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LA Kings Right Wing Prospect Brandon Kozun Is Finally Growing Up

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04-18-2013, 10:24 AM
  #1
FrozenRoyalty
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LA Kings Right Wing Prospect Brandon Kozun Is Finally Growing Up

It's been almost four years since right wing Brandon Kozun was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round (179th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. At first, we all heard about what a great offensive player this young player from Los Angeles was, and that he just might have a chance to make it to the big show, despite his size. But after a season in the American Hockey League with the Manchester Monarchs, his stock began to drop, and he began to fade from the spotlight.

As it turned out, maturity and attitude were issues that created road blocks in his development. Has he turned the corner on that? Is his development back on track? You can read all about that in this story, based on a rather fascinating and refreshingly frank interview with Kozun.

LA Kings Right Wing Prospect Brandon Kozun Is Finally Growing Up

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04-18-2013, 10:51 AM
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Thanks! Good read on another one of the kids. I hope you can catch up with Forbort and Shore. Also, it'd be interesting to see what Deslauriers thinks of all the change on the D in Manchester following the end of the lockout and him likely climbing up the depth charts due to his better play. I expect we'll see him in LA next year for a cup of coffee.

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04-18-2013, 10:57 AM
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how long till he can sign elsewhere? Maybe he could be packaged with someone else as I agree that there is no room for him here. Would be nice to get something for him, but truthfully it would not be much.

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04-18-2013, 11:03 AM
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Another solid article and thanks for putting it up.

That said Kozun had dealt with his control (anger stupid an penalties etc) issues before the start of last season and was ready to go then. He was ready to go this season and will be ready to go next season. If we don't give him his shot I hope that we don't burry him in MCH until his contract runs out and then let him go to waivers.

Kozun is a solid 3rd liner with good hands. He is one of those players who can play in the NHL despite his size. I can't wait to see him make it regardless of where it is though I hope it is with us. Great character, solid person and a really fun player to watch.

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04-18-2013, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Tonellisghost View Post
Another solid article and thanks for putting it up.

That said Kozun had dealt with his control (anger stupid an penalties etc) issues before the start of last season and was ready to go then. He was ready to go this season and will be ready to go next season. If we don't give him his shot I hope that we don't burry him in MCH until his contract runs out and then let him go to waivers.

Kozun is a solid 3rd liner with good hands. He is one of those players who can play in the NHL despite his size. I can't wait to see him make it regardless of where it is though I hope it is with us. Great character, solid person and a really fun player to watch.
Based on what both Morris and Kozun told me, I disagree that he's ready.

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04-18-2013, 11:16 AM
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Sadly, he'll just be one of those players whose NHL career, if he even has one, with the Kings or any other organization, will be pretty unspectacular and forgettable.

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04-18-2013, 11:28 AM
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Sadly, he'll just be one of those players whose NHL career, if he even has one, with the Kings or any other organization, will be pretty unspectacular and forgettable.
Based on what? And are saying a Jared Aulin-type of unspectatular, or more like a Chad Larose, an NHL regular but not a regular top 6 guy?

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04-18-2013, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Tonellisghost View Post
Another solid article and thanks for putting it up.

That said Kozun had dealt with his control (anger stupid an penalties etc) issues before the start of last season and was ready to go then. He was ready to go this season and will be ready to go next season. If we don't give him his shot I hope that we don't burry him in MCH until his contract runs out and then let him go to waivers.

Kozun is a solid 3rd liner with good hands. He is one of those players who can play in the NHL despite his size. I can't wait to see him make it regardless of where it is though I hope it is with us. Great character, solid person and a really fun player to watch.
IF he were ready no way I would want him on a thrid line role. Third line needs to be defensive and big. Third line needs to be the line that is out when the facoff is in our own end so that the top line can play when it isn't.

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04-18-2013, 11:45 AM
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IF he were ready no way I would want him on a thrid line role. Third line needs to be defensive and big. Third line needs to be the line that is out when the facoff is in our own end so that the top line can play when it isn't.
This is from the days of the third line being the dedicated checking, or defensive line. Lines change all the time, and DS has shown a lot of faith in most players on this team to be out there in those situations. Frankly, as long as Stoll is out there for the draw, that's usually as far as DS goes in really worrying about the situation of a defensive draw (unless it's late in the game or at a critical point, when he may send out two or three centres). Guys like Lewis and Richardson have been on the 3rd line this season, and neither are big (granted, bigger than Kozun, but who isn't). It's not all about size.

