Since being selected 15th overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, there has been some serious hype surrounding Cole Caufield. Some of that had to do with the fact he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, but plenty was also simply due to his pure skill. At just 21 years old, he has already proven that he has all the tools to become a star talent at the NHL level, and is one of the key pieces in the Habs’ current rebuild.
While Caufield’s small stature and wicked release are well known amongst hockey fans, there are plenty of other facts that haven’t been talked about much when it comes to the shifty winger. With that said, here are four cool things about Caufield.
Caufield Begged His Mom to Play Hockey
From a very young age, Caufield knew that he wanted to play hockey. In fact, he was able to begin playing at the age of two, as his mom finally caved and bought him a pair of skates after plenty of begging from her son.
“I started playing hockey when I was two,” Caufield said. “My brother Brock, who is two years older than me, was skating at the time and I was watching him. My mom told me that I cried to her and begged her to skate. That is where it all started.”
Thankfully, his mom gave in to his requests, something she has to be very pleased with now. While most NHL players began playing at a very young age, few got started at the age of two. This just goes to show how much passion Caufield had, and continues to have for the game. That is undoubtedly one of the main reasons he has had the success he has to this point.
Idolized Marty St. Louis Growing Up
Standing at just 5-foot-7, Caufield has had many detractors when it comes to his game because of his small frame. In fact, that played a major factor in why he slid down to number 15 in his draft class. Due to the constant doubt thrown his way, he was quick to look to his now-coach, Marty St. Louis, as an idol.
Like Caufield, St. Louis was undersized as a player at just 5-foot-8 and too had many detractors on his way to the NHL. The now 47-year-old went on to show that small players have a place in the NHL, as he recorded 391 goals and 1,033 points during his illustrious career, which also included two Hart and Art Ross Trophies.
Ironically enough, St. Louis was hired to be the Canadiens’ head coach partway through the 2021-22 season, and it paid dividends for Caufield. Prior to the hiring, he was really struggling in his rookie campaign and had even spent time in the American Hockey League. However, after the St. Louis hiring, his game turned around in a massive way. It seems as though the new bench boss was able to relate to his young talented forward in certain ways, and knew exactly what he had to do to help him turn things around.
Family of Athletes
As mentioned, Caufield wanted to get started in hockey at a very young age, and that undoubtedly had to do with his family’s involvement in the game. His dad, Paul, played four seasons for the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and is still the team’s all-time leading scorer with 254 points. Meanwhile, his grandpa, Wayne, spent several seasons in the USHL Sr. league.
Even more fascinating is that during Caufield’s time with the University of Wisconsin, his brother, Brock, was also part of the team. Brock still remains there and is set to suit up again for the 2022-23 campaign (from ‘Mike Sherry: Caufield brothers excited to be reunited on ice as Wisconsin Badgers’, Stevens Point Journal, 10/10/19).
First NHL Goal an Overtime Winner
Every kid who has played hockey has dreamt of scoring their first NHL goal at some point or another. Few get to do so, but whenever an individual does record their first, it is always a very exciting moment for both them and their families. That being said, Caufield’s was even more thrilling than most.
As shown in the clip above, Caufield’s first came as an overtime winner against the Ottawa Senators. His goal-scoring ability was on full display, as he was able to find open space and sneak in to tap home a back door feed from Jeff Petry. He has since gone on to pot 26 more goals at the NHL level and will have plenty more than that by the time his career is all said and done.
Caufield Becoming a Fan Favorite
Due to both his high skill level and exuberant personality, Caufield has quickly become a fan favorite with the Canadiens. As he continues to grow as a player, paired with the pending success of the organization as a whole, he will only become more beloved in the city as time goes on. Management and fans alike should be extremely thankful that he managed to fall to them at the 2019 Draft.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.