Every season, scouts from Future Considerations spend countless hours gathering information on the next wave of NHL talent coming down the pipe. Future Considerations scout Donesh Mazloum is no different.
Here is Mazloum’s notebook from the CHL Top Prospects Game.
Dylan Cozens, C, Team Cherry (Lethbridge, WHL), 6-3, 180, DOB 2-9-2001
It is very hard to pick apart Cozens game as he does so many things well and tonight’s game was no different. He is well above average across all categories however it’s his skating that really stands out. Whether in tight spaces or open ice, Cozens always seems a step ahead of his peers at this level. He is incredibly rangy and uses his frame to maximize his stride extension. Add in an unstoppable motor and Cozens becomes a force on every shift. Rounding out his impressive toolbox is a lighting quick release. He was just off the mark a couple times in this game however it was clear he was picking spots and missing as opposed to firing wildly. Without the puck Cozens is a nice mixture of compete and composure. His enthusiasm is infectious and he has the ability to be the spark for his team as he never takes a shift off. Cozens has all the tools to be a top 5 pick in this year’s draft and combined with his character I have little doubt that he’ll have a successful NHL career.
Arthur Kaliyev, RW, Team Cherry (Hamilton, OHL), 6-2, 190, DOB 6-26-2001
Kaliyev had a thoroughly impressive showing during this game and really cemented himself as a first rounder in my eyes. Kaliyev’s bread and butter are his shot and goalscoring instincts and they were in full effect in this game as he buried two goals for Team Cherry. He plays very well off the puck and he was noticeably more effective in this game where he could play off his puck dominant linemates over the Hlinka Gretzky where he was asked to shoulder more of the possession load. He gets to dangerous areas with ease and has a soft touch around the net-front. While Kaliyev isn’t an overly creative player with the puck I think he’s an understated puck mover, especially when breaking out of his own zone. He shows excellent anticipation and awareness and had multiple one-touch passes to streaking teammates in this game. As a winger, his innate sense of the outlet is a valuable asset and keeps his team from being bogged down in the defensive zone. Overall, I’ve liked Kaliyev’s progression this season and I think he projects as a top 9 winger who complements the offensive game and brings a physical edge.
Artemi Kniazev, D, Team Orr (Chicoutimi, QMJHL), 5-11, 180, DOB 1-4-2001
This game was a showcase for what it looks like when Kniazev’s effort and consistency matches up with his skillset. On night’s like tonight it’s very easy to envision him as a solid two-way defenseman at the next level. His skating stands out as he is so smooth and compact in motion. There is very little wasted movement in his stride and his mechanics are picture perfect. His four-way mobility was on full display in his own end as he was consistently between his mark and the net-front no matter how shifty the attacker. I also noticed a marked improvement in the physical aspect of the game. While not a bruiser, there was a noticeable edge to his game and he used his sturdy frame to separate the opposition from the puck. With the puck, he makes sound decisions and moves the puck up ice quickly. He shows flashes of dynamism however the tougher the competition the less he seems to force the issue himself. I don’t expect big numbers as he moves to the pro ranks however he is an asset when it comes to keeping possession of the puck. If Kniazev can maintain the type of shift to shift consistency that he did in this game, he could develop into a solid middle pairing defender.