Nick Cousins always enjoyed playing hockey, but during the 2012-13 season the rink also provided refuge for him.
Cousins, a 2011 third-round pick (No. 68) of the Philadelphia Flyers, threw himself into the game, and the payoff was a breakout season when he almost led the Ontario Hockey League in scoring.
"With all the off-ice issues it was tough mentally, emotionally, physically even," Cousins told NHL.com. "It was tough, but going to the rink every day, it was my escape from all that other stuff, all the other distractions. … It helped my game, and my play sort of shows with that."
Cousins and two teammates from the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds were arrested in August 2012 and charged with sexual assault. The charges were dropped in April 2013 when the prosecution asked that the charges be withdrawn, citing "no reasonable prospect of conviction."