Names To Know: Cole Eiserman Is A Dynamic Goal-Scorer Who Will Be Had Early In Next Month's Draft

By Will Chase on May 22, 2024 at 10:15 am
USA's Cole Eiserman (34) controls the puck against Finland during the third period of the 2024 U18 s Five Nations Tournament at USA Hockey Arena.
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the 6th installment of our "Names To Know," 2024 edition, a look-ahead at prospects who the Columbus Blue Jackets could select in the upcoming NHL Draft.

Today, we're onto Cole Eiserman, a 17-year-old forward, standing 6-foot, 196 lbs, and is slated to play for Boston University in 2025-26.

In 2023-24, he scored 10 points (nine goals, one assist) in the World Juniors for the U.S. team, who won gold with a 6-2 win over Sweden.

Eiserman also played for the U.S. National U18 Team of the U.S. National Team Development Program, scoring 89 points (team-leading 58 goals, 31 assists) in 57 games and putting up 34 points (team-leading 25 goals, nine assists) in 24 games for the USNTDP Juniors of the USHL.

The Athletic's Corey Pronman talked about Eiserman and what he brings to the table:

Eiserman is an excellent goal-scoring winger who has put up huge numbers in junior. He isn't the best playmaker in the world, but he has game-breaking qualities with his one-on-one play and shot when the puck is on his stick. He sees the ice well enough and can make tough passes occasionally, although he absolutely prefers to shoot and tends to overshoot the puck. He's a strong skater who can create his own shot and doesn't shy from going to the net to score as well. His consistency isn't the best and he can be a frustrating player to watch at times, but I don't think he's soft and actually had some physical bite in his game. Despite all his faults, Eiserman is also a goal-per-game player in junior, so you ride the wave with him. He has the potential to be a top-line winger.

The Athletic's Scott Wheeler on Eiserman from his May rankings:

A dynamic goal scorer in the truest sense, Eiserman possesses an exhilarating ability to cleanly pick his spots in the net and regularly beat defenders and goalies one-on-one. He can score in every way: long-range, mid-range, jam plays, rush plays, quick hands in tight, the one-timer, a lethal catch and release (there isn't a pass he can't take and get off). Last year, he showed one of the better shots and sets of hands I’ve seen in a player that age. This year, he chased down Cole Caufield's all-time NTDP goal-scoring record. He’s one of the younger players in the draft because of his late August birthday as well, which I think sometimes gets lost in evaluations of him because of how scrutinized he’s been over the last two years.

Eiserman is a shot creator and finisher who, against his peers, usually takes whatever he wants and seems to score at will (there have been big games where that has been tougher, causing some to question him, but I’ve also seen him come up big).

I actually think he's a better skater than he has been given credit for in conversations I’ve had with folks about him, too (it’s above-average), but it’s his puck skill, quick release, shot variety (he can rip it in motion, off catch and releases, standing still and from a one-timer, and he’ll make goalies guess wrong in alone because of how fast his hands are) and sneaky strength (when he uses it, which he has started to do more of) that have allowed him to create with relative ease against his peers — though how easy that part of the game has always been to him has also created some bad habits. He can frustrate though, too, and scouts desperately want to see him round out his game and improve his play selection. He can be a little careless and selfish with the puck. He can get carried away trying to do too much, stickhandling into trouble or shooting into shin pads/forcing shots from bad spots on the ice/trying to be too cute. The play selection and habits definitely need some work, and have led to many understandably lowering him outside of the top-10 range I still have him in. He doesn’t miss when he’s got an opportunity, though, and it's so, so hard to find goal scorers like him outside of the very top of the draft. I have seen him play pretty complete, competitive games too, so it is there. I’ve also seen him zip passes around and show a playmaking tilt and think he’s an underrated passer who actually identifies second and third options quite well even if he doesn’t always give the puck to them.

But where he goes will ultimately come down to which team believes the way he produces that "he’s about to score here” feeling every time the puck comes to him in a good spot supersedes the real work he needs to do in other areas. It’s cliché, but you can’t teach that. He looks to me, with a little coaching, like he’s capable of becoming a high-scoring winger and PP1 focal point. But I understand the reservations many have about him and his game. He’s a complicated player and kid.

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