Prospect Brandon Kozun puts the ball in the Kings court

Sometimes the NHL Draft can be a bit confusing for the casual observer.

Jordan Eberle was drafted in the first round by the Edmonton Oilers back in 2008. The following year, the Kings took Brandon Kozun in the sixth round.

At the end of the 2009-10 season, Kozun had 107 points and beat out Eberle for the WHL scoring title.

Since then, Eberle has played 69 games in the NHL. Meanwhile, Kozun proclaimed ‘I’m ready for the NHL‘ earlier this summer.

At the very least, he’ll most likely be playing an NHL pre-season game on Wednesday night against the Phoenix Coyotes.

“I have him penciled in for an exhibition game,” said Kings head coach Terry Murray. “I like the way he played (in the Rookie Games last week, ironically against Phoenix). He made some huge plays in the offensive part of the games, setting up the winning goals and scoring goals on the power play himself. That’s what he needs to do. He’s put up big numbers in junior and we’re looking for that to carry over to the pro side of it.”

Kozun also believes he put his best foot forward last week.

“In Rookie Camp, I think I pretty much did everything I could. I kind of put the ball in their court a little bit,” said Kozun. “On the other hand, it’s only Rookie Camp. I have to be able to prove to them that I can play against the big boys and not just guys my own age.”

Speaking of players older than him – how about the fact the Kings brought in NHL veteran Trent Hunter. Even though he’s here on a try-out contract, is it a little frustrating to have another body standing in his way of one of those coveted right wing spots on the Kings roster?

“I don’t know if it’s frustrating. He’s here to earn a job, just like I am. He’s trying to earn a living playing hockey. It’s a healthy competition and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Kozun, listed at 5-foot-9 and weighing 165 pounds right now, he was in Manchester last season – where he was the AHL Rookie of the Month for February.  He played with the Calgary Hitmen in junior hockey, where goalie Martin Jones was his teammate.

Currently, Kozun is listed as the number four overall prospect in the Kings organization (full MayorsManor rankings can be found here)
Taking nothing away from those junior numbers, just keep this in mind…

Brad Richardson scored more points than Bobby Ryan during the 2004-05 OHL season – both, more goals (41 to 37) and more assists (56 to 52).

Yes, that Brad Richardson and yes, Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan.

Doubt that will ever happen again.

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RELATED ARTICLES:

Kings coach Terry Murray on Kozun, Toffoli camp performances

Pre-camp interview with Kozun, including his bucket list

Interview – Brandon Kozun on the challenges of physical game

  

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