Chicago, IL - The United States Hockey League (USHL) had its first former player from the 2021 NHL Draft sign a professional contract on Wednesday as former Sioux Falls Stampede forward Cole Sillinger signed a three-year entry level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Sillinger, who was named the 2020-21 USHL Rookie of the Year in June, played in 31 games for the Stampede and finished second among rookie scorers with 46 points (24-22-46). His 1.48 points per game led all rookie skaters and was fourth among all skaters in the USHL.
A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Sillinger had a career-high 14-game point streak last season and, in addition to being named Rookie of the Year, was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team and All-USHL Second Team.
Sillinger was born in Columbus when his father, Mike, played for the Blue Jackets. Mike was selected 11th overall in the 1989 NHL Draft and went on to play more than 1,000 NHL games over 18 seasons with the Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators, Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues and New York Islanders.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the 2021-22 season will be the USHL's 20th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. The USHL had 50 players selected at the 2021 NHL Draft, marking the fourth-straight season with 50-or-more USHL players selected in the Draft. More than 800 league alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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