It’s fair to say that Brandon Kozun’s career is going in the right direction, Undrafted in his first year of eligibility (2008), Kozun was a sixth-round pick of the Kings last year, then went on to lead the Western Hockey League in scoring with 107 points. Kozun was part of the Canadian World Junior team that won a silver medal and seems to be showing people that his lack of size — he’s listed at 5-foot-9 — shouldn’t be considered a negative. How Kozun’s game will translate to pro hockey remains to be seen, and he was not on the ice Wednesday due to a high ankle sprain that he suffered before the Memorial Cup, but I caught up with Kozun today…
Question: It seemed to be a strong year for you, all around. How pleased are you with the way things developed?
KOZUN: “Obviously I’m pretty happy with the way the year went individually. There are things I would have liked to have done, like if our Canada team would have won the (world-junior) gold, and winning the Memorial Cup would have been nice, but at the end of the day, not many people even get the opportunity to play in games like that, so you’ve got to consider the year a success and you’ve got to go with it.”
Question: On a personal level, are you pleased with the progress you made?
KOZUN: “Yeah, I think so. I improved my points per game from the previous year, and had more of a leadership role on my team. Any time you have a better year than the last, I think you’re developing well.”
Question: As you go through different levels, do you get a sense for how your game might translate at the pro level?
KOZUN: “Personally, I think that I’m going to play the same kind of role. I think this team drafted me for a reason and they signed me for a reason as well. They know what I bring to the table, and I’m going to play my game.”
Question: The more you play, and the more success that you have, do you find that you’re getting more respect in the hockey world?
KOZUN: “Well, it definitely hasn’t been easy my whole life. Definitely there has been a lot of doubters out there. I’ve proved a few wrong, but obviously there are still a lot left. It’s going to be a battle, but it has been like that my whole life. I’m used to it, and that kind of stuff just motivates me to get better.”
Question: Anything in particular in your game that you’re working on this summer?
KOZUN: “I think it’s just a matter of getting comfortable and making sure I play my game. I think I can’t get away from that. I know what they want out of me, and I just have to show that.”