In the first of our sure to be numerous draft profiles (I say “sure to be” when I know the number so, yes, they will be numerous) we take a look at one of the many, many fantastic names in this year’s draft class – Colton Sissons.
Sissons’ WHL career saw him go from an undrafted 15-year-old in 2008 to being name the captain of the Kelowna Rockets for the 2011-2012 season. In his first season wearing the ‘C’, and just his second in the WHL, Sissons’ tallied 26 goals and 41 points in 58 games with a plus/minus rating of minus-14 as he lead the Rockets to a sixth place finish in the WHL’s Western Conference and a .500 record.
Weight: 189 pounds
Born: November 5, 1993
What people in the know know
The Kelowna Rockets captain is one of the more mature players in the NHL draft class of 2012 and probably plays more of a 200-foot game than any other forward coming out of the WHL. The fact he wore the ‘C’ for the Rockets speaks to how he can lead by example. He’s hopeful that will translate well to the NHL once he gets there. With his versatility, there is some debate over whether he will be expected to contribute more offensively or defensively as a pro.
Sissons, who played for a youngish Rockets team this season, counted 26 goals and 41 points in 58 games while finishing minus-14. At 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds, he showed he could finish off plays in tight space, although he likely will need to show a greater array of ways he can chip in on the offensive end — such as scoring off the rush or setting up teammates. There isn’t much question with his defensive instincts. It goes without saying that improving his skating could cause him to really break out next fall, when he enters his age-19 season.
A responsible two-way forward with a high level of compete, Sissons makes an impact at both ends of the rink for the Rockets. The 6’1”, 189-lb center, who also plays right wing, has good skating ability and mobility, and plays a very strong defensive game. With good size and strength, Sissons excels at winning those grinding battles on the boards and in the corners, and can protect the puck well.
Yet, Sissons’ game isn’t all about defense. With a heavy and accurate shot, and solid hockey sense and vision, Sissons has the ability to create offense and put the puck in the net. As captain of the Rockets, he’s also considered a tremendous leader on his team, always setting a good example with his tireless work ethic and compete level.
The Hockey News
A concussion slowed Sissons after the Prospects Game, but he was back for the playoffs. Loaded with character, the rockets star can also play multiple forward positions. “I like a lot about his game,” said another scout. “Aggressive, work ethic is high, NHL shot…He might be a better winger than center because he doesn’t see the ice very well. But he’s dynamic on draws so what do you do?”
With near-unanimous opinion that Sissons could develop into a strong, two-way forward his already established leadership abilities could make him a steal at the draft.
Expect Sissons to be a -late first round selection as non-lottery teams look to add a player with his diversity in positions and skill set.