Hitmen pair heading to camp

SCOTT FISHER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

Shadowing the elusive Brandon Kozun is hardly an easy task.

But goaltender Martin Jones has been doing an admirable job.

Kozun and Jones each played key roles as the Calgary Hitmen marched to the WHL championship series.

Once the season ended, Kozun was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, the same NHL club Jones signed with last fall.

Both players attended Kings camp last month.

Tomorrow, they'll be back together again at Team Canada's National Junior Team development camp in Saskatoon.

The two peas in a pod might as well be roommates.

"No kidding," Kozun said. "We've seen a lot of each other this summer."

The Calgarian, who racked up 40 goals and 108 points last season, said he wouldn't think twice about trying to light up Jones at the six-day camp.

But -- big surprise -- they're on the same squad once again.

"He's actually on the same team as me, but if I had to, yeah, I guess I would (score on him)," Kozun said with a laugh.

Having a familiar -- make that very familiar -- face at the development camp can't hurt, the winger said.

"I think it makes it a little more comfortable, but everyone's there to do the same thing," Kozun said. "It's all business, but I want to have as much fun as I can and do what I can to impress them.

"I think it'll be a good test for me to see how I compare to those other guys."

Kozun and Jones are looking to keep an impressive streak alive that has seen at least one Hitmen player crack the national junior roster for the past six world junior championship tourneys.

Brett Sonne kept it going last year, and he wasn't even invited to the summer development camp.

After leading the WHL in scoring over the first 10 weeks, Sonne earned an invite to December's selection camp.

While Kozun is aware he'll need to produce once the WHL season kicks off, he'd love to get one foot in the door with an eye-opening performance at the Saskatoon camp.

"I think it's a pretty important camp to show them what you can do," he said. "It isn't the be-all, end-all, but it's a chance to impress under (the scouts') eyes and their watch.

"Making a good first impression is important."

Saskatoon will also play host to this year's world junior tournament. Which means the large international ice --which would clearly benefit a slick skater like Kozun -- won't come into play.

"That's alright," he said. "I've proven I can play on the smaller ice."

At 5-foot-8 and 156 lb., he's been told he's too small. Yet he keeps excelling.

"There's always been a lot of doubters," he said. "But it seems like every time I get a chance in front of these people, I impress them.

"I'm changing as many minds as possible, trying to turn those critics into fans."


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