Interview – Brandon Kozun on challenges of physical game

Brandon Kozun (photo: Kasey Spatz)

For those who don’t follow Kings’ prospect Brandon Kozun on twitter, he’s a bit of a chirper. Supposedly, he’s also known as quite the prankster in Manchester – according to some of the other Monarchs players.

So, it seemed like a natural place to begin when talking to Kozun at this week’s Kings Development Camp.

On Martin Jones saying Kozun tried, but failed to get any of his pranks over on him because he’s ‘wittier’ – “I don’t know about that. Jonesy tends to to think that he’s smarter than everyone else.”

On Linden Vey succeeding him as the WHL scoring champion – “I congratulated the kid. He did a good job there. Good for him. Obviously if you put up that many points you’re going to have a lot of (skills) that can translate to the next level. He has a good work ethic and hopefully it works out for him.’

From there, things progressed into a series of more hockey-related questions…

On the overall camp experience and any differences compared to prior Kings camps – “It’s nice to come here and work with the developmental team and work on your game. We have one of the best staffs in the league and it’s nice to get a chance to access them…It’s similar (this year). It’s kinda one step above for the guys who have been here. There’s two groups and the guys who came before have done a little different stuff, a little bit of a higher pace, higher competition. It’s been good though. It’s fun to come out here and see yourself get better.”

On the challenges of physically matching up with larger, stronger players in the AHL – “I don’t think it was too big of a challenge, (or) I don’t think that was the biggest challenge for me. I adapted to that pretty quickly. The first couple of games it was a lot different. But, as you play against them you adapt to it and you get used to it. I didn’t exactly have too big of an issue with that.”

On the overall transition from junior hockey to the AHL – “I think it was a humbling experience for me. When I came in, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was always playing a ton. I double-shifted all the time in junior and I got all the opportunity in the world. Even if I made a mistake, I’d get thrown right back out there. Coming to pro, there are a lot of guys already there, and I kind of had to compete with them. You kind of have to pay your dues first before you can get those opportunities. I learned to take care of the puck, not force plays and play well in my own zone. After that, the offense came. I’ve always been an offensive player. As soon as I started playing a well-rounded game, I think everything started to click for me.”

Kozun’s improvement over the last year is something Coach Terry Murray agrees with. Earlier today I posted his thoughts on Kozun’s performance from camp, which can be accessed here if you missed the article.

Also, there’s more from Kozun in his exclusive pre-camp interview, linked below.

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Pre-camp interview with Brandon Kozun - “I’m ready for the NHL”

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Interview with WHL Scoring Champion Linden Vey

AHL Playoff Preview with with Martin Jones

Pre-camp interview with Jordan Weal

Pre-camp comments from JF Berube – QMJHL goalie

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