Dylan Cozens assigned to Lethbridge

Dylan Cozens assigned to Lethbridge

The Buffalo Sabres assigned Whitehorse’s Dylan Cozens to the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL on Sept. 26 after the 18-year-old forward impressed many in the Sabres organization with his play in three preseason games.

Sabres general manager Jason Botterill made it clear to the media and the public from the time the club selected Cozens seventh overall in the NHL entry draft that he would be a longshot to make the club out of his first training camp.

Cozens returns to the Hurricanes, where he finished last season with 34 goals and 50 points in 68 regular season games.

Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger said Cozens has a bright future with the club, but isn’t ready for the 82-game grind of an NHL season.

“This decision today is about the development and the future of an outstanding young man and athlete,” said Krueger. “Dylan has been a joy to be around as a coach since the draft where I met him the first time. The way he dealt with the adversity of the injury to his hand – he could have easily slipped out of rookie camp with that, but no, he fought his way into that.”

Krueger added that while his first week at training camp was “tentative,” Cozens quickly adapted and showed improvement in his second week.

“We believe he goes away from here a better player than when we drafted him and we believe he’s going to come back and make a very hard push for being part of this team next year.”

(John Hopkins-Hill)

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