BUFFALO – Following a strong showing in his first NHL training camp, the Sabres sent top draft pick Dylan Cozens back to the Lethbridge Hurricanes this morning.
Cozens, 18, impressed coach Ralph Krueger enough to earn three preseason appearances and last two weeks in camp, longer any junior-age player.
Based on Krueger’s words and the short minutes he played Saturday, it appeared the Yukon native would be returning to the Western Hockey League soon.
After injuring his left thumb during a development camp scrimmage and undergoing surgery in early July, Cozens’ status for rookie and training camp was uncertain.
But the seventh overall pick was cleared to play before the Prospects Challenge and showcased his talents throughout the tournament.
The 6-foot-3, 188-pound center stood out during Friday’s 3-0 loss in Toronto, displaying poise and smarts against the Maple Leafs.
In the Western Hockey League, where Cozens scored 34 and 84 points in 68 points last season, the Sabres probably expect him to be a dominant player.