Sometimes a little speed and jam on those checking assignments is big, getting to loose pucks quicker, getting out to the point quicker. If Kozun wants to make it in this league, he'll need to start on the 3rd line and I think he's capable, unlike you or the writer. A guy like Larose is a prime example.

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04-18-2013, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by kingsfan View Post
This is from the days of the third line being the dedicated checking, or defensive line. Lines change all the time, and DS has shown a lot of faith in most players on this team to be out there in those situations. Frankly, as long as Stoll is out there for the draw, that's usually as far as DS goes in really worrying about the situation of a defensive draw (unless it's late in the game or at a critical point, when he may send out two or three centres). Guys like Lewis and Richardson have been on the 3rd line this season, and neither are big (granted, bigger than Kozun, but who isn't). It's not all about size.

Sometimes a little speed and jam on those checking assignments is big, getting to loose pucks quicker, getting out to the point quicker. If Kozun wants to make it in this league, he'll need to start on the 3rd line and I think he's capable, unlike you or the writer. A guy like Larose is a prime example.
This^.

In addition with our teams overall size having one 5'9" inch (his actual measured size at the start of this season according to insurance doc is listed as 69.4 inches) on any line isn't a big deal at all.

Kozun is an agitator and plays a solid physical game along with his scoring prowess. He is a perfect third liner. What he lacks in size he makes up for in speed, positioning and tenacity. He doesn't get injured too often and plays with grit. He is ten times the player that King is in every way except size and like I said, size can be balanced by his line mates.

The game has changed from the old days where you needed to have 3 big heavies for your 3rd line. Your 3rd line today should be a mix of defencive capability and offencive potential seasoned with some grit.

LaRose is a great example KF. ( I think I just repeated what you said for the most part).

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04-18-2013, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Perro View Post
IF he were ready no way I would want him on a thrid line role. Third line needs to be defensive and big. Third line needs to be the line that is out when the facoff is in our own end so that the top line can play when it isn't.
I posted my opinion in my reply to KF but but I am wonder what you are basing your "IF" he were ready on?

He is ready and has been but we went with size in bringing up King over him. He is significantly better in every aspect of his game over King with the only exception being size and I am one of two or three posters who knew that King was as ready as he was going to be and advocated for him being brought up last season much to the dismay of most every other poster here.

Kozun is ready.

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04-18-2013, 12:09 PM
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How is Kozun on faceoffs & special teams? It would sure be nice to have a bottom-sixer who can also be a power play and/or PK specialist.

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04-18-2013, 12:34 PM
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Kozun is a guy I've become big on this year! He's just a fearless s.o.b. Kozun has never really been a guy who was afraid to go in the corners and battle for loose pucks. But, in previous seasons in Manchester he would just be pushed right off the puck. But, this season after he put some muscle on, he's been able to win the those battles and create scoring chances. He has been giving a 100% every single night. He's been a warrior this season. And I think that's why he was voted fan favorite. I know that's why I voted for him.

I think he will be effective NHL player. I'm not sure he'll be on the Kings just due to our depth. But, I hope he is. If he can bring that warrior mentality to the NHL. He'll quickly be a fan favorite in LA as well.

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04-18-2013, 01:13 PM
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He will get a shot with us next season.

Looking forward to his progression. He's proven himself in the farm league.

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04-18-2013, 01:21 PM
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Great article. Kozun is my top favorite.. I can't wait till he gets a shot with the big club. I'm crossing my fingers for the kid.

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04-18-2013, 02:12 PM
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Based on what both Morris and Kozun told me, I disagree that he's ready.
I did not get the impression that Kozun does not think he is ready for the NHL at all. The kid has produced consistently night in and night out down in Manchester for 3 years now. Everyone knows that Morris has had an AX to grind with Kozun ever since he showed up in Manchester.. Which is rather strange. Your article is slanted towards trying to portray this kid as some kind of arrogant selfish individual who doesn't get along with teammates, which obviously is just plain wrong. As your article points out, he lives with the enforcer of the team, who by definition is a good "character" guy. Every time I have met him, I have always gotten the impression that he's a good kid who is very easy to get along with. Point 1.

In addition, I think it must also be pointed out that Kozun has been a point producer while getting significantly less ice time than our so called "top-gunners." For most of the year Kozun has not even been on the first PP unit, and is still a top 20 scorer. I guess my point is that it is this poster's opinion that Kozun has been given somewhat of a raw deal. He's currently a plus player, been on the team for 3 years now,is never hurt, and play's bigger than his size. Kozun will be an impact NHL player with somebody. Whether it's with us, I doubt it. But the old-fashioned scouting eye test tells me he's a player. I wish your article focused more on the player's abilities and the positive attributes he brings to the table, instead of some superficial slam job article about how much he's "grown up." My two cents anyways.

