Following a tremendous first season in the Western Hockey League, Hurricanes’ forward Dylan Cozens was named Western Hockey League (WHL) rookie of the year on Wednesday. Cozens picked up 53 points in 57 games this season and was a key contributor in getting the ‘Canes to the Eastern Conference final.
“It’s a pretty big honour and a huge accomplishment, I’m obviously really happy with it,” Cozens said. “It’s a pretty big award with lots of great players who could have won it, so I’m happy they chose me.”
The Whitehorse, Yukon, native is just the second ‘Canes player in franchise history to take home the award. Dating back to the 2000-2001 season, no other Hurricanes’ rookie has scored more points than Cozens did this year.
Usually, it takes players a while to acclimate to the league, but Cozens was doing special things as a 16-year-old last year in the post-season. He’s proven to be a clutch playoff performer for the Hurricanes collecting 21 points in 28 post-season games.
“I’m just looking at it as it’s the same hockey game,” Cozens said. “Everyone talks about the hype of playoffs, I just look at it the same way. You know, it’s not that much of a difference. It’s the same hockey game, the same rules, so I just look at it the same way.”
Cozens credits his teammates for his success this season and also believes the opportunities and ice time he received helped him have a big year.
As for his head coach, Brent Kisio, he appreciates Cozen’s work ethic and attitude.
“Dylan is a great kid and a good example of a humble star in the making,” Kisio said. “He just lets his game do the talking and even though he’s found a lot of success early in his career, you would never know it by the way he works off the ice. He is always focused on getting better. Just a kid who loves to play and loves to get better and wants to be the best.”
Hurricanes goalie Logan Flodell was also recognized at the WHL awards, finishing runner-up for WHL’s top goaltender.