Ross Colton was drafted in the fourth round in 2016. At that time you never know if a player drafted in the middle of the draft will play in the NHL. The hope is there and Al Murray and his staff have beaten the odds before, but still, there is never a guarantee.
Colton is a New Jersey native and played college hockey with Vermont. He was a good goal scorer there and his powerful frame helps him play in the dirty areas. Couple that with some speed and you have something. Colton has been on the long path since he played for the New Jersey Rockets in 2012-13. He was a star on that team but age-wise, he was always going to play in the NHL around 23 even if everything broke right.
With Covid-19 restrictions, I can’t get some candid comments from Colton in his own words. So, I’ll do my best here. The Tampa Bay Lightning believes in over-marinating their prospects. To the point that when they are called upon there is little doubt, they can handle the challenge. It works if you have a strong lineup and they do, so that’s been one of the strengths of this organization.
Colton is the team’s fourth-line center. He’s in the midst of his rookie season. In his 30 regular-season games, he scored nine important goals. To get that kind of production from a cap-friendly player is important to a team that plays to the cap and beyond.
In 19 playoffs games, Colton has three goals and five points. He scored the game-tying goal against the Florida Panthers in Game 3. Most of his goals are a product of hard work. He makes nice playoffs off the wall and his wrist shot is fast. It’s off his stick quickly.
Colton will never be “that” guy on the fourth line but the tradeoff is being a part of a special 2020-21 season with a chance to win his first Stanley Cup.
Montreal won’t game plan against Colton but that doesn’t mean he won’t make a big play. He has a knack for that, and that is a quality that makes his worth a bit higher than the average fourth-line player.
Colton has played with Mathieu Joseph before, and with Alex Killorn ruled out for Game 2, it’s possible that these two may be reunited once again.