021 NHL Draft eligible left-handed defenseman, who plays for the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors. He is from Winnipeg, Manitoba and played youth hockey for the Winnipeg Jr. Jets.
After playing for the Jr. Jets, he moved over to Brandon, Manitoba and joined the Brandon Wheat Kings organization. Jordan played with the Wheat Kings organization from 2014 to 2019. He played at the U14, U15 and U18 levels with the Wheat Kings before heading to the WHL.
Jordan went un-drafted in the WHL Bantam Draft, but his gameplay caught the eye of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors and they signed him to a contract before his 2018-2019 campaign. The Warriors have drafted/signed a lot of talent from the Brandon Wheat Kings youth academy over the years. They had drafted Cole Anderson and Daemon Hunt (Minnesota Wild prospect) in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, so they had heavily scouted the Wheat Kings U15/U18 teams and knew exactly what they were getting in Jordan.
Jordan made his WHL debut in 2019-2020 and played in 38 games for the Moose Jaw Warriors. In his first season, he recorded one goal and six assists. This past season (2020-2021), he played in 23 games and recored ten points (three goals and seven assists).
If all goes according to plan (with the WHL and COVID), Jordan will play a full WHL season in 2021-2022. The Moose Jaw Warriors will be a team to watch next season as they have a ton of talent with Jordan, Eric Alarie (2021 eligible), Jagger Firkus (2022 eligible), Brayden Yager (2023 eligible), Ryder Korczak (2021 eligible) and Denton Mateychuk (2022 eligible).
D.O.B – September 21, 2002
Nationality – Canada
Draft Eligibility – 2021
Weight –205 lbs
Position – Defense
Handedness – Left
Jordan’s Style Of Play
Jordan loves to get involved down low and in the trenches. He will pinch up when there are loose pucks past the perimeter and enter into puck battles to try to keep the puck in the offensive zone. Doesn’t matter if he has the puck or is looking to pick up possession of the puck. He will skate up and forechecks hard with the body to put pressure on the puck carrier. When he grabs ahold of the puck, he generally brings it back to the point and takes a shot from outside the perimeter.
If his teammates are engaged in puck battles down low past the red line on the right side, Jordan will go to the left side of the net behind the red line and provide an open lane. He will stay aligned to his winger and collect a seam pass at net-front. Once he grabs a hold of the puck, he will immediately fire a top shelf shot for a goal. Jordan is able to manufacture the goal with ease as the goaltender is adjusting to the change in puck movement and thus there is a sizable gap for Jordan to exploit.
Not only will he skate up to net-front to make action happen, but he will look to set up opportunities in medium and low danger as well. You can expect Jordan to skate up to the face-off circle and give his teammate running the cycle along the half-wall a cross ice option. If his opponent gets ahold of the puck at the perimeter off of a turnover, he will quickly pounce on the carrier, wave his stick out, reach out and place the blade in front of the puck carrier’s stick blade to trap him.
But, sometimes he will have some difficulty when pinching. You will notice the Winnipeg native pinch up to work the cycle down low, but will on occasion get trapped and struggle to fire a pass to the slot when dealing with increased pressure in the corners. Ultimately, he struggles to get around the back check and he’ll wind up giving up possession.
There is a lot more to his offensive game aside from getting involved away from the point. One of the reoccurring themes with Jordan’s game is deception. When he gains control of the puck off of a pass at the point, he will skate laterally to the right, bring the attacker with him and confuse the rest of the attackers covering the point. That opens up ice for Jordan’s defensive partner, so he pivots and fires a lateral pass to his defensive partner. Jordan will create deceptive passes when on the rush. When there is a forward putting some pressure on Jordan at the point, he will lure them in closer by playing the puck to his left. Once the attack has increased pressure, he’ll shift the puck towards the boards and fire it down the boards to wingers down low. In addition, when he is skating up the boards, he will complete a behind the back/legs pass to his winger in an effort to catch the attackers off guard. He will also opt to use a shot fake at the point. Once he’s fooled the attack, he will complete a pass to his teammate down low at net-front.
While he can be deceptive especially with his passing, I’ve noticed that he will struggle with executing deceptive passes. He will try to complete no look behind the back lateral passes to his defensive partner along the point. But, a number of those passes will not reach the intended target and in quite a few of this situations the attacker covering Jordan’s defensive partner had intercepted it.
After going through quite a bit of Cole Jordan gameplay, one of the attributes to his game that I absolutely love is how he defends multiple attackers on the rush. He thrives at defending 2-on-1s. Instead of focusing on one attacker and leaving the other attacker exposed or proning, he keeps himself centered and bends his knees. Jordan gives him self a little bit of space between the attack and himself. He follows the attack like a hawk and one there is a sudden movement, he is quick on his feet and will shift towards the puck to neutralize the threat.
