According to @themayor, the Maple Leafs have acquired Manchester Monarchs right-winger Brandon Kozun from the Los Angeles Kings. The 23-year-old Los Angeles native was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 draft.
— The Mayor John Hoven (@mayorNHL) January 22, 2014
The 5’8, 180-pound Kozun has been a regular AHL points contributor but has yet to play an NHL game. He has amassed 179 points in 264 AHL games. Some offensive firepower for the Marlies here, from the looks of things, as Kozun is from all reports a skilled little winger but perhaps lacking the size and strength required to crack an NHL roster anywhere but the top 6. It can be hard for players in Kozun’s position to get his foot in the door on an NHL roster for that reason.
You may remember Kozun from the silver-medal winning 2010 World Junior Canadian team, when he posted 7 points in 6 games. He was eligible to play for either Team USA or Team Canada.
Six-foot-five center Andrew Crescenzi, an undrafted free agent signing of the Maple Leafs in September of 2010, is headed back the other way as Marlies GM Dave Poulin has opted to move the checking centre for some scoring upside. Crescenzi had just two points in 32 games. Crescenzi is two years younger than Kozun and about 9 inches larger. Perhaps the logic was that lower-ceiling players with size and grit are not lacking on this Marlies team, whereas scoring skill is.
Kozun’s contract expires after this season, while Crescenzi’s still has one more season left after this one. The Leafs will have a chance to shed the Standard Player Contract if they don’t like what they see in Kozun with the Marlies.
Here were Daniel Kovalevsky’s thoughts on Crescenzi from earlier this week:
Crescenzi doesn’t get mentioned often but he deserves more recognition. He’ll never be one to put up a lot of points but he plays his role as a checking centre effectively. He can skate well for such a big man, and his hits are nasty. He threw three massive hits over the two games, put in some key face-off work on the PK, and is the key forward on the 2nd PK unit. He blocks shots, forechecks, and does everything one would expect of a defensive centre. Somewhere down the line he could be a bigger, more physical version of McClement.
The Forecaster’s scouting report on Kozun:
|Assets||Has tremendous offensive instincts. Knows where to place himself in order to score goals. Is also very creative at setting up his linemates. Puts up big numbers at lower levels.|
|Weaknesses||Is woefully undersized for the National Hockey League level. Needs to get physically stronger to be able to better compete against bigger defenders. His skating may also be an issue.|
|Career Potential||Undersized depth scoring winger with a little upside.|
More on Kozun from Jewels of the Crown here.
Like to thank the @LAKings for the time I spent with them. It was truly in honor to be part of the organization I grew up watching
— brandon kozun (@kozy15) January 23, 2014
Would also like I express how excited I am to join the @MapleLeafs can’t express how thankful I am for the opportunity and can’t wait to go.
— brandon kozun (@kozy15) January 23, 2014
What is the leafs lunch today? I'm guessing they will debate how often kessel visits the Steak Queen.
Hope_Smoke @Hope_Smoke 4m
Dreger "Leafs had interest in Del Zotto & there was some Gardiner talk but the Rangers wanted Franson. Leafs scared by MDZ's inconsistency"
As terrible as the leafs have been this year until just recently, I can't imagine just how terrible teams like the scabs, Caps, Canes, Sens and DET have been. All of these teams are inconsistent just like the leafs and maybe as frustrating.
The leafs have plaid 52 games and some team have played 49 and 50. Do those two games mean much in terms of the leafs being fresh and other teams being tired during the next stretch?
I just read with interest that it was Zack Kassian who re-arranged Sam Gagner's jaw into a jigsaw puzzle. Kassian was also known as a somewhat dangerous loose cannon as a junior. Kassian also tried to mount Dave Bolland from behind, resulting in Bolland having the same serious type of tendon cut that Karlsson got, care of another careless loose cannon, Matt Cooke. I am not saying we need Eugene "Sherlock" Melnyk on the case, but suffice to say, when Cooke or Kassian are lurking about, don't turn your back. Its bad enough to have the rat Cooke chase you, but when its a 300 pound gorilla on skates...even worse.
Further to my point below on Boston's slant of the Kessel trade....from the Boston globe this past July......"Kessel is now the player Seguin hopes to become. Kessel scored 20 goals
and had 32 assists in 2013. During the playoffs, the 25-year-old Kessel
collected four goals and two assists in the first-round series against
the Bruins.".......remember, this is a quote from 6 months ago.....kessel has even brought it up another notch!!! But what this article says is Toronto got an ELITE player in the deal and Boston(now Dallas) got one to......maybe.......
What chance do we have that Kozun becomes St Louis or Matt Read? I read elsewhere, but it more likely he is downgraded version of Spencer Abbott.
@Mcost61 Dreger makes it sound like Franson is worth more then Gardiner. I don't buy it.
@rustynail You would think the team doctors would wait until he was healed instead of letting him play with an unhealed wound like that. Imagine the concussion questions with the team doctors just a few years ago.
@rustynail has he been brought off of IR yet? Or will he be on it for awhile longer due to the surgery?
@wendelsfistLeafs have a winning record against Western Conference teams.
@wendelsfist Maybe it's just the regular ups and down of an 82 game season, but because we tweet out every shift people micromanage their team and lose complete perspective.
@HeatherRickAkinKassian is barely into the league and he has some already pretty horrific "accidents" attached to his name. Not good.
@HeatherRickAkin I can't figure why Torts didn't play kass against the flame goon line at the start of the game.
@Jon5200 The leafs would be in different position with Seguin, Kadri (or maybe the leafs pick higher without kessel), Bozak at C. Hamilton, Reilly and Gardiner etc. but that is too much hindsight bias
@Murph2417 I mentioned it last night and let's hope the habs are on a vintage Wilson 18 wheeler collapse
@Murph2417 Thats Tough bro, I guess depends on the other Centers you have ?
@Murph2417 yeah I think so
@hoolihanPrice has made some insane saves, but to me much like Bernier he has let in some easy goals. Too bad that Reimer does not get much love with the media camara face experts.
@hoolihanHe does that. But don't let MSM know, they think he's Dryden and Roy all rolled into one.
@wendelsfist@Ze_theLeafsFan@Jon5200i would agree the schedule is gruelling......compacted because of the olympic.....the Leafs are almost playing every 2nd day! I've ALWAYS said they should start playing Oct 1.....not just in olympic years and start the playoffs by april 1....that way u dont have a cup presented in JUNE
@CanuckUKinToronto@wendelsfist@Jon5200My whole take from the beginning of the trade was that we did get an elite player....he just needed to be surrounded with talent as well to really shine.......but the proof to me that he was elite before the trade and worth what the Leafs gave up was that he was scoring 30+ on BAD Leaf teams to start...........