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04-18-2013, 02:35 PM
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I did not get the impression that Kozun does not think he is ready for the NHL at all. The kid has produced consistently night in and night out down in Manchester for 3 years now. Everyone knows that Morris has had an AX to grind with Kozun ever since he showed up in Manchester.. Which is rather strange. Your article is slanted towards trying to portray this kid as some kind of arrogant selfish individual who doesn't get along with teammates, which obviously is just plain wrong. As your article points out, he lives with the enforcer of the team, who by definition is a good "character" guy. Every time I have met him, I have always gotten the impression that he's a good kid who is very easy to get along with. Point 1.



In addition, I think it must also be pointed out that Kozun has been a point producer while getting significantly less ice time than our so called "top-gunners." For most of the year Kozun has not even been on the first PP unit, and is still a top 20 scorer. I guess my point is that it is this poster's opinion that Kozun has been given somewhat of a raw deal. He's currently a plus player, been on the team for 3 years now,is never hurt, and play's bigger than his size. Kozun will be an impact NHL player with somebody. Whether it's with us, I doubt it. But the old-fashioned scouting eye test tells me he's a player. I wish your article focused more on the player's abilities and the positive attributes he brings to the table, instead of some superficial slam job article about how much he's "grown up." My two cents anyways.

I couldn't agree more.

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04-18-2013, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tonellisghost View Post
Another solid article and thanks for putting it up.

That said Kozun had dealt with his control (anger stupid an penalties etc) issues before the start of last season and was ready to go then. He was ready to go this season and will be ready to go next season. If we don't give him his shot I hope that we don't burry him in MCH until his contract runs out and then let him go to waivers.

Kozun is a solid 3rd liner with good hands. He is one of those players who can play in the NHL despite his size. I can't wait to see him make it regardless of where it is though I hope it is with us. Great character, solid person and a really fun player to watch.
sounds like a good future Trevor Lewis replacement

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04-18-2013, 02:55 PM
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Kozun was a buzzsaw when he was drafted. He was an incredibly fast skater and was all over the place.

Unfortunately, in the NHL, you have to have purpose with your actions, and Kozun's general style was not conducive to a system, where teammates have to count on knowing where you're going to be to succeed.

That's not an axe to grind. And success in the AHL is not automatically success in the NHL. It's not just Morris saying this. It's Hextall, Lombardi, and Sutter, when a collective group of players have been called up instead of Kozun.

The fact Kozun himself recognizes the importance of a system is important.

Hopefully he succeeds. He's an exciting player. But some aren't seeing the forest through the trees, in my opinion.

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04-18-2013, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tonellisghost View Post
I posted my opinion in my reply to KF but but I am wonder what you are basing your "IF" he were ready on?

He is ready and has been but we went with size in bringing up King over him. He is significantly better in every aspect of his game over King with the only exception being size and I am one of two or three posters who knew that King was as ready as he was going to be and advocated for him being brought up last season much to the dismay of most every other poster here.

Kozun is ready.
basing it on the article and the reponse by the OP above. Doesn't realy sounds like he is ready.

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04-18-2013, 03:05 PM
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This is from the days of the third line being the dedicated checking, or defensive line. Lines change all the time, and DS has shown a lot of faith in most players on this team to be out there in those situations. Frankly, as long as Stoll is out there for the draw, that's usually as far as DS goes in really worrying about the situation of a defensive draw (unless it's late in the game or at a critical point, when he may send out two or three centres). Guys like Lewis and Richardson have been on the 3rd line this season, and neither are big (granted, bigger than Kozun, but who isn't). It's not all about size.

Sometimes a little speed and jam on those checking assignments is big, getting to loose pucks quicker, getting out to the point quicker. If Kozun wants to make it in this league, he'll need to start on the 3rd line and I think he's capable, unlike you or the writer. A guy like Larose is a prime example.
I see what you are saying however than can you explain why Toffoli only pays on the Carter and Richards line when he is not watching from the presser. Seems like DS still still is conserned with this.
I don't think to play on the 3rd you have to be big, but i think you should be defensively responsable. Which going by the articlee Kozun has work do to..good thing is he realizes it.

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04-18-2013, 03:09 PM
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I did not get the impression that Kozun does not think he is ready for the NHL at all. The kid has produced consistently night in and night out down in Manchester for 3 years now. Everyone knows that Morris has had an AX to grind with Kozun ever since he showed up in Manchester.. Which is rather strange. Your article is slanted towards trying to portray this kid as some kind of arrogant selfish individual who doesn't get along with teammates, which obviously is just plain wrong. As your article points out, he lives with the enforcer of the team, who by definition is a good "character" guy. Every time I have met him, I have always gotten the impression that he's a good kid who is very easy to get along with. Point 1.

