Our report card series continues today with the Sabres latest young, offensive stud Dylan Cozens.
Total Season Stats: 41 GP | 4 G | 9 A | 13 PTS
Contract Status: Under contract through 2023-24 (RFA)
This past season brought the much anticipated National Hockey League debut for the Buffalo Sabres latest top prospect, Dylan Cozens.
At the young age of 20 years old, Cozens stepped into the Sabres lineup and immediately showed a large amount of poise and was quickly able to show off his impressive on-ice hockey IQ.
Despite only scoring 13 points (four goals) in 41 games, Cozens was able to gain valuable experience at the NHL level.
Cozens did not push the Sabres offensive over the proverbial edge but when on the ice, the Sabres expected goals for per 60 minutes finished at 2.37. When Cozens was off the ice, Buffalo’s expected goals for per 60 minutes dropped to a 2.16.
The defensive side of Cozens’ game certainly still needs to develop, as indicated by Micah McCurdy’s charts over at HockeyViz.com
When Cozens was on the ice, Buffalo was expected to allow 2.89 goals per 60 minutes. With Cozens off the ice, those numbers fell to 2.46 expected goals per 60 minutes.
As pointed out by Die By The Blade and Expected Buffalo’s Anthony Sciandra, “Under Krueger, Cozens was posting negative RAPM impacts at both ends of the ice. As a young offensive centerman, he was being utilized in a defensive deployment ratio. That could work if the head coach allows said centerman to use his speed and transition ability to create chances off the counter-rush, but that simply wasn’t the case in Krueger’s system.”
Anthony went on to note, “now that the Sabres are running a more “high-event” style, Cozens can utilize his transitional tools and it has resulted in a steady increase in adjusted xG production.”
It certainly also helps when the young prospect already has a Hall of Fame-level nickname, the “Workhorse from Whitehorse”.
With that being mentioned, it should come as no surprise that fans fell even more in love with Cozens after a fight with Ryan Lindgren.
While Buffalo struggled as a whole, this past season appears to have been the best case scenario for Cozens and his overall development. The sky certainly is the limit for this 20-year old.
Season Grade: B+
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