Cole Knuble- 2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Cole Knuble

2022-23 Team: Fargo Force (USHL)
Date of Birth: July 1, 2004
Place of Birth: Grand Rapids, MI
Height: 5-foot-10, Weight: 185 pounds
Shoots: Right
Position: Center
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023 second-year eligible


After being passed over in the 2022 Draft, it is expected that Cole Knuble will hear his name called in 2023. The son of long-time NHLer Mike Knuble, he spent the season evolving his game, becoming a better all-around player. While there are still parts of his game that need some work, the way he has developed over the last year shows that he is ready to put in the work to become a better player.

Cole Knuble USNTDP
Cole Knuble, USNTDP (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

Where Knuble shines is in the offensive zone. It is clear he has worked on his playmaking skills since last season, as he is now able to create scoring opportunities through careful passes. He also became a more confident shooter as he has become a dual threat in the offensive zone.

Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide

The other part of Knuble’s game in the offensive zone that is very impressive is his willingness to get to the net. During battles in front of the net, he is strong enough to stay in position and has good enough hands to deflect pucks as he screens the goaltender. While he is not the biggest player on the ice, he doesn’t let bigger defenders push him around as he continually fights for space in front of the net.

This season, Knuble stepped up his game, leading the Fargo Force in goals with 30 and points with 66. After his strong regular season, he helped lead the Force to the United States Hockey League (USHL) Championship series before falling to the Youngstown Phantoms. He also had some success with Team USA as he captained the Americans to a gold medal at the 2022 World Junior A Championship, leading the team in scoring with nine points in six games. Overall, he had an impressive season and showed scouts that he can be a leader on the ice.

Where Knuble needs to continue to improve is his skating. At the moment, this is what may keep him from advancing at the pro level. Scheduled to attend the University of Notre Dame next season, he will need to continue to evolve this area of his game if he wants to have success at the NCAA level.

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Cole Knuble- NHL Draft Projection

Knuble is the perfect example of a player teams should take a chance on later in the draft. He continually improved over the season and will have some time to develop over the next couple of years as he attends university. Expect him to be selected in the fifth round or later at this year’s draft.


“A great net-front presence with sound puck skills, Knuble’s intelligence has come a long way. He’s added some delay elements to his game, started using his teammates more often, and has become a great competitor off the puck.”- Hadi Kalakeche, DOBBER PROSPECTS.

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“Knuble is an extremely competitive player who has the work ethic and drive to be effective all over the ice, whether it’s scoring goals at 5-on-5, being creative on the power play, or battling along the wall. Something that immediately stood out to me was the energy that Knuble brought to the game.”- Shaun Richardson, FC Hockey.

“Knuble is a quick, undersized playmaker with the puck who’s game looks like it can translate to the NHL one day. This is my second viewing of him and he played much better this game compared to the last one I saw. His skillset allows him to set up his teammates while also being able to fire the puck in the net from time to time.” – Douglas Larson, FC Hockey.


  • Compete level
  • Playmaking
  • Leadership qualities
  • Balance

Under Construction – Improvements to Make

  • Skating
  • Transition game
  • More engagement in the defensive zone

NHL Potential

Knuble has a chance to make the NHL; the question is whether it will be as a center or a winger. Based on the way he plays, he looks best suited to play on the wing, but that could change based on his development over the next few years. If he does make the NHL, he should become a reliable bottom-six forward that is great on the forecheck and, overall, annoying to play against.


Risk – 1.5/5, Reward – 2/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offense – 6/10, Defense – 5/10

Achievements & Awards

  • 2020-2021 T1EHL 16U Champion
  • 2021-2022 USHL All-Rookie Team
  • 2022 WJAC-19 Champion
  • 2022 WJAC-19 All-Star Team
  • 2022-2023 USHL All-Academic Team
  • 2022-2023 USHL First All-Star Team
  • 2022-2023 USHL Gentleman of the Year

Cole Knuble Stats


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