OHL Prospect Profile: Cole Hipkin

– Cole Hipkin –

Brantford 99ers (Alliance) | Right Defence | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Brantford, Ontario | 5-foot-11, 179-pounds | July 26th, 2003

Cole Hipkin is a dynamic offensive defenceman who plays a sound 200-foot game and can be trusted to play a key role in all situations. A terrific skater with a calm demeanour to his game, Hipkin was able to play up a year in 2017-18 with the 99ers ’02 team, which went on the capture the Alliance Championship.

Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

While playing with players a year older, Hipkin hardly ever looked out of place and was rarely outmuscled. By the end of the year, he added five goals and 24 points over 31 games, which ranked third among all Alliance defenders. Overall, Hipkin is a sound defenceman who excels at breaking out and transitioning the puck, and showcases some potentially elite offensive upside.

Strengths:

  • Hockey Sense
  • Skating
  • Two-Way Play

Hipkin is an extremely smart prospect who can analyze and adapt to developing plays by the second. He hones impressive instincts at both ends of the ice, especially in calculating a profitable time to join an offensive rush. Hipkin also excels in holding opponents to tight gaps, consistently forcing forwards to the outside and into corners.

Related: Check out the Top 20 Performers of the Toronto Titans Early Bird Tournament

A smooth skater with an efficient stride, Hipkin is agile and strong on his feet. He showcases great lower-body strength as well along the boards and in protecting the puck on a breakout. Perhaps his greatest asset is the ceiling for his two-way play, where he shows intriguing offensive upside through his puck distribution and shot from the point, as well as his tendency to create odd-man rushes by joining the rush.

Area of Improvement:

  • Physicality

Hipkin is not a small defenceman, nor is he a weak player by any means. However, he isn’t the guy to go out of his way to engage in the physical aspect of the game, utilizing his smarts and skating instead. This shouldn’t be considered a negative to his game, but rather an area where he could potentially have a greater impact.

Able to take a check and rub an opponent out along the wall, Hipkin does possess some physicality in him, but would be able to add another tool to his repertoire as a defenceman if he were able to throw more booming hits to separate his opponents from the puck. With that said, Hipkin checks all of the boxes as a modern-era defenceman, with tremendous skating ability and two-way upside that is backed by his hockey sense.

Future Potential:

Cole Hipkin is a very impressive defenceman who should be considered amongst the top tier of Ontario’s ’03 blueliners. He has proven offensive upside and shows tremendous instincts in all three zones. A smooth skater, Hipkin shows virtually no holes to his game and has a ceiling that should excite OHL scouts.

In all, Hipkin projects as a mid to late first round pick for the 2019 OHL Draft, and likely slots into the 3-5 range of available defencemen.

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