Dylan Cozens (6-foot-3, 180 pounds), No. 5 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver on June 21-22, has been writing a monthly diary this season for NHL.com leading up to the draft. The 18-year-old forward had 84 points (34 goals, 50 assists) in 68 regular-season games in his second season with Lethbridge of the Western Hockey League. He had eight points (four goals, four assists) in seven WHL playoff games. Cozens also had nine points (four goals, five assists) for Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Sweden (April 18-28).
Hello everyone. It's been a great experience here in Buffalo for the Scouting Combine.
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I flew into Toronto on Sunday and met up with a lot of the other Canadian kids and we all bused down to Buffalo together.
The interviews started Monday and I met with 12 teams. It was a little surreal getting to meet with all the teams and their GMs and their scouts. It shows how close the draft is. It's only a couple weeks away and it seemed so far.
I ate a little breakfast each morning but you're a little stressed out, so you can't get too much food down. It's a little nerve-racking walking into the room. Everyone's standing up, you're the only guy in there and everyone's looking at you and testing you and seeing how you react. You want to make a good impression. I think the biggest thing is be yourself and I think I was in those interviews.
The one I was most nervous was Detroit. (General manager) Steve Yzerman was in there, and seeing him and shaking his hand, that was awesome.
Meeting with every team's scouts and GMs and being in a room alone is a little intimidating, but you get comfortable after that first one, you settle in.
The testing started Friday with the Vo2 Max bike test. That was a little different, wasn't sure what to expect, wasn't sure how it would go down. The first bit was pretty easy and then it gets harder and you have to push and maintain a certain pace throughout. You go until you can't anymore. The mask you have to wear limits your breathing a little bit but not too bad.
Then came Saturday and all the rest of the tests. I had a little breakfast; I didn't want to eat too much, didn't want too much sitting inside my stomach. I walked in and it was a little more relaxed. I thought there'd be more people in here watching and stuff. It was pretty good.
Everyone always talks about the Wingate bike test, that's the toughest one. It's 30 seconds but it seems like forever. But it is only 30 seconds and you know you've got to just give it your all for 30 seconds. It was hard but it's not that long of a time. You've just got to grind it out.
It was good to have the testing done. Everyone was kind dreading the testing a little bit, just having the whole week leading up to it. In the back of your mind you're always thinking about that. Now that we're done it it's a good feeling.
Next for me is St. Louis and Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at Enterprise Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). I'll be going with Jack Hughes, Bowen Byram, Kirby Dach, Alex Turcotte and Dylan Cozens. I'm super-excited for it, just to go to a Stanley Cup Final game and be in that building, that energy that's in there, what we've seen so far is unbelievable. Just to be part of that atmosphere, hang out with the U.S. guys, that'll be awesome.
After that, I'm going back home to Whitehorse, working out and being with my family and enjoying time with them. After the draft it's going to be busy and we don't know what's going to happen yet. So it's just going back home and enjoying some time with my family.
Talk to you next time from Vancouver.
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