Florida Panthers Prospect Profile: Cole Schwindt

2019 third rounder puts up big numbers in Mississauga

The Florida Panthers selected forward Cole Schwindt in the third round (81st overall) at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft back in June at Rogers Place in Vancouver.

In his draft season prior to being chosen by the Cats, Schwindt played in 68 games with the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads and amassed 19 goals and 30 assists to go along with 25 PIM and +4 rating. This was a pretty solid jump over his first-year production of eight goals and 18 points.

I had previously done two check-ins (November and January) with Florida’s group of 2019 draftees as they began the 2019-20 season, so we’ll start with that text and then see how he finished off the campaign before it was first postponed on March 12, and then ultimately canceled six days later due to the coronavirus.

November: The tall and lanky Schwindt had a solid second turn (49 points in 68 games) with the Steelheads during his draft season to catch the eye of the Cats brass and scouts. This season, Schwindt, who currently has 5 goals and 12 assists in 23 games, is on pace to finish with an OHL-high of 50 points on the strength of an uptick in his assist numbers. He’ll have to start finding the back of the net more often if he wants to better last year’s 19 goals. This might be a tough task for the 18-year-old right winger as the Steelheads aren’t looking like a quality side this season and could miss the playoffs.

January: Well, it looks like Schwindt has heeded our advice and caught fire since our last article, pouring in a whopping 17 goals and adding 15 assists in his last 20 games to equal the 49 points he produced last season with plenty of games (21) left in the regular season. The 18-year-old’s offensive outburst has helped the Steelheads climb into second place in the OHL’s Central Division despite a sub .500 record. A 30-goal season looks like a safe bet for Schwindt and he could possibly breach 35 if he stays this hot.

May: While his goal-scoring rate came back down to earth, Schwindt continued to pile up the points in the third segment of the season by bagging six more markers and dishing out sixteen assists to finish the campaign with 28 goals, 43 assists and 71 assists. All were OHL career-bests for the now 19-year-old, as was his +11 rating, and he put up those numbers up in just 57 games played. He led his club in assists and points, and only trailed James Hardie in the goals and shots on goal categories.

Schwindt inked his entry-level contract on April 8, but with much uncertainly looming on the horizon of the NHL/AHL landscape, look for him to return for another season with the Steelheads with year or two of professional development in the AHL to follow. A prospect on the rise, look for Schwindt to suit up in Sunrise in the not too distant future,

What does Schwindt’s future hold?

First liner3
Middle six forward18
Fourth liner8
NHL/AHL “tweener”5
Strictly minor-league fodder1