Prospect Profile: Cole Shepard

Photo Credit: Penticton Vee’s

Name: Cole Shepard 

Team: Penticton Vee’s (BCHL)

Position: Left Wing

Date of Birth: January 2nd 2002

Hometown: West Vancouver, British Columbia

Height/Weight: 5’10 152lbs

Hand: Left

WHL Draft: 33rd Overall in 2017 – Vancouver Giants 

*Committed to Harvard University*

*Eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft*


Areas of Strength

  • Footwork
  • Motor
  • One on One Abilities

Areas of Weakness

  • Size
  • Strength
  • Overall Scoring Tools

Player Report: Going into the 2017 WHL Draft we had Cole Shepard ranked 17th, with one of our scouts ranking him in there personal top ten list. Shepard ultimately fell to the middle of the second round due to question marks about where he would end up playing and in the Spring of 2018 he committed to Harvard University. His brother Jackson Shepard currently plays for the Lethbridge Hurricane of the WHL. Shepard spent his first bantam season playing for the North Shore Winter Club of the BC-T1 bantams. He would later go on to join the Delta Hockey Academy in his second bantam season, playing on Justin Sourdif’s (Vancouver 1st round 2017) left wing for parts of the season and with Payton Mount (Seattle 1st Round 2017). He finished third on his team in points with 47 in 30 games played. He returned his post WHL draft season to Delta to play for there Midget Prep team last season. Notching 19 goals and 53 points in 34 games, leading his Midget Prep team in scoring, as well as earning some games up with the Penticton Vee’s of the BCHL at the end of the season. He is currently committed to play for the Penticton Vee’s this upcoming season and has not signed his WHL contract. 

Cole is an enthusiastic playmaker who plays like a bumble bee around the ice. He is constantly moving his feet and supporting the play. Consistently slips in and out of coverage. He is sneaky in the sense that he can find ice behind players and go unnoticed by the other team before springing himself into an offensive opportunity. Cole is one of the most dynamic players in his 2002 class, he has some of the best footwork and edge work you will see in a kid his age. Shepard is one of the most elusive forwards with how he is able to attack with elite speed and also be able to change direction quickly. Explosive deft acceleration both with and without the puck. One of the best quotes I ever got from a scout on Shepard was “If he was a speed skater, he would be in the olympics” because he is just that fast as a player and his motor/endurance is marathon level. He can beat defenders one on one in many different way’s, by either drive a lane outside and beating them with speed or deceptively changing his line of attack too quickly for defenders to adjust to or by slowing down the pace of the game and distributing the puck on the rush. His hands keep up well to his feet, this past season he looked a lot more confident leading the rush and attacking defenders one on one, he has got good hands and is able to control the puck well in tight areas. Shepard’s game is much more of a playmaking style than either a scorer or two-way player. Being able to distribute the puck productively on his forehand and his on his backhand at top speed, with good vision on the puck. Making plays to the middle of the ice from the perimeter and working off his passes to create space for himself. Definitely one of the toughest to contain 2002’s in Western Canada, he avoids getting touched by defenders.  His speed makes players around him better and his slippery nature opens up options for his team mates. This past season he started to play with a bit more grit, he often avoided physical contact in Bantam’s and going into corners, he looked a lot feistier on the ice and was often the first in on the forecheck. Shepard also has shown that he can put the puck in the back of the net. His anticipation away from the puck and sneaky nature often result in him getting great opportunities around the net. Also has the ability to change the angle of his shots and force the puck into a high percentage scoring area. He doesn’t have a great shot but once he adds muscle to his frame he should be able to score more efficiently. Still under developed physically, once he continues to grow and get bigger I am excited to see the damage he can do on teams at the Junior and Pro levels. A player whose footwork is so elite you might have to compare it to a player like Pavel Bure. 

Shepard is stepping into his first junior season this year with the Penticton Vee’s of the BCHL. The Vee’s have a great track record of producing NHL talent and Shepard is likely going to be one of the players who will continue that trend. I feel as if he might struggle out of the gates, the physical play might be too much for him at first but he will get used to it and be a dangerous Junior A player. I’d bet on him producing around 25-40 points his rookie season with the Vee’s, most of these likely come in the latter half of the season. In his second season he should be around a point per game, with Canada West Junior A World Championship time to his resume. Should be above a 50 assist player in his final season with the Vee’s before heading to Boston and playing with Harvard. 

 

Past Season’s:

2016-2017 – Delta Hockey Bantam Prep: 30GP-19G-28A-47PTS 12PIMS Playoffs: 5GP-1G-2A-3PTS 2PIMS

2017-2018 – Delta Hockey Midget Prep: 34GP-19G-34A-53PTS 16PIMS Playoffs: 4GP-2G-2A-4PTS 0PIMS

Penticton Vee’s: 2GP-0G-1A-1PTS 0PIMS Playoffs: 4GP-0G-0A-0PTS 0PIMS

 

Accolades:

2017-2018 – WHL Cup Gold Medal

 

Cole Shepard Interview from the U-17 Hockey Canada camp: https://www.draftgeek.ca/2018/08/18/cole-shepard-interview/