Darryl Sutter on why the Kings didn’t call up Kozun

Kozun in training camp (photo: Ikiri)

Nearly every player who’s been in a game with him or against him has nothing but positive things to share when asked about Kings prospect Brandon Kozun. And much of that has been documented here on MayorsManor since he was taken by LA in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Draft.

After last year, his first as a pro – where he finished eighth among AHL rookies in scoring (23 goals, 25 assists) and tied for third in the league with six game winning goals – he’s among the Manchester Monarchs most productive players again this season.

When the Kings called up Dwight King and Jordan Nolan last week, Kozun’s numbers were better than Nolan’s and on par with King’s. Yet, he didn’t get the nod. Given his noted creativity and speed, something the Kings offense has been lacking at times, it was at least curious. So, I asked coach Darryl Sutter about it after practice today…

“You have a be a really dynamic player to play in the NHL when you’re a little player. You have to be really dynamic,” Sutter said of the 5-foot-8 right wing. “Those two kids who came in here now, they’re big guys who can skate. That’s what they are, right? When you’re a little guy, you better be really dynamic. How many of them are there? The only one who’s (not a star) that I can think of off the top of my head – and he was a dynamic player at the American League level – is the little guy playing in Montreal, David Desharnais (5-foot-7). I saw him in the American League and I thought, ‘He’s going to play,’ because he was dynamic. You can’t just be in and out. It’s a tough league to play in. The average weight of a defenseman in this league is 220, and they’re as fast as any players you have on your team. So, you have to be a pretty special player if you’re 40 or 50 or 60 pounds lighter than that.”

Even so, King still had praise for his frequent linemate in Manchester.

“Kozy’s starting to heat up. I was playing with him for about the last two months on a line with Linden Vey. They’re both small, skilled guys who use their quickness and their smarts out there. Kozun’s very quick and he’s a competitor too for his size. He wants the puck when he’s out there playing and he makes pretty good decisions with it.”

For the record, Vey is listed at 6-foot. He probably just seems small to King due to the three inch height difference and 50 pounds less on his frame.

Back to Kozun though, King confirmed the creative part of the kid’s game, noting that ‘wanting the puck’ doesn’t mean he just wants to be the guy to shoot it on net.

“That’s what makes him so effective. When he passes the puck and gets open for guys – obviously, when you have the puck all the time, everybody’s focused on you and it’s easier to check. But, when he uses his teammates and utilizes all the ice out there, it’s exciting to see and it’s exciting to play with him.”

For now, the Kings went with size and it’s been working. Nolan and King are both 6-foot-3 and each scored their first NHL goal in the Kings last game.

Can they continue to impress tomorrow night? Sutter hopes so.  However, perhaps nobody needs it more so than their center, Mike Richards. He’s scored one goal in the last 22 games…and none in his last 10. So, he could use some help from his rookie wingers.

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

RELATED ARTICLES:

Kozun puts the ball in the Kings court

Training Camp interview with Jordan Nolan

Rich Clune on Brandon Kozun – ‘He has a fire inside him’

Nolan, King up and Voynov, Stoll out for the Kings

Why Andrei Loktionov needs to be sent to Manchester

Loktionov talks Hextall, Kozun and other Kings prospects

Checking in with Linden Vey – his first pro goal

Kings coach Murray – ‘Kozun needs to work on his game’

Recent Articles

Berube Kings mask 2013

Details on new contract for Kings goaltender JF Berube

Fresh on the heels of new contracts for a pair of key prospects yesterday, defenseman Brayden McNabb and forward Andy Andreoff (full details here), the Kings have now inked goaltender J.F. Berube to a two-year deal. It’s a nice birthday present for the native of Repentigny, Quebec, who just celebrated his 23rd birthday a few [...]

Andreoff Kings Top Prospects 2013 MayorsManor

Details on new contracts for Andreoff and McNabb

Two names that most Kings fans probably aren’t that familiar with yet – but will be shortly – inked new deals with the club today. If you’ve been following along closely over the last six months, you’ll easily recall that MayorsManor has reported on numerous occasions that one of GM Dean Lombardi’s top priorities in [...]

Doughty Drew Kings

Adding Weight to the Doughty vs. Stamkos Debate

How to properly select players at the NHL Draft can easily become an endless debate. Should a team draft by position? Draft the best available player? Is size important? Dozens of other questions can enter the discussion, many without clear answers. At least one thing is clear though, evaluating a team’s success or failure at [...]

Recent Videos

Slash

VIDEO: Slash performs National Anthem for Game 3

No Pia Toscano? No problem. Legendary guitarist Slash - of Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, and Slash's Snakepit - performed the National Anthem at Staples Center prior to Game 3 of the Western Conference Final between … [Read More...]

Watch Other Recent Videos