For those new to the blog, or just might not have seen it a couple months ago, I did a feature on Jake Muzzin, going into his backstory and how he became a member of the Kings’ organization. Now that Muzzin has essentially made the roster, I figured I would dust off the feature and give everyone an opportunity to read it by clicking here.
Muzzin, 21, got the good news by default this morning when he learned that Thomas Hickey had been sent to Manchester. With only seven healthy defensemen left in camp, and Terry Murray’s declaration that he wants to start the season with seven defensemen, Muzzin has made the team, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Muzzin would make his NHL debut a week from tomorrow when the Kings play at Vancouver. Here are Muzzin’s thoughts from today, post-pracitce…
Question: What were your thoughts this morning when you heard the news?
MUZZIN: “It was a little bit of a surprise this morning. I thought me and Hicks would both make the trip to Vegas, but I’ve just got to continue working on my game, continue to listening to the older guys and the coaches and continue building.”
Question: Everyone’s goal, at the start of camp, is to make the NHL roster, but was there a point in camp when you really felt it starting to become realistic for you?
MUZZIN: “Yeah. It started in rookie camp. I know I didn’t play my best, but I was getting more comfortable with everyone and with the systems, and then I carried that on to the exhibition game with the big guys. I thought I felt good on the ice and performed well. So it was a combination of both, coming in, and I feel pretty good right now.”
Question: It’s still training camp, of course, but have the coaches had any particular message to you, or talked about their expectations at all?
MUZZIN: “No, just to continue building, to continue playing with confidence, moving the feet, moving the puck. Just positive feedback coming back, for me to continue with what I’m doing and getting better as well.”
Question: With you making the jump from junior hockey, have you been surprised by anything at the pro level, in terms of the speed or the level of competition?
MUZZIN: “The level of speed, guys being in position and lots of talk makes the game easier. Playing against Anaheim the other night, the guys were a lot bigger out there and they move the puck quicker, so you’ve got to be ready out there. Your own teammates help you out a lot, which makes it a little easier on you.”