What We Know About the Two Players the Blue Jackets Signed to Professional Tryouts: Owen Sillinger and Olivier Leblanc

By Coby Maeir on July 22, 2022 at 10:15 am
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What is a professional tryout?

An NHL professional tryout contract (PTO) is a contract that only covers training camps. Why is that relevant? Yesterday, the Jackets signed two players to a PTO, forward Owen Sillinger and defenseman Olivier Leblanc. So, what do we know about them?

Owen Sillinger, 24, is the brother of Blue Jackets center Cole Sillinger and finished his college career at Bemidji State this past season before appearing in 17 games with the Cleveland Monsters, Columbus' AHL affiliate. In 134 games over four years at Bemidji State, Sillinger scored 51 goals and 115 points. His senior season was his best statistical year, as he scored 17 goals and 47 points in 39 games. In 17 games with the Monsters, he scored three goals and nine points.

Before playing his college hockey at Bemidji State, Sillinger spent three seasons playing for the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League (BCJHL) after playing just three games for Melville Millionaires of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) in the previous season. 

In his first season with the Penticton, Sillinger played with current NHLers, Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro.  

Olivier Leblanc, 26, was selected by the Jackets with the 197th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. In 2021-22 he spent 19 games with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL and 16 games with the Monsters, combining to score one goal and seven points. He spent the previous season with the AHL's Belleville Senators and posted two assists in 12 games. 

Before playing professionally, Leblanc played for three years at the University of New Brunswick, winning a national championship in 2019, and scored nine goals and 54 points in 85 games. 

Olivier also played five years of junior hockey, all in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He played his first two full seasons and part of his third for the Saint John Sea Dogs and scored 15 goals and 73 points in 153 regular-season games in addition to playing in four playoff games. He played the rest of his junior career with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, scoring 18 goals and 91 points in 138 regular-season games as well as 18 assists in 24 playoff games. 

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