2021-22 Team: U.S. National U18 Team (USDP), USNTDP Juniors (USHL)
Date of Birth: June 13, 2004
Place of Birth: Grand Forks, North Dakota
Height: 5-foot-10, Weight: 174 pounds
Eligibility: First-year draft eligible
- NHL Central Scouting (N.A. Skaters): 121st
- FC Hockey: 92nd
- McKeen’s Hockey: 82nd
- Smaht Scouting: 90th
- The Hockey Writers (Peter Baracchini): 128th
- The Hockey Writers (Matthew Zator): 88th
Cole Spicer is a forward who spent the 2021-22 season with the U.S. National U18 Team in the United States Development Program (USDP) and the USNTDP Juniors in the United States Hockey League (USHL). The 5-foot-10 forward, who can play on the wing and down the middle, finished with a combined 30 goals and 25 assists in 84 games between the two programs.
While Spicer isn’t the biggest forward, his two-way game stands out, as he plays a responsible defensive game. Offensively, he makes a living in high-danger areas. He’s one example of where he cleans up a rebound in front of the net after a nice play from potential top-3 pick, Logan Cooley. Spicer drives to the net and puts the puck in the back of the net:
That’s probably the best part of Spicer’s offensive game. He’s not the most skilled player out there, but he works hard and isn’t afraid to go to the slot and cash in on opportunities. That isn’t always the case with players who are 5-foot-10, 174 pounds, so you could say he plays bigger than he is. But though he may not be the most skilled player, he has a good shot and has some goal-scoring potential as an NHLer.
Spicer makes up for not being the most skilled player with his hockey I.Q., as he makes good decisions with the puck on his stick and is a smart passer. Because he’s played down the middle and on the wing in his junior career, he could settle in at either position in the NHL. He’s a smart enough player that he can play either position and likely have success wherever an NHL team decides to play him.
Related: 2022 THW NHL Draft Guide
Lastly, Spicer skates well, as he has a smooth stride and is solid in transition. He has good speed and acceleration, something you see from him when he’s skating through the neutral zone. As he continues to get stronger while he develops, his skating should only get better while he plays for Minnesota-Duluth in the NCAA.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Cole Spicer — Draft Projection
Spicer is just inside the top 100 in most public draft rankings. He has two-way upside and is one of the younger players in the draft, having just turned 18 years old yesterday. Some team will take a chance on him, likely in the fourth or fifth round of the draft.
“Spicer plays an energetic, yet responsible two-way game. Despite his small stature, he competes hard and gets into the dirty areas around the opposing net. He shows good vision with the ability to make quick decisions in the offensive zone and though he may not be the flashiest playmaker, he consistently makes the smart read to string plays together and sustain possessions for his team. He will probably never be the main offensive driver on his line but he has the hockey IQ to be a strong complementary piece alongside skilled players.” – Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
“Spicer is a two-way center who primarily is a pass-first type of player. His overall impact on the game wasn’t special, but his talent and work ethic I thought looked real good. He’s got a quick stride and is a solid skater as a whole. Spicer is by no means considered big, but boy was he never afraid to engage in puck battles and physical play throughout the game…” – Douglas Larson, FC Hockey
“Spicer is a hard working center with average offensive skills. With minimal ice time this game he had a few times where he looked good on the rush. He looked better in transition this game compared to his offensive in zone play. I think a big part in that was Spicer found himself net-front more often than not and wasn’t getting many puck touches offensively either…” – Douglas Larson, FC Hockey
- Net-front presence
- Ability to get to high-danger areas
- Hockey I.Q.
Under Construction — Improvements to Make
- Offensive arsenal
- Offensive zone play
Spicer has the makeup of a typical middle- or bottom-six forward in today’s NHL. He works hard, gets to high-danger areas, and has some offensive upside because of his shot. He likely projects as a third-line winger or center in the NHL.
Risk: 3/5, Reward: 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense: 6/10, Defense: 6/10
Spicer won a silver medal with Team USA at this year’s U-18 World Junior Championships.