Leafs’ camp invite Coskey makes most of rookie tournament chance

Saginaw forward will return to OHL for shot at career year

Cole Coskey could not be in a better position for the future if he had played his cards any other way.

The Saginaw Spirit forward put together 31 points in 66 games in his second year in the OHL, and with the departure of the offences’ first line he will surely be tallying up larger numbers than he has in the past.

Coskey was invited by the Toronto Maple Leafs to participate in the 2017 Rookie Tournament as a free agent unlike most of the others on the roster. He’s been granted a rare opportunity to showcase his talents alongside young studs attempting to reach the next stage.

“I’m learning a lot day by day,” said Coskey, standing outside the Marlies dressing room on Saturday after practice at Ricoh Coliseum. “Going to practices, following their steps. Just taking their experiences to hopefully get to the next level.”

Coskey knows he needs to make an impact whenever and wherever he’s on the ice, and that all starts with practice.

“Focus on the details,” said the young 18-year-old of his most eye opening experience this week. “If you get those details when it comes to the game, you’ll do well.”

His next chance will come Sunday afternoon vs. the Ottawa Senators.

Walking into the dressing room and being one of the three on the roster to not be drafted or signed to an AHL or NHL contract can be intimidating yet rewarding, he believes.

“There’s a lot of pressure. Being a selected guy is kind of a huge statement and I’m fortunate to be that guy.”

Following the tournament, Coskey will be heading back to Saginaw to start the 2017-18 season. With key players not returning he’s set up to have a career year.