Dylan Cozens’ parents couldn’t be more proud of their son as the former Lethbridge Hurricanes captain continues to impress both on and off the ice at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton.
Mike and Sue Cozens are cheering on Team Canada from their 19-year-old son’s childhood home.
It’s where his dad built an outdoor rink to help him practice the game he loves and where he returns home whenever he can.
“We’re quite content to watch at home in Whitehorse” dad Mike Cozens told CTV News.
COVID-19 has made traveling to watch Dylan play at this year’s tournament impossible. “Obviously it would have been amazing to be in Edmonton but the world is a different place and it’s impacted everyone in so many ways,” said mom Sue Cozens.
“We just feel really lucky that Dylan gets to be a part of this and we get to watch him and Team Canada participate in such a great event.”
Last year, the proud parents were in Ostrava, Czech Republic to watch as Dylan helped Team Canada win gold. “We’re just as stressed,” said Mike about watching on television this year.
Cozens is having a standout tournament.
Through the first five games, he notched seven goals and six assists and leads Canada in scoring. Combined with 22 points from the 2020 and 2021 tournament, that puts him in sixth place all-time for Canada, ahead of John Tavares (20) and behind Jason Allison (24.)
Cozens has also stepped up in a leadership capacity after captain Kirby Dach was forced out with an injury.
“It’s so great to see. It’s the thing we enjoy the most in watching this,” said Mike.
“It doesn’t seem that long ago he was a little guy skating on our backyard rink,” said Sue.
“It is amazing to watch him on the screen even more so being interviewed than playing hockey. It’s wonderful and makes us so proud.”
While Cozens' focus is on helping Team Canada win gold, it will soon shift to the upcoming NHL season.
He’s planning to head straight to Buffalo following the tournament, where he’ll be looking to earn a spot on the Sabres roster.
Cozens was drafted seventh overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. He’ll join the Sabres for their second inter-squad game Jan 9.
While Lethbridge fans may have seen the last of Cozens in a Hurricanes jersey, he’s certainly poised to have a big impact in the hockey world for years to come.
His parents say they’ll never be able to say thank you to the people that helped him along the way.
“Lethbridge has become a second home to Dylan and in some way to us,” said Sue. “We are really close to his billet family and we can’t thank them enough and we can’t thank the Lethbridge Hurricanes organization enough. It’s been such a great place for Dylan and his development. We’re so glad he got drafted and spent his junior hockey years there because it’s just been terrific.”
Mike called the Hurricanes an organization with "a lot of class and integrity.”
"And a massive role in Dylan’s development and the opportunities he’s got now so we’re very, very appreciative," he said.