Hockey phenom Dylan Cozens makes history in WHL draft

Whitehorse's Dylan Cozens had a better than average day at school on Thursday. The hockey player took time away from his scholastic pursuits to watch the Western Hockey League's bantam draft online.

Whitehorse’s Dylan Cozens had a better than average day at school on Thursday.

The hockey player took time away from his scholastic pursuits to watch the Western Hockey League’s bantam draft online. It didn’t take long for him to hear his name.

The Lethbridge Hurricanes picked up the 15-year-old in the first round.

“It’s obviously very exciting and I’m really happy,” said Cozens. “Seeing all those players I know go up, I just couldn’t wait for my name to be called. When I heard my name called I was really relieved … I was honestly expecting a little bit higher (than 18th), but that’s fine with me.”

Though slotted in as 19th selected overall, he was actually 18th since the Portland Winterhawks forfeited their ninth overall pick as penalty for a 2012 player-benefit violation.

Cozens is the first Yukon-born player ever to be selected first-round in the WHL bantam draft.

Just days after that exciting news, Cozens got some more. On Monday B.C. Hockey announced Cozens was among 40 players selected for a U-16 high performance camp this July in Shawnigan Lake. Cozens was one of four Yukon players invited to play at the B.C. Cup elite showcase last month in Salmon Arm and the only of the four invited to the final camp this summer. It will be another opportunity to perform in front of B.C. Hockey and Hockey Canada scouts and could lead to playing for the province or event the national team.

“I just have to keep training and become the best hockey player I can be,” said Cozens. “I’m going to try to go to the gym every day, shooting pucks and stick handling in the back yard, trying to get on the ice as much as I can.”

The six-foot, 150-pound forward was a team leader for the Delta Hockey Academy bantam prep team in B.C. this season. The winger finished the season second on the team in scoring with 31 points (19 goals and 12 assists) in 25 games. Cozens led his team in scoring in two premier western Canadian tournaments – the John Reid Memorial and the Pat Quinn Classic – this season with All-Star and MVP honours along the way. The Delta team lost in the semifinal of the Elite 15s division in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League.

As a first-round pick, Cozens could lace up for the Hurricanes before the end of the summer. He is eligible to play preseason games and up to five regular season games. He can also join the roster once his final U16 season is complete and after he turns 16 in February.

“So if they make the playoffs I could play for them,” said Cozens.

The Hurricanes are coming off the team’s most successful season in years. Lethbridge won 46 games, captured its first division title since 1997 and made the playoffs for the first time in seven years before losing to the Regina Pats in the first round.

“Dylan is a kid who has improved all year,” Hurricanes head scout Rob MacLachlan told media during the draft. “He skates as well as anyone in the draft and he’s a game-changer. I was telling our guys, he goes out to win the hockey games and leaves everything on the ice.

“In all the years I’ve done this, I think character is so huge when picking a player.”

If Dylan gets to play for the Hurricanes, he won’t be the first Cozens to do so. Dylan’s uncle Scott Cozens – one of the hosts on the television show Canadian Pickers – played several preseason games and one regular season game for the Calgary Wranglers in late ‘70s, before the team was moved and became the Hurricanes in 1987.

However, Dylan had a tough decision to make before putting his name in the hat at the WHL draft. In recent weeks the University of Denver offered him a full scholarship and he had to decide which route to take – major junior in the WHL or NCAA in Colorado.

“It was a really hard decision,” he said.

Dylan was on the Whitehorse Bantam Mustangs gold-winner rep team – the first ever from Yukon – at the B.C. Hockey Championships last year. He also played for Team Yukon at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George.

In September 2014, he all but carried the Canada Cowboys – an elite AAA squad from Alberta – at the Czech Challenger Cup in the Czech Republic. He finished the tournament with 19 points, including five goals in the final to propel the Cowboys to gold over a U.S. team.

“We are very excited for Dylan. He has worked hard to reach this goal but he knows this is only the beginning of a long road if he is going to achieve his dream (of playing in the NHL),” said Dylan’s mother Sue Bogle in an email to the News.

“He has had an excellent year at Delta hockey academy. It certainly was a hard decision as parents to let him go but we knew that for him and his personality it was a necessary step in his overall development. His two younger brothers sure miss him but they are also very proud of him!”

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Most Read