It's early. Perhaps too early to even make any sound assessments. With that in mind, Ian Cole has arrived ready to play for the Blues, according to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. During the first day of the team's camp, Cole was apparently the most impressive defenseman out on the ice.
Ken Hitchcock said:
To me, the most impressive guy today, of all the defensemen, was Ian Cole. He’s got tempo to his game, he’s got speed, he’s got agility in his game.
Cole is battling for a significant role on this team. If Pietrangelo continues to hold out, Cole would be competing with Ryan Whitney for the sixth spot on defense. Assuming Pietrangelo and the Blues reach a deal, Cole would be competing for the seventh spot.
There was some discussion that Cole wouldn't be back for the Blues after dressing in just 15 games last season, but the Blues decided to deal Kris Russell and keep Cole in the mix with a two-year, $1.65 million contract. Cole's deal is of the two-way variety, but he'll be looking for a more prominent role with the Blues in the event Pietrangelo misses actual games or if the Blues succumb to the injury bug.