Cole Ully THW Close-Up
Date of Birth: February 20, 1995
Place of Birth: Calgary, AB
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 165 lbs
Position: Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2013
In hockey, size is important but it isn’t everything. Bigger players can have mobility problems, while smaller players are often faster. That said, size is less important for major junior players – and small juniors can grow. Arguably the most interesting of the smaller forwards in the 2013 draft class is Kamloops Blazers winger Cole Ully.
Ully is a bit of a beanpole. He’s not short – at 5-foot-11, he’s roughly average height for an adult male – but he hasn’t got much meat on his frame yet. Despite this, he’s thrived in Kamloops. Blessed with excellent speed and strong overall skating, Ully put together a strong draft-eligible season, racking up 50 points in 62 games. Ully’s year can be broken into two pieces – before he missed time in December due to mononucleosis, and after that absence.
In 28 games prior to his absence, he had 8 goals, 6 assists and 14 points, with a plus-3 rating, 2 game-winning goals and 2 power-play goals. In the remaining 34 games, he had 14 goals, 22 assists and 36 points, with a plus-34 rating, 5 game-winning goals and 6 power-play goals.
Ully has good hockey instincts and that’s no more readily apparent than it is when he’s on the power-play. In short? He’s excellent with the extra-man, as he has time and space to wheel and deal. He’s not as effective five-on-five, when the size disparity is a bit more pronounced. He’s able to generate even-strength offense, though, as evidenced by his excellent plus/minus rating. Bear in mind, though, that Kamloops had a great season and were in the top-third of the WHL in goals-for. Plus/minus can be a deceptive statistic on strong teams.
Ully’s biggest weakness is his size. The upshot is that he’s seemingly quite aware of it, having worked out in the off-season with NHLers in an effort to add some bulk to his frame. If he can fill out without losing the aspects of his game that have helped him excel at times at the WHL level, he may be a great find for a team in the middle rounds of the NHL Entry Draft.
Either way, he’ll be a very interesting project to follow.
“Deceptive scorer and playmaker who can take care of business at high speed. Smaller player who is still adapting to playing against the bigger WHL veterans. He needs continued weight training and girth. Has soft hands, and is a smooth passer on the attack.” – Bill Placzek, DraftSite.com
Ully was part of Team Alberta’s bronze medal-winning entry at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.
Risk 1.5/5, Reward 3/5
Second or third-line scoring winger.
- Fast, strong skater
- Good positioning
- Clever on the ice, good at finding holes and openings in coverage
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
- Sometimes errs on the side of caution when seams open in opposition defenses; could easily jump into the rush a bit more
- Needs to add some bulk to his frame to battle NHL defenders
- In relation to the last point, he’ll need to maintain his speed at the same time
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive 8/10, Defensive 7/10
NHL Player(s) Comparison:
If things go well for him, Ully projects to be a speedy forward along the lines of Tyler Ennis, albeit with a bit more physical stature. If they don’t, he could end up being Paul Byron, a borderline NHLer, or a very skilled AHLer.
When He’ll Go In June:
Ully is likely going to be chosen somewhere between the third and fifth rounds. His size is a concern, but he’s got a lot of the intangibles that teams like. He might not have the ceiling of a Johnny Gaudreau (another smallish skill player who went in the fourth round in 2011), but his relative size advantage means he’s likely less of a gamble.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.