March 8, 1990 |
Los Angeles, CA, USA
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Weight||162 lb (73 kg; 11 st 8 lb)|
|NHL team||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|NHL Draft||179th overall, 2009
Los Angeles Kings
Brandon Scott Kozun (born March 8, 1990) is an American-born Canadian professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was a drafted in the sixth round, 179th overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings. He scored his first NHL career goal on February 20, 2015, against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Kozun played junior hockey for the Calgary Hitmen, and won both the Western Hockey League (WHL) and Canadian Hockey League (CHL) scoring titles in 2009–10 as the Hitmen won the WHL championship. Although he was born in the United States, Kozun represents Canada internationally, and was a member of the Canadian junior team that won a silver medal at the 2010 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
Kozun was born March 8, 1990, in Los Angeles, California. His father, Michael, is American, while his mother, Donna, was born in Canada. He has two elder brothers, Johnathan and Christopher. Following the lead of his brothers, Kozun began playing hockey in 1993 at the age of three; the same time the Los Angeles Kings reached the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time, leading to an increase in popularity in the sport. His first coach was Mike Barnett, the agent of Kings' star Wayne Gretzky. His family moved to Calgary, Alberta, when he was around ten years old. He continued playing, first with the Blackfoot then Midnapore minor hockey associations in Calgary before attending Shattuck-Saint Mary's in Faribault, Minnesota, in 2005–06.
Kozun began his junior career with the Calgary Royals of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) in 2006–07. He also appeared in 11 games with the Calgary Hitmen, scoring one goal. Kozun moved up to the Western Hockey League (WHL) full-time in 2007–08 as he recorded 19 goals and 53 points in 67 games for the Hitmen. He improved to 108 points in 2008–09, second in the League behind Casey Pierro-Zabotel's 115, and was named a First-Team All-Star by the WHL. His season also earned the attention of scouts.
The diminutive forward relies on his speed and skating ability and was praised by Hitmen Head Coach Mike Williamson for his competitive nature and willing to play any role the team asks of him. Williamson added that his sense of anticipation allows Kozun to see plays on the ice develop before they happen, stating it to be a trait found in elite athletes. His small size, standing 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m), initially led WHL teams to overlook him, as well as NHL scouts who argued he was too small for the NHL. He was left unranked by NHL Central Scouting in his first year of draft eligibility in 2008, and went undrafted that year. Following his 108-point season with the Hitmen, the Los Angeles Kings selected Kozun with their sixth-round pick, 179th overall, at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Kozun led the WHL in scoring in 2009–10, scoring 13 points in his final five games to finish with 107 points to win the Bob Clarke Trophy.
In his home debut for the Monarchs, on October 16, 2010, against the Providence Bruins, Kozun scored two goals, the first of which was a penalty shot goal at 19:26 of the game's first period. The goal was the first of two penalty shot attempts by the Monarchs, a franchise record for penalty shots awarded in a game.
After four seasons in the Kings organization, Kozun was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 22, 2014, in exchange for forward Andrew Crescenzi. Kozun was assigned to the AHL's Toronto Marlies. After an impressive display in pre-season Kozun made the final cut for the Maple Leafs for the 2014–15 season. He scored his first NHL point with an assist on a goal by Nazem Kadri in the season opener against the Montreal Canadiens on October 8, 2014. He was later placed on waivers on December 17, 2014. He would remain with the organization, however, and later in the season, on February 20, 2015, Kozun scored his first career NHL goal in his eighth game played.
|Competitor for Canada|
|Men's ice hockey|
|World Junior Championship|
|2010 Canada||Ice hockey|
Kozun earned the attention of both the Canadian and American national junior teams whilst leading the WHL in scoring early in the 2009–10 season. Kozun was reportedly guaranteed a spot on the American team at the 2010 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, but declined as he wanted to show loyalty to the nation that developed him as a hockey player. He later earned a spot on the Canadian team, his first time representing Hockey Canada internationally. During round robin play, he scored the shootout winner to cap a dramatic 5–4 come from behind victory over the Americans, leading Canada to first place in their pool, and a bye into the semi-final round of the tournament. Canada, however, lost a rematch against the Americans in the gold medal game, also in overtime, to settle for the silver medal.
Regular season and playoffs
Awards and honours
|WHL Eastern Conference First All-Star Team||2008–09
|Bob Clarke Trophy||2009–10|||
|CHL Top Scorer Award||2009–10|||
- "The birth of Brandon Kozun". Californiabirthindex.org.
- Wolfe, Cory (2009-12-31). "Kozun was born for Canada–U.S. hockey clash". National Post. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- Heinen, Laurence (2008-09-30). "Homegrown Calgary kids lead Hitmen". Alberta Hockey Now. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- "Dual-citizen Kozun going for Canada". Canwest News Service. 2009-12-06. Retrieved 2009-12-27.
- "2008–09 WHL top scorers". Western Hockey League. Retrieved 2009-12-27.
- "WHL announces 2008–09 conference all-star teams and award finalists". Western Hockey League. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2009-12-27.[dead link]
- Mingo, Rita (2009-12-24). "U.S.-born Kozun prefers Maple Leaf". Calgary Herald. p. F3.
- Down, John (2008-02-24). "Diminutive Kozun has big NHL dreams". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2010-01-01.
- Cruickshank, Scott (2008-06-17). "Unknown doesn't rock this Stone". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2009-12-27.
- Fisher, Scott (2010-03-15). "All four won scoring title". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- Odland, Kristen (2010-09-25). "Nostalgic night for Kozun and the Hitmen". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2010-09-26.
- "Former Hitmen star on the move". Calgary Sun. 2014-01-23. p. S5.
- Kozun on waivers
- Fisher, Scott (2009-11-12). "Kozun all-world to start season". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2009-12-27.
- Vickers, Aaron (2009). "Dual Citizen goes; Kozun opts to wear Maple Leaf". Future Considerations Hockey 2010 World Junior Championship Guide. p. 9.
- Wolfe, Cory (2010-01-01). "Kozun hero as Canada downs U.S. in shootout". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2010-01-01.[dead link]
- "WHL announces 2009–10 Conference All-Star teams and award finalists". Western Hockey League. 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2010-03-29.[dead link]
- Myers, Sean (2010-05-21). "Top gun Kozun's return from injury boosts Hitmen". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2010-05-21.