NHL coaches and general managers may be delighted to one day find Cole in their Christmas stocking.
That’s because former Comox Valley minor hockey goalie Cole Holowenko is flying high on the radar of NHL scouts.
The National Hockey League Central Scouting Bureau has released its Preliminary Rankings of draft eligible players for the 2012 Entry Draft, and Holowenko is one of two Prince Albert Raiders identified on the Western Hockey League list.
Holowenko is sixth among the WHL netminders eligible for the NHL draft in June, 2012 in Pittsburgh while centre Mike Winther is ranked ninth among all WHL skaters.
On Dec. 11, Holowenko kicked out 39 shots to backstop the Raiders to a 5-0 win over the Red Deer Rebels. He earned first-star honours and made what game reports called several “all-star stops” in recording the goose egg.
It was the 18-year-old Holowenko’s first WHL shutout and improved his record to 2-7-0 in 13 games played this season. He has a 4.05 GAA and .893 save percentage.
It’s a tough task tending the net for the defensively-challenged Raiders as they sit in sixth and last place in the Eastern Conference and have given up 141 goals, second worse in the entire league.
Holowenko is backing up Eric Williams, who has played 28 games between the pipes and sports an 8-15 record.
Holowenko came to the Raiders in a 2010 trade from the Chilliwack Bruins. He was the Bruins’ second round selection, 28th overall in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft and appeared in two games with the Bruins in 2009-2010.
“Cole Holowenko is a good-sized goaltender with very good technical ability,” said Raiders’ head coach and general manager Bruno Campese at the time of the Chilliwack trade.
The 6′,1″, 194-pound Howolenko spent most of the 2009-2010 season with the BCHL Merritt Centennials, posting a 9-14 record. In 2010-2011 he went 8-7 with the BCHL Westside Warriors.