Welcome to the Los Angeles Kings Prospect Update, a weekly feature highlighting prospects in the Los Angeles Kings system.
The Kings currently own the league rights of 47 players outside of the NHL, including Professional players in Europe, Junior players and players in college. Click here to see the 2009-10 LA Kings Prospect Roster.
This week we are highlighting left winger Brandon Kozun. Kozun, who was selected by the Kings in the 6th round (179th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, currently plays for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL.
Through the first nine games of the season, Kozun has tallied three goals and 12 assists for 15 points and a +/- rating of plus-5. His 12 assists and 15 points lead the team in their respective categories.
"One of the main focuses with him was that we wanted him to get off to a great start to the season and we sent him back with that focus," said Nelson Emerson, Los Angeles Kings Director of Player Development.
This season marks the 19-year old Los Angeles native's fourth season with the Hitmen. Last season Kozun had his best year, tallying 40 goals and 68 assists for 108 points in 72 games.
During training camp this year Kozun played on a line with Brayden Schenn (Brandon Wheat Kings) and Kyle Clifford (Barrie Colts), a unit that appeared to develop a lot of chemistry on and off the ice.
"I think he was very comfortable playing with those guys because they're all Junior kids, and he probably had a little bit of a relationship with Schenn coming in," Emerson said. "He was pretty excited about that and I think it showed in his play. He looked real comfortable, he used his quickness, and that's one thing that he's obviously going to have to do all the time."
Emerson added that during the early part of training camp, Kozun looked confident in his play. Yet as the training camp wore on, and as the older, more experienced players began to play, that's when things changed.
"I think thats when things kind of he said, 'Ooo, things are a little different now,'" Emerson said. "I think that's a learning curve for all those young kids."
On the season, the Hitmen are 7-2-0 following a 6-3 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors this past Saturday. The Hitmen return to action this Saturday at home against the Saskatoon Blades.
"One of the good qualities for him is that he is on a very good hockey team up there in Calgary this year," Emerson said. "We're expecting big things from him and we're actually happy that he's off to a great start."