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Los Angeles Kings Forward Prospects Brandon Kozun and Linden Vey Face Similar Challenges

Right wing prospect Brandon Kozun, shown here speaking to the
media during the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

LOS ANGELES — As years pass, National Hockey League players continue to get bigger, stronger and faster, so much so that the size, speed and strength of the players has driven much of the game’s evolution into what we see on NHL ice today.

But with the rule changes after the 2004 NHL lockout that have brought speed and skill back into the game by clamping down on obstruction, smaller, speedier players once again can thrive in the NHL, but only if they can hold their own with the big boys.

Size, or lack thereof, is something Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Brandon Kozun has been hearing about since he started playing hockey. Read more of this post

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LA Kings Right Wing Prospect Brandon Kozun Is Not Allowing His Size To Be An Obstacle

Right wing prospect Brandon Kozun spoke to
the media during the Los Angeles Kings
2011 Development Camp at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As years pass, National Hockey League players continue to get bigger, stronger and faster, much more so than they were thirty years ago, and still more than they were twenty or even ten years ago.

But with changes in rules and in the interpretation of existing ones that have cut down on the hooking, holding and other means of obstructing an opponent’s ability to skate and maneuver, smaller players have, once again, found a niche in the NHL. Nevertheless, they still have to be able to compete and hold their own, physically, with the big boys, or they will not last.

When the Los Angeles Kings selected him in the sixth round (179th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, they knew they taking a bit of a gamble on right wing prospect Brandon Kozun, who was highly-skilled. But the knock on him was his size, or, more specifically, the lack thereof. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings’ 2011 Late-Round Draft Picks Working To Beat Long Odds

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The National Hockey League Entry Draft is one huge crapshoot in terms of teams landing prospects who will make it to the NHL level to stay, let alone big stars, even for those who are lucky enough to be first round picks.

Left wing prospect Joel Lowry spoke to the media
during the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

For those who end up being selected in later rounds, the odds of making it to the NHL are much, much longer. Nevertheless, every so often, they not only make it to the NHL, but they thrive there.

The most notable cases in point among Kings draft picks (not including active NHL players) would be:

  • Butch Goring, Center (fifth round, 51st overall, 1969)
  • Billy Smith, Goaltender (fifth round, 59th overall, 1970)
  • Dave Taylor, Right Wing (15th round, 210th overall, 1975)
  • Mark Hardy, Defenseman (second round, 30th overall, 1979)
  • Bernie Nicholls, Center (fourth round, 73rd overall, 1980)
  • Kevin Stevens, Left Wing (sixth round, 108th overall, 1983)
  • Luc Robitaille, Left Wing (ninth round, 171st overall, 1984)
  • Rob Blake, Defenseman (fourth round, 70th overall, 1987)
  • Alexei Zhitnik, Defenseman (fourth round, 81st overall, 1991) Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Right Wing Prospect Linden Vey’s Goal Is To Get Out Of The Cold

Center prospect Linden Vey spoke to the media
during the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings having been so keenly focused on amateur scouting and drafting young players since Dean Lombardi took over as President/General Manager on April 21, 2006, the team now has a stable full of talented prospects.

Indeed, no matter what position you look at, the Kings have skilled, young players who are developing in Canadian junior leagues, in collegiate hockey, and at the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League.

On the offensive side of the ledger, the Kings have a few forward prospects who lit up Canadian junior hockey, finishing among the top scorers in their respective leagues, if not leading all junior leagues in scoring. Read more of this post

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