But, generally speaking, Jordan is a bit more relaxed with his pressure in low danger outside of the perimeter. Some of that has to do with his teammates and the playing styles of his teammates. When the puck is moving inwards and closer to the net but in low danger, Jordan might not be initial Warrior who puts pressure on the puck carrier, it’s the winger and Jordan is focused on the attacker moving up the slot.
Jordan starts to implement more defensive pressure in the face-off circles. He will extend his stick out to jar the puck away from the puck carrier. You can expect him to implement tightened man-on-man pressure when he sees a forward trying to burst through centered ice.
Interestingly, sometimes Jordan struggles with implementing tight puck-carrying pressure at net-front. He will go to the crease in anticipation of an impending wrap-around attack, but yet he doesn’t look to stop the wrap-around with his stick. That opens up some vulnerable situations for his goaltender.
However, when he is normally fending off traffic at net-front, he will look to use his upper body strength to push forwards who are looking to take away his goaltender’s sight-lines away from the crease.
When going for loose pucks, if he knows that he can’t beat the attacker to the puck with his speed, instead of opting to go for the puck, he will go for the body. Jordan knows that if he can implement quality pressure that he can control his attacker’s puck movement. But, when he can match up on speed, he will extend his stick out to place his stick blade at his opponent’s stick blade to make it a challenge for the attackers to grab possession.
When Jordan has possession of the puck, he is extremely effective at dodging the forecheck and getting things rolling with an outlet pass. The classic Cole Jordan move is turning his back to the forechecker which draws the attacker in even closer. Jordan then skates towards the left, then pivots on a dime to throw off the attacker and then feed a pass along the right side of the boards to his winger.
He can also be even more deceptive and creative with his puck movement. He will utilize forwards in pick and roll strategies to kick off the rush by skating by the forward (when the forward is shielding an attacker) and then complete a smooth outlet pass. When an attacker is bearing down on him, he has solid reach to move the puck away from the attacker as he is closing in and throwing the puck along the boards.
One of the challenges that Jordan faces in the defensive zone is simply spotting a teammate in the neutral zone and completing a stretch pass to them. Instead of passing to where his teammate is going, he is passing to where his teammate was and that makes it easier for the attacker to go to that spot and pick up an interception. Not every single stretch pass will be one that requires the defender to read the trajectory of their teammate. Some stretch passes are tape-to-tape feeds to a teammate who is simply waiting for the puck. But, a decent amount of stretch passes are trajectory-based passes and require pinpoint accuracy to be effective passes.
When moving through the neutral zone, sometimes he will avoid giving away his cards before they are dealt. Instead of making an adjustment when first looking at where the attackers are, he will skate right to them and complete tight turns when gets to the attacker. This allows him to be deceptive, keep the attackers glued onto him, read the attacker’s stick movement and make a tight turn in the opposite direction of the attacker’s stick blade.
If the attacker blindsides him or doesn’t believe he can outplay the attack, he won’t force a controlled zone entry. He will opt to dump the puck into the zone.
Jordan loves completing controlled zone-to-zone transitions. At times, his transitional play will remind of you of Calgary Flames prospect Jérémie Poirier as he loves skating hard from the defensive zone blue-line to net-front.
If he isn’t completing zone-to-zone controlled transitions, he loves to complete cross ice zone exit passes. They are generally a smooth feed and he doesn’t have a big windup.
In the neutral zone, when defending, he can get fooled by deceptive puck manipulating forwards and overcommit when the carrier tries to lure him in.
But, in general, he prefers to play the body in the neutral zone when there is a loose puck battle at open ice and the opponent has the clear advantage on speed to the puck as is the case in the defensive zone.
When moving the puck up the ice, he will start with two crossovers in the defensive zone, two stride extensions and crossovers all the way through the neutral zone to drive his acceleration. That’s what makes him such a challenge to defend in transition. His acceleration and outside edges is what fuels controlled zone-to-zone entries.
His stride extensions seem very synchronized. One skate extension matches up with the other skate extension. It’s very fluid. His ankle flexion is solid. His knees sit above the toe of his skates and that allows him to pick up the necessary acceleration when implementing skate extensions. His skate extensions are also very robust in lateral movements. Jordan executes strong stride extensions when shifting from the point towards the face-off circle in the offensive zone as he looks to give his teammates in medium danger an option cross ice. They also come in handy when Jordan is walking the line and looking to make a pass to the half-wall.
From an edges perspective, he does extremely well implementing quality outside edges. But, sometimes he will struggle with his inside edges. There are instances in which his right foot leans left and his left foot is straight. Due to the skate placement, he slides instead of holding himself up-right.
Bottom four defenseman with second pairing upside (NHL).
stats from InStat and EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.
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