LA Kings Right Wing Prospect Brandon Kozun Is Finally Growing Up

LA Kings right wing prospect Brandon Kozun, who is playing this season for the Manchester Monarchs
of the American Hockey League.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — Over the past year or two, when it comes to the Los Angeles Kings’ young prospects, players such as Tyler Toffoli and Jake Muzzin (both are now with the Kings), Linden Vey, Tanner Pearson and Martin Jones have gotten the vast majority of the media attention, and for good reason, as they have been the go-to players for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate.

Before that, another young player, an offensively gifted prospect who has the added story line of being a local product who played his youth hockey in the Los Angeles area, suddenly found himself out of the spotlight almost completely.

To be sure, Brandon Kozun, now 23 years old, was quickly becoming the forgotten prospect, in terms of the media attention a National Hockey League prospect might normally receive.

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Dean Lombardi Says LA Kings Have “Lucked Out” With 2012 First Round Draft Pick Tanner Pearson

Left/right wing prospect Tanner Pearson was the Los Angeles Kings’ first
round selection (30th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — This past summer, the Los Angeles Kings had the misfortune of selecting last in the first round of the 2012 National Hockey League Draft.

Of course, selecting last in the first round is the “privilege” that every Stanley Cup Champion earns for upcoming draft, and as you probably surmised, the Kings were not complaining after they won the first Stanley Cup Championship in the 45-year history of the franchise on June 11, 2012.

Most pundits would tell you that, more often than not, the draft is a huge crap shoot after the first handful of picks, and no one expected the Kings to get an impact player with the 30th overall selection.

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LA Kings Forward Prospect Linden Vey Is On The Right Side of the Puck In Second Season With Manchester Monarchs

Forward prospect Linden Vey, shown here during the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Scoring 28 goals with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League this season, right wing prospect Tyler Toffoli was so good in the AHL, that he was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team on April 10, and as the Outstanding Rookie on April 12.

Even more impressive is that Toffoli was so good that he received those accolades even though he has been with the National Hockey League’s Los Angeles Kings since March 10.

With the Monarchs, Toffoli played on a line with fellow Kings prospects, forwards Linden Vey and Tanner Pearson, and they scorched the rest of the AHL.

“It was just something where I think we’re all smart players, skilled players, and [each of us] brings something different to the line,” said Vey, who was selected by the Kings in the fourth round (96th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. “We kind of complement each other, and for the time Toffoli was here, we just went on a run.”

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LA Kings Goalie Prospect Martin Jones Is Making Progress In Spite Of Tough Season With Manchester

LA Kings goaltender prospect Martin Jones has been be under the
spotlight as the clear-cut number one goalie for the AHL’s
Manchester Monarchs this season.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — Heading into the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and again this past summer, Los Angeles Kings backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier expressed his desire to become a number one goaltender in the National Hockey League, as all netminders aspire to be in their professional careers.

Bernier even asked to be traded before the playoffs began. However, at the time, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi was not in a position to grant his request because he had no goaltenders in the system ready for backup duty at the NHL level.

That fact was all too apparent once the NHL lockout ended, and the questions about Bernier being traded started up again. In fact, just prior to the start of the abbreviated 2013 season, Lombardi indicated that he would not be able to trade Bernier yet.

“I don’t think that’s feasible at all right now, for the team,” said Lombardi. “He’s an important part of this team. Let’s face it. Our guys in the minors aren’t ready for that role, and that’s an important role.”

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LA Kings LW Prospect Andy Andreoff Is Catching Up To Pace Of The Game In The AHL

LA Kings left wing prospect Andy Andreoff, shown here during a
game with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — Almost from the moment he was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round (80th overall) of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft, left wing Andy Andreoff made it clear that he was going to leave his mark, one way or the other.

Shortly after the 2011 draft, Andreoff left several marks during the Kings’ 2011 Development Camp for their young prospects with some chippy play that included dropping the gloves.

“I play with a little edge,” the 6-1, 201-pound native of Pickering, Ontario said at the time. Read more of this post

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