In addition, I think it must also be pointed out that Kozun has been a point producer while getting significantly less ice time than our so called "top-gunners." For most of the year Kozun has not even been on the first PP unit, and is still a top 20 scorer. I guess my point is that it is this poster's opinion that Kozun has been given somewhat of a raw deal. He's currently a plus player, been on the team for 3 years now,is never hurt, and play's bigger than his size. Kozun will be an impact NHL player with somebody. Whether it's with us, I doubt it. But the old-fashioned scouting eye test tells me he's a player. I wish your article focused more on the player's abilities and the positive attributes he brings to the table, instead of some superficial slam job article about how much he's "grown up." My two cents anyways.
I didn't get that at all. The only thing I really took exception to was the claim that it is top two lines or bust for Kozun as an NHLer.

Morris himself explained his 'AX to grind" with Morris, and it all boils down to attitude, something even Kozun admitted to in the article many times. He's worked on it and Morris has ackowledged that. The article doesn't seem slanted at all, other than to show Kozun as a kid who had a chip on his shoulder (and understandably so) when he arrived in Manchester three years ago, and now has learned that he can success without that chip, a maturation essentially of Kozun. Pointing out how much a player has matured is not a slam job. It's a positive thing which should be applauded, and rightfully so. DL has always been about character and dedication, and the fact that Kozun has worked hard on becoming a two-way, all-zones guy (something even he acknowledges he needed to do) is a sign of him becoming a King down the road, not an attack on him as a player, nor as a person.

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04-18-2013, 03:12 PM
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Based on what both Morris and Kozun told me, I disagree that he's ready.
BK has yet to tell me that he didn't feel he was ready to play in the NHL, maybe he was being diplomatic for the interview?

As for what Morris has said (based on what you have written) I guess you could take it a couple of ways. Either way I stand by my opinion as Morris said the same thing about A Mart (and a couple of other players along the way) before he was called up and he has been proven wrong then.

I guess I would say that Kozun is as ready to come up as King or Clifford were when they did (though different circumstances).

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04-18-2013, 03:18 PM
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basing it on the article and the reponse by the OP above. Doesn't realy sounds like he is ready.
Fair enough though I would recommend always that you base your opinions on your personal observations especially with regards to prospects at least partly. Up to you though, in this case like many others if Kozun were called up I believe that I would once again be proven right on where he is in his developmental curve. Its a process.

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04-18-2013, 03:22 PM
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I see what you are saying however than can you explain why Toffoli only pays on the Carter and Richards line when he is not watching from the presser. Seems like DS still still is conserned with this.
I don't think to play on the 3rd you have to be big, but i think you should be defensively responsable. Which going by the articlee Kozun has work do to..good thing is he realizes it.
Well firstly, Toffoli isn't Kozun, and theya re two different types of players. Usually he gets into the line up when Penner is out, and where does Penner play? With Carter and Richards often, so likely DS doesn't want to juggle the other lines.

Secondly, I was also referring to regular NHLers, which Toffoli isn't. When Toffoli gets to be a regular next year, I wouldn't be surprised to see him spending some time on the 3rd line unless his game is just so advanced that he can hold his own on a scoring line, which we could use since Penner is likely gone after the season.

A third factor to consider is that Toffoli is a prospect of the likes we haven't seen in a forward in years. A kid who can score goals like crazy. When was the last time we had a kid who could slide into the line up (whether from Europe or from Manchester) and look excellent immediately on the top two lines for an extended period of time (not for a game or two)? Kopitar? That's years ago. Toffoli is a rare treat.

Most of our prospects who have or who will be getting a recall will play largely on the 3rd or 4th lines. That will happen with Kozun, Vey, Pearson, etc. It's a combination of two things; number one, our top two lines are pretty much set, especially if we can lock up Brown long-term and Toffoli cements that 2nd line winger slot. Number two, third and fourth line gives players more sheltered minutes, and against lighter checking players. Odds are they won't get overwhelmed playing constantly against the other teams best players, outside of a few occassions.

Honestly, it's the smart way to bring up kids, let them play where they can succeed, in limited dosages. Really, that's what the Kings are doing this year with Toffoli, letting him play at times, but also making him eat popcorn in the pressbox with Richardson too. He's not being overwhelmed and will be acclimatized a bit better should he have to play in the playoffs due to an injury.

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