The Memorial Cup is underway and the Kings have three prospects participating in the annual event – forwards Brayden Schenn (Kings’ first round choice, 5th overall, 2009 draft) and Brandon Kozun
(Kings’ sixth round choice, 179th overall, 2009 draft), and goaltender Martin Jones
(signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on Oct. 2, 2008).
Brent McEwen, the Kings’ amateur scout in Western Canada, is attending the event in Brandon, Manitoba, and he recently answered the following questions from LAKings.com.LAKings.com:
For those hockey fans who are not familiar with the Memorial Cup, who do you define it? McEwen:
This tournament is the culmination of the year for Major Junior Hockey in Canada. The champions from the Quebec Major, Western and Ontario Leagues get together in the host city, which is Brandon this year, and the host team also participates which this year is the Wheat Kings. It is a real celebration – a celebration of the Junior Leagues and a celebration of hockey. A lot of people come into town for this and it is a real event. There are a lot of activities around the tournament, which is a solid 10 days of hockey, and there is a lot to enjoy here. It is a great event. LAKings.com:
What is your role there this year?McEwen:
It is important to have a presence here. You have players on each team who are draft eligible but we have seen them a lot and a lot of it is confirming what we have seen from them before. We have three of our players here and you get a chance to watch them play. Unfortunately Brandon Kozun
is hurt and he is isn’t playing right now after playing in the first game of the tournament. He only got a couple shifts and he is out for the rest of the tournament. Overall, it is a chance to see people, to visit, to chat with a player here or there. You might also get to visit with a player who lives here in the area. It is to be here and to be around with all the teams and all the Junior club management in addition to the games. LAKings.com:
What can you tell Kings fans about the development of Schenn?McEwen:
The biggest stride he has made is in the department of maturity. He is a year older and he is one year more experienced than when we drafted him. You can see the strengths in his game – the ability to make plays and he has a real competitive edge. You get to see him grow up and go through that maturation process that a kid goes through from their draft year. You also see it from the social perspective. LAKings.com:
And what about Jones?McEwen:
You get to see him complete another year and he was the top goaltender in the Western League this year. His growth from when we brought him to camp after being a non-drafted player and signing him has been tremendous. He has been a real consistent player for Calgary and he is one of the big reasons they are in this tournament. ABOUT BRENT McEWEN
Brent McEwen has been an amateur scout for the Kings since 2004. Prior to joining the Kings, McEwen enjoyed a varied background as a general manager, coach and teacher.
From 1997-2004, McEwen worked for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League, where he held the title of general manager, hockey and business operations. He also was active in the League where he was chairman of the team services committee; a member of the officiating and education committees; and alternate governor.
Prior to joining the Blades, McEwen spent four years in Europe. For one season he was the national team head coach for the Norwegian Ice Hockey Federation. In 1995-96, he was the head coach for Rogle BK of the Swedish Elite League, and prior to that he served for two seasons as the head coach for Vita Hasten of the Swedish Division 1 league.
Before joining the professional ranks, McEwen for 10 years worked at the University of Saskatchewan where his responsibilities included coaching the College Hockey Program; Development and Management of the Hockey School; and teaching.
A native of Whitewood, Saskatchewan, McEwen, 54, graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1983. He and his wife, Ellen, have two children: a son, Duncan, and a daughter, Kirsten. They reside in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.