Kings coach Murray on Toffoli, Kozun camp performance

Prospects, prospects, prospects.

They’re something the Los Angeles Kings have a plethora of now, after decades of trading away young players and draft picks for aging veterans.

For the last few years, GM Dean Lombardi has been stockpiling prospects with the hope they would someday fill holes in his roster – either by becoming NHL players (see Kyle Clifford, Jonathan Bernier, etc.) or by using them as assets to acquire key pieces (see Brayden Schenn, Colten Teubert, etc.).

When Rookie Camp opens in September, one of the stories expected to steal many of the headlines is what should be the hotly contested battle between Brandon Kozun and Tyler Toffoli.

Each are coming off impressive seasons and eager to make a jump to the next level. After Tuesday’s scrimmage, Kings Coach Terry Murray shared what he had observed from both players during the just completed Development Camp…

On Toffoli – “Big difference from last year. I’m seeing a player who has dedicated himself to getting in better shape. We see a guy who has a high-end skill level. He’s a big goal scorer, he won the scoring title in the Ontario Hockey League. Now, he’s playing the pace of the game for the 60 minutes and on both sides of the puck. He’s really working hard to do the right things without it, so he can get it back on a stick again and attack. I just like (his) commitment and dedication over the last year. Again, he’s starting to emerge. He’s starting to become a guy that’s going to be, hopefully, what you want him to be (with) the scoring and being able to play at the pro level, at the high pace.”

On Kozun – “I think there’s a big change in Brandon Kozun from last year at this time (too). You saw a little bit in these scrimmages last year (where) he was a speedster, running around hitting some speed bumps, falling down, getting up and doing it all over again. Now there’s more structure and purpose to where he’s going to go and how he’s going to get there. There’s more controlled speed. He still competes very hard. He takes some hits, but he dishes them out, as we saw here in the (second) scrimmage. That’s a year of pro under his belt and it’s heading in the right direction for him.”

More from Coach Murray later today, where he’ll evaluate the performance of some of the defense and goaltending prospects in camp.

In the meantime, if you missed what Kozun or Toffoli had to say just prior to camp, links to their exclusive MayorsManor pre-camp interviews are below.  Also listed are post-scrimmage comments from Kozun, Linden Vey and Joel Lowry.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Dev Camp Day One:  Post-scrimmage comments from Kozun, Vey, Lowry, etc.

Pre-camp interview with Tyler Toffoli – 2011 OHL Scoring Champion

Pre-camp interview wtih Brandon Kozun – says he’s ready for the NHL

Pre-camp interview with Jordan Weal – talking WHL, Manchester, Kings, etc.

Pre-camp comments from Kevin Gravel – talking USA hockey, Forbort, Kings, etc.

Pre-camp interview w/ Kings 2011 draft pick Michael Mersch – talking Shore, Forbort, etc.

Recent Articles

Parise Wild NHL

Puck Probability: Odds for Kings at Wild, November 26

Los Angeles and Minnesota have split the last six games played, with each side winning three. All but the first game in that set have been decided by just one goal. Further, there has been at least one shootout between the teams in each of the last four seasons. To keep that streak alive, they’ll [...]

Suter Wild NHL

Things You May Not Know: Kings-Wild Edition

Another road game for the LA Kings, which either means more doom and gloom, as they have a NHL-worst one win away from Staples Center, or it’s an opportunity to add to the left column. In the Wild, they’ll be taking on a team many expected to be much higher in the Western Conference standings. [...]

LA Kings MayorsManor

Video 1: 2014 Stanley Cup Moments – Adversity

Courtesy of Kings Vision, the first installment from their new 2014 Stanley Cup Moments series has been released…

Major News Items

Zykov NHL LA Kings

LA Kings 2014-15 Prospect Rankings: The Coveted Top 5

With the Honorable Mentions and Nos. 6-10 prospects previously revealed in other articles, we’re now prepared to share the final five players making up the latest edition of our L.A. Kings Top 10 Prospect Rankings. The … [Read More...]

More Prospect News