As the 2018-19 season officially began yesterday, we begin to inch closer and closer to the 2019 NHL Entry Draft which will take place in Vancouver on June 21st and 22nd. Although there is already a general consensus that Jack Hughes will be taken with the first overall selection, many scouting sources and NHL analysts have different opinions on where players will fall following that. For now, I’ll be sticking with TSN Insider Bob McKenzie’s preseason rankings and breaking down who he has projected to be drafted second overall, Dylan Cozens.
Cozens, 17, is currently listed at 6’3″ and 185lbs, playing in the WHL for the Lethbridge Hurricanes for the past 3 seasons. After getting a taste of the WHL following his 2016-17 season at the Yale Hockey Academy Prep School, Cozens produced solid results in his first full season with the Hurricanes in 2017-18 netting 22 goals and 53 points in 57 games winning the WHL Eastern Conference Rookie of the Year. Along with this Cozens tallied 7 goals and 13 points in the Hurricanes playoff run before being eliminated in the Eastern Conference Final. This season Cozen has gotten off to an incredibly hot start leading the Hurricanes in goals and points notching 5 goals and 10 points in 4 games played. Although it’s unlikely Cozens keeps his two point per game pace, he should be able to break his career highs in goals and points set last year by time the 2019 season comes to an end.
Cozens has also shown his high level of skill on the international level. Cozens was a key piece in Canada capturing gold at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup this past August where Cozens scored 2 goals and 5 points in 5 games played. It’s likely that with his high draft stock heading into this year, Cozens should get a look for Canada’s roster for the World Junior Championships as well. You can check out Cozen’s full highlights from the tournament below:
Along with McKenzie having Cozens as his current second overall selection, Craig Button, TSN draft expert, had this to say regarding the 17 year old from Whitehorse, Yukon.
“In my view, Dylan is the second best player next to Jack Hughes,” said Craig Button. “He’s big, he’s strong, smart. He can do a lot of different things. He’s the whole package for me.”
Although nothing is for certain as the season has just began, Cozens is putting himself in an excellent position to not only just be drafted in the top 15 of the 2019 NHL Draft, but push to solidify his selection as the second overall choice.