Through more than his first year-and-a-half of junior hockey, statistics would have convinced many that Division 1 college hockey was not in the cards for Cole Gordon.
In his rookie season of 2020-21 with the Minnesota Wilderness, the forward from Windsor, CO, failed to register a single point, while appearing in 27 games. Through his first 42 games of his second season, he still not had not scored a goal. That finally happened in the 70th game of his junior career.
But goals, assists and points do not tell the whole story of a junior hockey player, especially with the heart and will to compete like Gordon. And on Thursday Gordon proved the stat-embracing skeptics wrong by announcing his commitment to play NCAA hockey for Arizona State.
On his Instagram account, Gordon posted the following:
“I’m proud to announce my commitment to play Division 1 hockey at Arizona State University. I would like to say thank you to all my friends, coaches, teammates, and family that have helped me along the way. #bethetradition”
Since scoring his first goal, statistics have also begun to catch up with Gordon’s tenacity on the ice. The 20-year-old finished the 2021-22 campaign with three goals over the final 10 games—to complete the season with 9 points. This season, he has so far doubled his point totals (18), and his 8 goals are 5th on the team over 46 games.
“As an organization, we are proud of Cole and excited to watch him continue his career at ASU,” said Wilderness head coach Brett Skinner.
“Cole has worked very hard this season to continue to improve, and ASU will not only be getting a good player, but a high character individual who will be a part of continuing to grow their program.”
Within the first few weeks of this season, Gordon was named one of Minnesota’s two co-captains. At 6’2”, 205 lbs, he has brought a physical element to his game that has proven to be intimidating to opposing players and helped him be a very reliable teammate. That could explain why he leads the Wilderness this season with 72 penalty minutes, although he has avoided being sent to the sin bin for a season-high 11 straight games going into the team’s series this weekend at Kenai River.
Last month, Gordon represented Team Midwest in the NAHL Top Prospect’s Tournament in Pittsburgh, PA. Over two games, he posted one goal.
Gordon has spent his entire junior career with the Wilderness. Prior to coming to Cloquet, he spent one season in Canada with the Regina Pats 18UAAA, and 2 seasons with the Rocky Mountain Roughriders 16U and 15U squads.
He’ll head to the desert next season to join Arizona State. The Sun Devils are an independent program based in Tempe, AZ.