Cole Sillinger Dazzles vs. Islanders, Notches First NHL Goal

By Jacob Nitzberg on October 21, 2021 at 10:33 pm
Oct 21, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Cole Sillinger (34) celebrates after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders in the second period at Nationwide Arena.
Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports
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Looks like Cole Sillinger's NHL-ready, huh?

His first two games with the Blue Jackets were solid, but nothing to write home about. Then, he was benched in the third period against the Red Wings on Tuesday night. 

To respond the way he did on Thursday night was truly special. 

33 seconds after the Blue Jackets tied the game in the second period via a Boone Jenner power-play goal, Sillinger notched his first NHL goal. At 18 years and 158 days, Sillinger is tied for 51st among the youngest NHL goalscorers ever.

"I don't think there was any pressure (on me to score)," said Sillinger after the game. "I was getting chances in game, so that was the main focus. I knew it was gonna come sometime and just tried to generate for my team as much as I could. It was really good that one finally popped in the net there, and hopefully more to come."

On the goal, Sillinger was the recipient of a beautiful pass from defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov, who threaded the needle to put the puck on Sillinger's stick in a very dangerous area. It was a great shift by all five Blue Jackets on the ice, including Sillinger, Gavrikov, Gustav Nyquist, and Oliver Bjorkstrand.

"As a team, I didn't think we played great (in Detroit)," said Sillinger. "We showed up in Detroit and just expected things to happen. We just didn't have our legs, but the good thing about this this league is that you play every second night. We put that one past us, watched some video, did some review, and I thought we played a better game and a faster game, more of our style and motto tonight."

Sillinger played 17:17 and led the Blue Jackets with six shots on goal. What a night for the Blue Jackets' 2021 first-rounder, who looks to have a very bright future.

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