The Buffalo Sabres can’t catch a break. After undergoing surgery on an injured left thumb earlier this week, Dylan Cozens has been given a two to three month recovery timeline. That means the young prospect could potentially be out until early October, missing the team’s entire training camp and a chance to show he’s ready for the NHL right away. Cozens was the Sabres first selection in last month’s draft, picked seventh overall.
Still just 18, Cozens is one of a handful of players from the 2019 draft that were expected to compete for NHL jobs this season. Though he has played just two seasons of CHL hockey, Cozens already has the frame and speed to compete at a higher level. He has shown his ability to dominate the WHL already with an 84-point season in 2018-19, but may end up back there to continue to develop his all-around game.
One thing this does mean is that Cozens will no longer be able to participate in Hockey Canada’s development camp and Summer Showcase later this month. That doesn’t at all mean he wouldn’t be able to make the World Junior squad in December though, as Cozens is a near lock if he is in the CHL or Buffalo allows him to go.