With the never-ending rumors of Jack Eichel’s eventual trade on top of the departures of several other core Sabres this summer, its fair to wonder who will fill the leadership vacuum in Buffalo. However, young standout Dylan Cozens is more than ready to take on that role. Appearing on WGR 550 in Buffalo, the 2019 seventh overall pick stated that he is confident in his ability to lead this next generation of Sabres. “I think definitely I could go out and be a leader on this team,” Cozens said. “Just by the way I play, leading by example and being a voice in the room. I think it’s something I’m ready to do. I want to lead by example and be a guy that guys can look to if they need anything or look to to inspire them. That’s what I’ve always been growing up – the guy that wants to lead and do things the right way.” Part of what makes Cozens a great candidate to lead Buffalo for years to come is an optimism that has been missing from other core members through a dark stretch for the franchise. “I think that we’re going to surprise a lot of people this year,” Cozens believes. “Everyone’s doubting us because we’re a young team, but if you look at the second half of last season, we were beating those veteran teams. So I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people and we’re going to have a good year.”
- The Detroit Red Wings are looking forward to prodigious defenseman Moritz Seider developing into a leader for their club in the future. Yet, he was nowhere to be found on the team’s roster for the upcoming Traverse City Prospects Tournament. However, Red Wings Director of Player Development Shawn Horcoff tells The Athletic’s Max Bultman that this is actually an endorsement of Seider’s position in the organization rather than an indictment. Although Seider has yet to see any NHL action, Detroit is so confident in his ability to make the roster this season that they did not feel they needed to use a roster spot on him in the development tournament. “With Moritz, he’s played two years of pro now – he spent a full year in Grand Rapids, spent a full year over in Europe playing,” Horcoff explained. “Frankly, there’s some younger players that we wanted to see on the (Traverse City Tournament) roster and we just wanted to make sure that Mo was ready to go for main camp.” Fear not, Wings fans; the team clearly has no concerns about their top prospect stepping into the NHL lineup and making an impact this year.
- The Ottawa Senators could face a difficult decision with young goaltender Mads Sogaard this season. As Bruce Garrioch details for the Ottawa Sun, the impressive prospect keeper could very well be in line for a roster spot at the Olympics for Team Denmark, making their first men’s hockey appearance at the Winter Games. Sogaard served as the team’s backup in qualifying tournaments this summer and while the those contests were played without presumptive starter, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Frederik Andersen, Sogaard is still likely to be the Danes’ first choice at third-string behind Andersen and qualifying starter Sebastian Dahm. The problem is that the AHL does not have an Olympic break like the NHL. While Ottawa’s players will have full flexibility to attend the Games if selected, Belleville’s may not. Garrioch points out that the farm team has ten games during the NHL’s Olympic break and, depending on how the organization’s goalie depth plays out this season, that could be a number of missed starts for Sogaard and a detriment to Belleville as well. The massive 6’7″ keeper had a strong first pro season last year and if fellow promising youngster Filip Gustavsson cracks the Ottawa roster, Sogaard could be the starter for Belleville. Will the Senators allow him to leave the team for an extended period in order to ride the bench for his country?