It’s a good thing Kirby Dach and Dylan Cozens were born 19 days and more than 1,200 miles apart in 2001. Because if they’d been born in the same hospital at the same time, there’s a chance they might’ve been separated at birth. More than 18 years later, NHL teams looking for the top forward in the 2019 draft not named Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko will have a compelling choice between two tantalizing prospects who are almost carbon copies of one another, both of whom can create offense and have a high compete level. They will choose between one prospect (Dach) who grew up and played his hockey just outside Edmonton and developed his skills with some of the best players in Western Canada, and another (Cozens) who grew up in Canada’s far north. So it should come as no surprise that Dach is the ...
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The second-best player in the 2019 draft has No. 1 upside, and Kaapo Kakko is ready to step in right away and start scoring.
His American bloodlines gave him the talent, the Canadian outdoors gave him the passion, and his internal motor gave him the drive. Along the way, all he’s done is obliterate the records of previous phenoms and turn the heads of every salivating big-league bird dog. It appears the hockey gods have some sympathy for the Devils after all.
Ten years after the introduction of the American Development Model, the fruits of that initiative are paying off.