Monday, February 16, 2009

Calgary Hitmen 5 Regina Pats 2

Game Notes:
In the first period both teams had good scoring chances and the play was fairly even. However, the Regina team did not capitalize on their scoring chances which is essential against a team as talented as Calgary. Late in the second period, with Calgary ahead 3-2, the Pats killed of a lengthy two-man advantage. At the time, I thought it might prove to be the turning point in the game. However, Calgary scored two late goals in the third period to win the game 5-2. Despite the loss it was the best effort I have seen from the Regina team in a couple of weeks.

Prospect Notes:
In this game I focused on Calgary Hitmen forward Brandon Kozun, who is a prospect for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Brandon Kozun (Calgary Hitmen, #149 CSB)
The first thing you notice about Brandon is that he has dynamic offensive skill. In this game he was a major factor, scoring two goals and adding one assist. On his first goal he demonstrated speed and an ability to finish when he broke to the net and scored on a semi-breakaway situation. For his second goal he knocked in a rebound while standing in traffic in front of the net. Brandon has a pronounced bowlegged skating style which produces both acceleration and speed. Although he has good leg extension, he does not achieve full return on his stride -- that is he does not bring his leg right back under his body. He excels in one-on-one offensive situations, using his speed and puckhandling skills to make it difficult for opposing defensemen to keep him contained. Although he sees the ice well and passes the puck accurately I would not say that his overall creativity is at the elite level. The success he is having is due to the fact that he does everything at top speed. In the defensive zone he is positionally sound, and he uses speed and anticipation effectively in penalty killing situations. In terms of physical play Brandon is not much of a factor -- listed at 5'8". However, he does go to the net and is willing to compete in traffic. For a player of his stature it will be important for him to work on his fitness and strength to compensate for his lack of size. I have no idea what kind of kid Brandon is, but his on ice mannerisms suggest that he is competitive and has a strong work ethic. Over the past couple of years Brandon's play has improved significantly on a year-to-year basis. Brandon has above average talent in two different categories (skating and offensive skill), therefore he does merit draft consideration in the later rounds.


Anonymous said...

Brad--- I just stumbled on your Blog today trying to get a heads up on the Rider Nation from Rod Pedersen.
I see you at many Pat games and based on your comments it is obvious that you see a lot more of the game than the rest of us.
Your comments on each player provide much insight and will add to the enjoyment I get in watching future games.
As a guy who has been in the dressing room and whose number hangs from the rafters, have you got any idea how and why the Pats managed to blow this year?

Gordie Know-How said...

Hey Brad,
Your prospective comments regarding Brandon Kozun are excellent. I've seen Calgary play a couple times this season and it is really hard not to notice and appreciate Kozun's skill level -- which brings me to mention my fanatical dilemma: Calgary has such a great team with players as Kozun and Postma and ... And when they're in town I really want to see them play their best game. However, if the Calgary players are on their best game, then the Regina team shall suffer. Oh my! Such are the woes of loving the game or cheering for a particular team.