Whitehorse’s Dylan Cozens has fast become a thorn in the side of goalies down south.
The winger is a force to be reckoned with on his new Delta Hockey Academy team, based out of Delta, B.C.
“I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s a lot of fun,” said Cozens. “My all-around play has benefited from being down here.”
In recent weeks Cozens has led the academy’s bantam prep squad to two tournament finals, burying more rubber than any other player.
This past weekend Delta made the final of the John Reid Memorial bantam AAA hockey tournament – western Canada’s premier bantam tournament – in St. Albert, Alta. They lost 4-1 to Abbotsford’s Yale Hockey Academy in the final.
Cozens led the tournament in scoring with 15 points (nine goals and six assists), was named a tournament All-Star and his team’s MVP in three games.
The six-foot, 150-pound forward pulled off a similar feat at the Pat Quinn Classic – another premier tourney – in Burnaby, B.C. end of December. There too he led the team in scoring with 12 points, helping the team reach the final where they lost 5-3 to Chicago Mission, the third-ranked AAA bantam team in the U.S.
No wonder the 14-year-old first-year player is already an assistant captain.
The Delta team is currently third out of six teams in the bantam prep division of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. After 15 regular season games Delta has 12 wins, two losses and one OT loss.
Cozens is leading the team in goals and is second in points – by one point – in league play with 12 goals and eight assists. He is also 12th in the league’s scoring leaders standings. In 14 games Cozens has given two hat trick performances, including a five-pointer versus Shawnigan Lake School in December.
The hard work and long days are clearly paying off.
“I’m waking up early every day,” said Cozens. “I wake up at like six o’clock, drive to school for an hour, do three classes, and for my fourth class it’s hockey … Mondays we do dry-land (training) as a team. I do other dry-land too.”
Cozens’ scoring prowess is far from secret. Last year he was ranked second in the Western Elite Hockey Prospects for 2001-born players, based on reports from WEHP and Western Hockey League scouts.
Already this season Cozens was called up to play major midget for Prince George, B.C.‘s Cariboo Cougars. In his two starts, Cozens logged a goal and assist.
This season’s achievements are simply the latest entries on an already impressive hockey resume.
He played forward for the Whitehorse Bantam Mustangs last season, the first Yukon team ever to win gold at the B.C. Hockey Championships, and 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.
The Delta bantam preps, who will start playoff play in March, also won a tournament in Chilliwack, B.C. at the start of the season.
“I’m getting along with everyone great. We’re all really close,” said Cozens.
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