Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Dylan Cozens has made it official with the Buffalo Sabres, signing a three-year, entry-level contract Monday.
The Sabres selected Cozens with the seventh-overall selection at the 2019 NHL Draft last month, one of seven Western Hockey League players taken in the first round and 28 overall at this year’s draft.
“I got a good vibe from them,” Cozens said of the Sabres following his selection in June. “I just felt like they liked me as a player and I was one of the guys on their radar.”
A 6-foot-3, 185-pound product of Whitehorse, Yukon, Cozens’ dynamic offensive skills have been on display since he made his WHL debut as a 15-year-old. Last season, he led all players in scoring in a Hurricanes’ uniform with 84 points (34G-50A) in 68 games, including eight power-play goals, one short-handed goal, and four game-winning goals. He was tied for the fifth-longest point streak in the WHL during the regular season, accumulating 23 points (7G-16A) in 15 games from Feb. 9-March 15, 2019.
Cozens previously played for the Delta Hockey Academy and Yale Hockey Academy in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) and was selected 19th overall by the Hurricanes at the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.
He then made his WHL debut November 13, 2016 scoring his first-career goal against future teammate Logan Flodell, then of the Saskatoon Blades. In 2017, Cozens joined the Hurricanes for the WHL Playoffs, posting eight points (3G-5A) in 12 games.
The first player from the Yukon to be selected in the first round of the NHL Draft, Cozens continued to fly the flag proudly for his home territory.
“It means so much,” Cozens said. “I’m just so proud to represent the Yukon and I’m so happy to be from there.”
Cozens has become an integral part of the Hurricanes’ lineup and one of the top forwards in the league. In the 2017-18 WHL Regular Season, Cozens finished second in rookie scoring with 53 points (22G-31A) in 57 games. He led all WHL rookies in goals with 22. Cozens’ performance saw him subsequently named the recipient of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as WHL Rookie of the Year at the 2018 WHL Awards.
To date, Cozens has appeared in 128 regular season games in the WHL, recording 138 points (57G-81A), including 17 power-play goals, two short-handed goals, and eight game-winning goals. He’s also appeared in 35 WHL playoff games, posting 29 points (14G-15A), including three power-play goals and one short-handed goal.