Big game gets little-guy Kozun invite to world camp

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:20 AM ET

Brandon Kozun's junior hockey career has been a non-stop crusade to prove big things can come in small packages.

For a Canadian puck prospect, it doesn't get any bigger than this.

Fresh off a breakout campaign, the Calgary Hitmen marksman has been invited to Hockey Canada's summer development camp, the first stage of building a squad for the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

It comes as no surprise Kozun, listed at 5-foot-8 and 156 lb., will be the smallest player on the ice.

"I think people are starting to recognize that I can play with bigger guys," he said.

"It hasn't really been a question of my skill or how I play as a player, but I think a lot of people doubted me in the physical area and doubted if I'd be able to withstand it, and I think I'm finally starting to turn a few heads.

"Maybe with the year I had, I've maybe turned a few heads with the fact, 'Maybe this kid can play.' That's all I'm trying to do."

Kozun, 19, will be joined on the ice by a trio of other Calgarians.

Defencemen Tyler Myers of the WHL's Kelowna Rockets, Dylan Olsen of the AJHL's Camrose Kodiaks and forward Joe Colborne of the University of Denver Pioneers have all been invited to the camp Aug. 10-15 in Saskatoon.

Flames prospects T.J. Brodie and Greg Nemisz also earned invites.

Hitmen netminder Martin Jones has also caught the eye of Hockey Canada scouts.

Jones, 19, has been invited to attend a national junior goaltending camp June 11-14 in Calgary, where he'll share the crease with 13 other puck-stopping prospects.

"It's a great chance, with the audience that's going to be there, to show them what you can do and a good way to get your foot in the door," Jones said.

"(The world junior tournament) is something I want to work towards and something I want to be a part of. Every hockey player wants to be a part of that. It would be an awesome experience."

Scoring an invite to a national team camp is a cherry on top of what's been a magical season for the Hitmen teammates.

Kozun doubled his offensive output, finishing second on the Western Hockey League scoring charts with 40 goals and 68 assists in 72 games.

He added seven goals and a dozen assists in 18 playoff outings.

Jones backstopped the Hitmen to a franchise-record 122-point campaign.

He racked up a league-leading 45 wins to go with a sparkling 2.08 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.

The North Vancouver, B.C., product was even better come playoff time, posting a 1.86 GAA and a .921 save percentage as the Hitmen swept through the first three rounds before losing to the Rockets in the WHL finals.

WES.GILBERTSON@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos