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Cole Eiserman’s exceptional goal scoring ability makes him an intriguing prospect ahead of the 2024 NHL Draft

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Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Raz Devraj
1 month ago
There aren’t many highly touted American prospects in this years draft but one of them is the No. 12 ranked North American skater, according to the NHL’s Central Scouting Service, Cole Eiserman.
Eiserman possesses one of the most important skills in hockey, a skill that is the biggest contributor to winning hockey games. He scores goals, and he scores them at an elite level. Eiserman stands out in this draft due to his ability to put the puck in the net from almost anywhere in the offensive zone. While there are other parts of his game that need work, the threat he can be offensively is what has him ranked so high ahead of the 2024 NHL Draft.

Scouting report

Eiserman is a 17-year-old winger from Newburyport, Massachusetts listed at 6’0” and 196 pounds. He played prep hockey with Shattuck St. Mary’s before joining the USA Hockey National Team Development Program in 2022, where he has been ever since. Eiserman has always been way over a point per game no matter where he has played and he’s been racking up the goals since U13. 
The Elite Prospects Draft Guide has this analysis on Eiserman:
Eiserman has an automatic release that he can fire off the pass from any physical position and any corner of the offensive zone. Eiserman’s game also has a physical dimension that often goes underappreciated. He’s willing to dish and take physical punishment at the net-front and muscle opponents off of loose pucks for rebound opportunities if that’s what it takes to get on the scoresheet.
In November, here’s how Dobber Prospects’ David Saad evaluated Eiserman:
It’s no secret that Cole Eiserman has the best shot in the 2024 draft class. It’s powerful, accurate and given time and space, is nearly guaranteed to be a given goal. Eiserman has found particular success on the power-play, where he can take full advantage of the extra ice to punish any PK unit that doesn’t give him his due respect. This alone is likely to see him land quite high on draft day as his release is NHL-ready. Seeing Eiserman playing trigger-man on an NHL team’s first PP unit is not far. However, when you zoom away from his core strength, Eiserman carries with him a few key flaws. Particularly, he’s got a lot of work to do in his skating. While effective off the rush and in odd-man opportunities, he lacks the edgework and explosiveness to create separation from defenders who focus on him. His weak stride also doesn’t make him much for a forechecking threat and far too often, leaves him behind play which leads to penalties taken. His playmaking is currently underutilized as pucks tend to end up behind the net or frozen shortly after receiving the puck. Going forward, Eiserman will need to develop some extra layers to his game in some way. Whether by improving his passing game, skating, or defensive ability; Eiserman needs to evolve his game to match his current reputation as an “elite-level prospect”. Fortunately, he has plenty of time to do so.
FC Hockey’s Kyle Pereira broke down a lot more of Eiserman’s game in a really detailed scouting report:
When it comes to entering the offensive zone, Eiserman seemingly struggles with spacing and decision-making. At times, he will skate into traffic, attempting to sift through them a la Bedard when with Regina in the Western Hockey League. He does not have the stickhandling juice to do that — at least not yet — on a consistent enough basis. Additionally, there are times where he just makes head-scratching decisions, electing not to pass to teammates who are open with a clear lane into the zone, just to pass to a teammate facing significant coverage.
On the surface, he has very good speed and can beat defenders wide on occasion, however he does lack that extra gear to truly burn defenders on a consistent basis. He builds speed with strong crossovers that allows him to generate good power to gain speed quickly, and the way he reaches top speeds looks effortless at times. There is room for improvement, though, and it starts with his mechanics. He does get low and display strong technical strides, but he tends to be a bit choppy at times, taking away that extra bit of power he can gain. Learning how to lengthen his stride is a simple, yet potentially effective, way of reaching that extra gear. 
If the puck changes directions on him, he often does not stop on the puck to change directions with the play. Instead, he will loop back around and take several seconds to return to position. That won’t be tolerated at the NHL level and absolutely needs to be cleaned up. The worry is that this is more of a habitual issue, and for someone who has been playing this way his whole life, these habits could be difficult to fix. 
Eiserman’s playmaking feels overlooked. That’s not to say he is super underrated as a playmaker and that people are underestimating him in this area, but it’s also fair to say that he has flashed vision and passing traits that show some untapped dual-threat potential. He does not pass often enough and, frequently, he will have blinders up that reveals a touch of tunnel-vision. Sometimes all he sees is the net, and he will shoot at will.
Eiserman is goal-focused and while that hunger to score sometimes causes him to make bad decisions his rate of finishing the job when he gets the chance is very high. Outside of his goal-scoring, he plays with a little bit of feistiness, He is not afraid to play a physical game which goes a long way when thinking about how successful he could be in the NHL. It’s no secret that there are many areas of Eiserman’s game that need improvement but taking a gamble on a 17-year-old who is that good at scoring goals already and has plenty of time to improve and develop his game away from scoring doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all.

The numbers

Eiserman had 58 goals and 89 points through 57 games played with the U.S. National U18 team. He also had 25 goals and 34 points through 24 games played with U.S. National Development Program Juniors in the USHL and represented the United States at the World Juniors recording 9 goals and 10 points in 7 games. 

Availability and fit

It’s been said before but I will say it again. A common theme for the Flames, since they lost Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, has been their lack of scoring goals. Putting the puck in the net over the past two seasons has become more difficult and Eiserman is seen as the best pure goal scorer in this draft class. A player who can score at the drop of a hat and a team that is in desperate need of some of that almost make this seem like a perfect match. 
It’s also important to note that Eiserman is committed to Boston University in NCAA for next season which means that as of right now he would not be joining whichever club drafts him right away. Obviously, he could de-commit and head to training camp if he wanted to but based on where his overall game is right now, playing a couple of years in college would be the best decision for his development. 
The highest Eiserman has been ranked is No. 4 by Bob McKenzie and the lowest he has been ranked is No. 16 by Dobber Prospects. Although that’s a large margin a majority of scouts have him placed around the 10th-16th mark. 
There is a very good chance Eiserman is available when it’s the Flames’ turn to select ninth overall but there are most likely going to be stronger prospects available to choose from at that time. 
Goal scoring is huge and something the Flames would welcome with open arms but because of where they are picking and the fact that they have made it clear that they are “retooling” and not “rebuilding” there isnt much reason to believe that the Flames would end up drafting Eiserman ninth overall.

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