“Kimelman: An outstanding skater for a player his size, Cozens plays a complete game with vision and playmaking ability.
Morreale: When using his speed and attacking, Cozens is very difficult to contain. He’s a fantastic skater, tough in all areas of the ice.
Lepage: The 18-year-old (6-3, 180) is one of the fastest and most threatening forwards in this year’s draft class.”
The combination of size, skating, and shooting from Cozens doesn’t come around a ton. As a righty, that adds even more value to an intriguing overall collection of skills. What’s really crazy about Cozens when I watch him is that he’s still so wiry. His frame is large enough he could legitimately add another 20 pounds or so onto his body. Doing that would make an already-lethal shot absolutely brutal to deal with for opposing goalies.
He also understands he’s larger than your average bear and has no issues physically imposing his will on the opposition. I love that he’s consistently engaged in games from beginning to end and that he understands who he is and what he does well and simply seeks to repeat those skills as often as possible. There’s absolutely a ton to like in Cozens and I think he’s among the cleanest prospects in this year’s pool.
However…I don’t really see true high-end skill there very often. With a guy like Kirby Dach, you see plenty of stretches of dominance that you can dream on him at the next level. With Cozens, I don’t really ever see him take over games or even shifts. At the U-18s, he very much looked like the third-most talented player on his line next to Krebs and Newhook. What Cozens does will absolutely translate moving forward. The question is are you getting a 30-goal scorer who will give you physical two-way play and 65 points or more of a Micheal Ferland type where he scores 20 for you and helps in lots of areas but isn’t more of a complementary player than core player. That’s my hesitation with Cozens.
Purely as a style fit, Cozens might be the forward Colorado needs the most. If the Avs had the 8th pick or so, Cozens would be an easy slam dunk choice for them. At 4, however, I’m simply not comfortable taking a chance on what I perceive as a more limited upside player just for the sake of saying you filled a “need.” Their biggest need at four is the best player. I don’t think Cozens will be that at that spot so I don’t love it. If he somehow tumbles out of the top 10, Colorado would certainly look at getting aggressive to move up from 16 to snag him. That I would love. But not at 4.
Ranked #5 by TSN/McKenzie
Ranked #5 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #8 by HOCKEYPROSPECT.COM