As a boy Cozens dreamed of one day playing in the NHL, growing his love for the game and sharpening his skills on a backyard rink. Day after day, he played on that rink until it was pitch black out and his father arrived to force him off.
There have been many great hockey players with similar origin stories. Where Cozens differs, however, is that he skated on that backyard pond all year round.
“It was always cold enough for me to have a backyard rink,” the native of Whitehorse, Yukon, told Sportsnet in a recent interview. “And that has really helped me get where I am today.”
When you get right down to it, Cozens isn’t like other big-time NHL prospects, and that’s because of where he’s from and what he’s had to do to get where he is today.
Currently playing for the WHL’s Hurricanes in Lethbridge, where Rogers Hometown Hockey makes a stop this Sunday, Cozens is set to become just the third player born in the Yukon to play in the NHL, according to Hockey Reference.
And not just play, but potentially star. He’s listed as the No. 3–ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, and poised to be a top-five pick in this coming June’s draft.