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Cobalt Burns - Prospect Scouting Report


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          As former Hobey Baker winner Cobalt Burns progresses with his VHLM career as a member of the Las Vegas Aces, we decided to take a look at his game from a scouting standpoint, and assess the strengths and weaknesses of how he plays.




Burns has always been renowned for his powerful and explosive skating. As a kid, he loved running, and was a track and cross country star in his early school days. As a result, he's had legs like tree trunks since he was fifteen, and is super hard to knock off the puck. His flat out speed isn't necessarily impressive, although he can always keep up. He is able to take a few steps to the inside and then explode around the outside of a defender on a rush, often cradling the puck behind the net before making a play. 


His puck handling is also something that you don't see every day. It's one of the aspects of his game that he has ironed out in the last few years. As a minor hockey player, he was known as a 'speedster with hands of stone'. Luckily, he developed soft hands as he became a superstar at Cornell. His shot, however, has been an important part of his game. In a hockey family, the youngest child always has access to all the resources the older children discovered on their journey, so Coby was brought up taking shots every day in his basement with his older siblings Callum and Cailey. His wrist shot is NHL caliber, and he became comfortable taking one timers on the power play as he earned more ice time with the Big Red. 


His hockey sense might just be his calling card, though. The Burns family have always been Montreal Canadiens fans, so Cobalt has had the likes of Alexei Kovalev and more recently Nick Suzuki to look up to. His passing has never been in doubt, and his skating and deception allows him to create space for himself and his teammates, with which he consistently uses to beat defenders and make plays. Giving Burns any space within 10 feet of the net is often a fatal mistake, as his wrist shot and royal road passing are both quite polished.




While undoubtedly a smart player, Burns is known to have a bit of a temper. He is usually calm and collected, but if he is provoked, usually by a dirty hit on a teammate or his goalie, he can stop thinking clearly and deliver a punishment to the opposing player. Some coaches have praised him for his aggressiveness, but his coach at Cornell berated him each time he lashed out and it has gotten better.


Even though Coby has put on some serious weight in the last few years, at 185 pounds, he isn't a physically dominant player. His puck protection is strong, but he sometimes fails to finish his check and is regularly subject to crushing hits. He makes it his goal to never get muscled off the puck, and he achieves this by getting super low to the ice. The thing that bothers him the most is that unlike Brendan Gallagher, one of his hockey heroes, he struggles mightily while screening in front of the net, and buckles easily to the cross checks and slashes in front of the crease.


As previously mentioned, Burns is a great skater when you take into account speed and explosiveness. But one thing that has hindered his movement in tight space is his transition skating. Unlike his brother, Callum, who is a defenceman, Coby focused on his shooting and puck handling with free time on the ice, instead of transition skating. He is a little rough when moving laterally, and smooth isn't exactly a way to describe his pivoting. Nevertheless, he has been working tirelessly with skating coaches at improving this aspect of his game and becoming a more complete player.


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