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NHL Draft

2019 Draft Diary: Dylan Cozens

Forward projected to be top-five NHL pick discusses team and personal goals down the stretch

by Dylan Cozens / Special to NHL.com

Dylan Cozens (6-foot-3, 181 pounds), No. 3 in NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings of North American skaters eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver on June 21-22, is writing a monthly diary this season for NHL.com leading up to the draft. The 18-year-old forward is in his second season with Lethbridge of the Western Hockey League. Winner of the Jim Piggott Memorial Trophy as the WHL Rookie of the Year last season, Cozens is second on the Hurricanes with 68 points (28 goals, 40 assists) in 57 games.

Hello hockey fans!

Our team has been able to stay really positive when things aren't going our way, and that's a good sign for the stretch run. We've been working really hard and have had some really great practices and when we have good practices it carries over into the games.

We've played some really good games where I think we've outplayed our opponents and outshot them by a lot and just couldn't get the win. As playoffs approach, we need to just focus on playing consistent.

I think the team is getting to that playoff-type consistency. We're not quite there yet but there's still 11 games left for us, so I think in those games we're just going to focus on playoffs and start to get into that mode.

We've shown flashes of it in some games where, all of a sudden, we have taken over the game completely and the other team hasn't been able to do anything. Now it's a matter of working on being able to do it for a full 60 minutes. Once we can do that, we'll be a really good team.

There's not too much down time this time of year. We've hung out as team a couple times, and we're a close group. During our bus trip to Cranbrook, British Columbia, to face Kootenay, our bus broke down. We were stuck for about an hour-and-a-half, but everyone just kind of hung out and talked to kill time. We eventually got there and won the game, 5-2 (on Feb. 18).

My roommate on the road is forward Noah Boyko, who is 16 years old. I knew him a bit before the season because he's in my agency camp in Montreal and we were roommates there, so we knew each other and are good friends, so it worked out well. 

Personally, I think I've been playing really well since the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Things weren't going my way for a little stretch there when I went into a scoring slump (no goals, six assists in ten games Jan. 26-Feb.16), but I was still getting and creating lots of chances. When that happens, you just can't worry about it too much and, instead, just keep playing knowing that things will work themselves out.

I want to continue to prove that I'm ready right from the opening face-off of every game. I want to be mentally focused every game; I always want to be in playoff-type mode. In playoff hockey, you can't really make mistakes. You have to focus and be ready to play a full 60 minutes.

Finally, I know there are a lot of mock drafts being released but I don't go out of my way to look for that stuff. Whenever it does come across my social media, and I see it, it's obviously nice to see what people think of me. But I can't really worry about that too much. All that matters is what happens on draft day. It all depends on what a particular team needs and what it's looking for, so you can't worry about those lists too much.

Until next month, thanks for reading.

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