Cozens and Johnson eager to get to work with the Sabres

June 25, 2019 - 10:52 am

For the first time since the 2019 NHL Combine, both Dylan Cozens and Ryan Johnson are back in the city of Buffalo. This time, they will both be suiting up for the Buffalo Sabres this week at development camp at Harborcenter.

The Sabres took Cozens with the seventh overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft on Friday, and followed that by taking Johnson with the 31st overall pick of the first round. It is the first time since the 2013 NHL Draft where the Sabres had two selections in the first round of the draft.

The two first rounders met with the media for the first time in Buffalo since being drafted by the Sabres in Vancouver, and both are excited to get to work this week in their first development camp.

"It's definitely very exciting. My first NHL camp is something I've dreamed about for my whole life," Cozens said. "To finally be here is very exciting."

"It's been unbelievable. It's been really exciting, and I'm just grateful for this opportunity," said Johnson. "I'm just looking forward to the future."

When Cozens and Johnson arrived in town for the combine, they were primarily busy with the interview process in and around KeyBank Center, and never got a chance to experience the city or get an in-depth look into the inner workings of the Sabres organization. Now that they are officially Sabres property, it was time for them to get acclimated with their new home.

"Just getting a tour of the dressing room, being in the city and just walking around and people recognizing me; it's pretty cool," Cozens said. "It's definitely setting in that I'm starting to live my NHL dream."

Coming from Whitehorse, Yukon, Cozens is the first player from the Yukon Territory to ever be drafted in the first round of the NHL Draft. In all, just two NHL players have ever come out of the Yukon in Peter Sturgeon and Bryon Baltimore. They combined to play in just eight games total in the NHL.

Now that Cozens has been drafted by the Sabres, it has put the city of Buffalo on the map for many hockey fans in Whitehorse.

"Lots of people [are> saying how Buffalo just got 35,000 new fans," Cozens said. "Everyone is supporting, and [the Sabres are> going to be most of Whitehorse's new favorite team. It's pretty cool."

The 18-year-old left home at the age of 14 to go play his junior hockey in British Columbia, and found himself playing in the Western Hockey League with the Lethbridge Hurricanes just two years later. This past season with the Hurricanes, Cozens went on to have a stellar year with 34 goals and 84 points in 68 games played. He also had a strong outing for Team Canada at the IIHF Under-18 World Championship in Sweden, where he scored four goals and registered nine points in seven games.

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