Whitehorse Daily Star

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HOME VISIT – Dylan Cozens attends the Hockey Fights Cancer game at Takhini Arena Saturday with his Canada jersey and silver medal from the World U-17 Hockey Challenge.

Cozens reflects on silver medal, year in WHL

After a busy year for the young 16-year-old hockey player continuing to make history, Dylan Cozens returned home for the holidays.

By Dustin Cook on December 27, 2017

After a busy year for the young 16-year-old hockey player continuing to make history, Dylan Cozens returned home for the holidays.

With him, he brought some memories from the year including a Team Canada hockey jersey and a silver medal.

Cozens was part of the Canada Red team that took home silver at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in B.C. back in November where he tallied one goal and six assists in his team’s six games, tied for the team lead.

“Obviously every kid growing up watches the World Juniors around Christmas and the Olympics,” Cozens said. “It was really good for me, a really great experience and hopefully one of the first stepping stones in representing Canada.”

Cozens said he hopes this is the first but not the last chance he gets to don the maple leaf for Canada on the world stage and will be watching the World Juniors closely over the holiday break.

“I definitely want to play in the World Juniors one day, it’d be crazy to represent my country worldwide like that with everyone watching,” he said.

Starting 2017 playing his first season with the Yale Hockey Academy Lions, the year took a quick turn for Cozens when his team’s season ended and he was called up to play for the Hurricanes during their playoff run.

The young player had a breakout post-season run with the team tallying eight points in 12 games including a huge goal in Game 7 of the second round to force overtime and sending the team to the Eastern Conference final.

So far this season, Cozens has 24 points in 28 games and is fifth in league rookie scoring, just five points behind the leader.

“I think it’s going really good for me,” he said of his season so far at the end of the calendar year. “My coaches have given me every chance to succeed. I’m really grateful for that and just really happy with how I’m playing.”

The Hurricanes are currently sitting just below .500 but second in the central division.

“Our team can be doing better than we are, we have the potential to be a really good team but I think we’ll pick that up soon,” Cozens said.

Getting a short break in the Yukon, Cozens spent time with family and was able to attend the Hockey Fights Cancer charity game Saturday between the All Out Hockey/Mustangs Alumni and the Whitehorse Huskies.

Cozens wasn’t able to play in the game in order to stay healthy for the continuing season in Lethbridge, but was able to share his medal and Team Canada jersey from the World U-17.

“I’m very happy to be representing this territory and people here and grateful for all the support I’ve received,” he said of the response and support he has been getting for his success.

With a game tonight, Cozens flew back to Alberta on Boxing Day, but his family will be spending some more time with him over the holidays and following him to Lethbridge for a game before going to Calgary to take in a game against the Calgary Hitmen Dec. 30 at the Saddledome.

Not looking too far ahead, Cozens said the dream has always been the NHL and he is working hard toward that goal.

Even though the 2019 NHL Draft is more than a year away, TSN scouts decided to take a look ahead and listed 19 players to look out for and who they believe will be high selections.

Chosen by TSN director of scouting Craig Button, Cozens was third on the list of names and Button cited his physical and hard-working game for why he thinks Cozens will continue to be successful in his WHL career.

“A hard-driving, skilled winger who has a burning desire to leave his imprint on the game from both a physical and a skill standpoint,” Button wrote in his November article. “As he continues to develop, the Lethbridge Hurricanes centre is going to be a nightmare for opposing defencemen.”

Aware of the list, Cozens said he tries not to think about it too much and is going to continue working hard and taking it day by day, just like those talented players left off the list of 19 names.

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