Dylan Cozens Scouting Report: 2019 NHL Draft #6

Dylan Cozens WHL Central Division
EVERETT, WA - JANUARY 26: Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Dylan Cozens (24) accelerates into the neutral zone in the first period of a game between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Everett Silvertips on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, WA. (Photo by Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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After being the 19th overall pick in the 2016 WHL Draft, Dylan Cozens came into the league and made an immediate impact for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. In 2017-18 he put up 22 goals and 53 points in 57 games played. It was enough to take home the league’s rookie of the year award. This season he has been even better. Cozens put up 34 goals and 84 points in 68 games. He has also added four goals and four assists in seven playoff games. Unfortunately, the Lethbridge Hurricanes lost in the first round to the Calgary Hitmen.

Cozens has represented Canada on the international stage. He put up five points in five games at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup and took home a gold medal. Last season, he played for Canada Red at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, putting up seven points in seven games.

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Dylan Cozens Scouting Report

Center/Right Wing — shoots Right
Born February 9th, 2001 — Whitehorse, Yukon
Height 6’3″ — Weight 185 lbs [191 cm/84 kg]

Skating

Cozens is a very good skater, especially given his size. His first step is well above average and his acceleration is very good. He also has very good top-end speed. He is able to keep up with the play and this allows him to play a 200-foot game. Cozens agility and edgework are outstanding. He is able to make quick cuts and change directions quickly. This makes him especially difficult to defend off the rush. Cozens balance and power is good at the junior level. It will only get better as he continues to add muscle to his frame. This allows him to be effective controlling the puck down low.

Offensive Game

Cozens is a pure goal scorer. He has an excellent wrist shot and a quick release as well as the soft hands to finish in close. Cozens also has a good snapshot and slap shot. He is not afraid to get to the dirty areas of the ice, establishing position at the top of the slot, where he can fire in one-timers or provide the “high-screen” that many teams are using to great effect in recent years. With the puck on his stick, he is not afraid to take it to the front of the net.

Dylan Cozens also sees the ice very well. He controls the puck in the cycle game before dishing to an open teammate. His hockey IQ is excellent, as he anticipates where his teammates are headed and is able to set them up for good scoring chances. He can control the puck and has the patience to slow down the play and the instinct to speed it up in order to create openings depending on the situation. His vision and skill allow him to quarterback the power play on the half boards. Without the puck, Cozens finds soft spots in the defence and gets himself open to make a play.  He is also effective at battling for loose pucks in the corners and along the boards.

Defensive Game

Cozens will need to add muscle to what is currently a lanky frame. This will help him to be more physical on the forecheck, as well as to better support his defence down low. Cozens is willing to play a physical game and not afraid to throw his weight around in all three zones. He works hard in his own end, and he tends to be in the right position and make the right reads. His positioning and smarts are outstanding though. He is already a very smart defensive player and a good penalty killer. His ability to anticipate plays, as well as his quick stick, create turnovers. Once a turnover is created, he can transition the puck up the ice quickly.

Projection and Comparison

Cozens may never challenge for a scoring title, but he will still be able to score enough to be a first line centre. Add in his strong defensive game, and the potential to grow into a Selke calibre centre and he could be a franchise-changing force up the middle. While he has also played the wing in junior (mainly his rookie year), his skating, vision and hockey IQ all suggest his future is at centre. In terms of playing style, he is reminiscent of Ryan Kesler, though this is not a skill-level comparison.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Dylan Cozens that are available on youtube.

Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

4 COMMENTS

  1. Man i really hope Yzerman drafts Dylan Cozens with the #6 pick really liking this young man a lot. Larkin, Cozens and Veleno down the middle. What’s not to like.

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