Columbus Blue Jackets 18-19 Prospects Expectations: Kole Sherwood

LONDON, ON - OCTOBER 9: Kole Sherwood #67 of the London Knights skates with the puck against the Sudbury Wolves during an OHL game at Budweiser Gardens on October 9, 2015 in London, Ontario, Canada. The Knights defeated the Wolves 6-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
LONDON, ON - OCTOBER 9: Kole Sherwood #67 of the London Knights skates with the puck against the Sudbury Wolves during an OHL game at Budweiser Gardens on October 9, 2015 in London, Ontario, Canada. The Knights defeated the Wolves 6-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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The Columbus Blue Jackets homegrown prospect play his first full season as a professional in Cleveland.

Kole Sherwood is set to become yet another product of central Ohio to play professional hockey. The Columbus Blue Jackets prospect is set to join the ranks of Jack Roslovic, Connor Murphy and  Sean Kuraly. All grew up with the CBJ in their backyard and all will play professional hockey next year.

Kole spent the last three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League where he gained a reputation as a power forward that can finish in front of the net. The two way winger racked up 145 points in 117 games in the regular season over the last two years.

While playing for the Kitchener Rangers this year Sherwood dominated the OHL playoffs, leading his team to the Western Conference Finals where they fell in double overtime of game seven. In 19 games Sherwood led the Rangers with 14 goals.

light. Related Story. Sherwood Continues to Dominate OHL Playoffs

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This year will be a whole new ballgame. Kole will go from being one of the oldest players in his league to one of the youngest. The AHL brings a whole new challenge of continuing to produce on the score sheet while playing in a much faster and more physical league.

Sherwood will be one of many youngsters in Cleveland this year that will try to find their way in the pro ranks all while trying to help lift the worst team in the AHL out of the cellar. Kole will have to earn every second of ice time he gets with the number of fellow young prospects on the team.

Sherwood’s physical preparation this offseason is vital to his success this year in Cleveland. Playing a power forward role in the AHL will take much more of a toll on Kole than it did in the OHL. Add on another dozen games to the schedule and you get a tall task for the 21-year-old.

There will be a ton of competition in Cleveland, especially at the forward position. I expect Sherwood to have some good moments, but on the whole, to have a bumpy season. His production in the OHL was good but not elite. He also won’t come close to playing top line minutes so expect a significant drop in scoring.

A successful season for Sherwood would be playing all season long at the AHL and putting up 30 points. That would be as good of a transition Kole could hope for. It would also put him in a great spot to be a potential call up candidate the following season.

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It’s very challenging for players to make the jump to the AHL but his age, maturity, and familiarity with Ohio might help make the transition smoother. That said, I expect Sherwood to be in and out of the lineup and put up around 15 points this year.