Dylan Cozens was born and raised in the Canadian Yukon Territory and can become the fourth player from that area to ever suit up in the NHL and first since the 1980’s to play in the world best hockey league.
“It’s pretty crazy growing up there, it always seemed like a farfetched dream,“ he said at the NHL Combine. “Now that the draft is coming up and the combine is here, it’s a little crazy.“
The dream is soon to become a reality for the center, who can also play the wing. Named the Western Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year after scoring 53 points in 57 games two years ago, Cozens followed that up with an 84 point season, which included 34 goals this year for Lethbridge.
“You know, I just think that I was given lots of natural talent,“ said Cozens. “Just believed that I had what it took to make it to the next level. I gave it my all and I always worked as hard as I could. This has always been my dream to be in the NHL and I chased it and I worked as hard as I could to get there.“
Cozens has a good release and strong shot but the greatest strength he brings to the ice is his skating ability which he believes makes him NHL ready.
“I believe I’m going to be able to make the jump next year and I think I’m going to have a long career in the NHL and be an impact player. I’m going to work the hardest I can to be one of the best guys out of this draft.“
“He brings a lot to the table when it comes to speed. Because, speed can help dictate what you want on the ice,“ added NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr. “He has the hockey sense and scoring ability. One of the things we liked, every game we were at, he finds a way to generate and create a scoring chance.“
And, if Cozens can create and produce in the NHL like he has in the WHL, he’d be a great pick for the Sabres with the 7th overall selection