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DETROIT a€“ In the Maple Leafs 28-page training camp guide, Brandon Kozun, a California native, is listed at 5-foot-8 and 167 pounds, but up close he looks much smaller than that. Kozun is among the unlikeliest of final contenders to crack the NHL squad in Toronto, just another hurdle for a kid from Los Angeles to overcome. a€?As a smaller guy you obviously have an uphill climb,a€? said the 24-year-old, who moved to Calgary at age 10. a€?Ita€?s not a surprise. This is a game of men and as a smaller guy, youa€?re always going to listen to the critics say that youa€?re big enough or youa€?re not strong enough. But for me ita€?s always been a€?Ia€?m going to prove you wronga€? and try and get to that next level. Kozun has never played an NHL game, but is sure he will one day a€“ if not very soon. Therea€?s an air of confidence (but not cockiness) about him, one seemingly born from a career of being doubted, dismissed and overlooked because of his smallish stature. a€?Because of your size you get cut from certain situations and for me ita€?s always been that determination to get to that next level,a€? he said. a€?No matter what anyone says Ia€?m going to get there.a€? Of the 210 North American skaters ranked by NHL Central Scouting in 2008, an 18-year-old Kozun was nowhere to be found. He went undrafted that summer, but came back the following year and absolutely tore up the Dub, potting 40 goals and 108 points a€“ good for second in the league a€“ for the WHLa€?s top team, the Calgary Hitmen. He found his name on those rankings (150th) following that performance and was plucked up by L.A. with the 179th-overall selection at the draft in Montreal that June. Buried amongst the Kings talented prospect pool, Kozun spent three-plus seasons in the AHL with Manchester a€“ scoring more than 20 goals three times a€“ before landing in Toronto last January in a midseason trade that sent Andrew Crescenzi to L.A. Now he finds himself bidding for an NHL opportunity with the Leafs, his unlikely combination of wheels and pluckiness earning him a good, long and rewarding look. Few could have expected him to last this long and therea€?s a case to be made that hea€?s earned a spot. a€?Ia€?ve tried to just come into it with a a€?whatever happens, happensa€? mentality,a€? he said. a€?I feel like I dona€?t have anything to lose.a€? Ita€?s the skating with Kozun that first grabs the eye, a must for a player of his stature, according to head coach, Randy Carlyle. a€?Well I think thata€?s his biggest asset,a€? Carlyle said recently. a€?If you come and watch him he jumps out at you because of his speed.a€? The player agrees. a€?As a smaller guy I think you kind of need that in the game today,a€? Kozun said. a€?I think it helps me navigate around the ice. Ita€?s just part of my game. Ita€?s something I try to use as a weapon. When Ia€?m skating thata€?s when Ia€?m most effective.a€? And though he may be small, Kozun tries to play big. Hea€?s not appeared afraid or unwilling to throw around that diminutive frame, especially up the ice on the penalty kill, where hea€?s been used from time to time in the preseason. The Marlies were actually surprised to learn last season that he hadna€?t been used much as a penalty killer prior to joining their team - his ability to disrupt opposing power-plays with speed and forcefulness an obvious benefit. That was noticeable at the Joe in Detroit on Monday; Kozun broke free of the defence for a short-handed breakaway that was turned aside by Red Wings goalie, Petr Mrazek. Kozun later landed in the box for a heavy, hard-charging hit on Stephen Weiss and then replaced Matt Frattin alongside Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk, bursting past the Wings for two more good chances in the final frame. His fight is ultimately for the one of the final forward spots, likely the fourth line right-wing position occupied mostly by Colton Orr last season. With his wheels, rambunctiousness, penalty-killing ability and potential for bits of offence, he offers more tools than that of his current competition. Hea€?s outplayed that competition at camp, no less a€“ Orr, Troy Bodie, Frazer McLaren, Carter Ashton, Tyler Biggs, David Broll and even Frattin, who has had a mediocre preseason in the eyes of head coach. In question for Carlyle, his coaching staff and management is whether Kozuns assets will translate when the game rises to NHL speeds. a€?The challenge will be and is for the small guy, the smaller player in stature to make an impact,a€? said Carlyle, a€?the same impact he was making at the American Hockey League, can that continue on into the NHL against bigger, stronger, faster-skating defencemen?a€? Others of similar stature have shown recently that it can be done. Nathan Gerbe, listed at 5-foot-6 and 180, scored 16 goals last year in Carolina, killing penalties and injecting bite along the way. Stephen Gionta, 5-foot-7 and of the same build as Gerbe, remains a feisty fourth-line force for Peter DeBoer in Jersey. Kozun, for one, doesna€?t hide from the belief he has in himself or his abilities. Hea€?s confident he can get to the next level. a€?I think you have to have confidence in yourself,a€? he said. a€?If I were to tell you a€?no, I dona€?t believe Ia€?m going to get therea€? I dona€?t think I ever will. A lot of people,a€? he continued, a€?have said a lot of things that I wouldna€?t do.a€? Giovani Bernard Jersey .com) - Joique Bells touchdown run in the fourth quarter gave the Detroit Lions a 20-14 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday. Tyler Eifert Jersey . Pearce had a career-high four hits and drove in two runs, and Wei-Yin Chen shut down Texas again as the Orioles completed a four-game sweep of the Rangers with a 5-2 victory on Thursday night. http://www.cheapbengalsjerseysonline.com/?tag=vincent-rey-jersey-online . Today, well look at five frontcourt players today, here from the Bay Area. 1. AMIR JOHNSON (Raptors): I cant figure out what the issue or problem is, but based upon what Im seeing, hes not right. Alex Redmond Jersey . The team said they will announce a corresponding roster move prior to their series opener on Tuesday night in Kansas City. Bobby Hart Jersey . Five years ago, Nestor and Zimonjic beat the American twins to win the title. But the Bryans, the worlds top-ranked team, needed 74 minutes to earn the victory Saturday as both Nestor and Zimonjic lost serve in the second set.Sunderlands first Premier League victory of the season will give the club new vigour and energy, says Niall Quinn. Sunderland ended their winless start to the league season with a dramatic 2-1 win despite having Steven Pienaar sent-off with the game at 1-1.Things looked bleak for under-pressure David Moyes, who had taken just two points from his first 10 league games in charge, but Jermain Defoe scored from the penalty spot on 74 minutes to steal all three points. The win moves Sunderland level on five points with Swansea, but they remain bottom on goal difference.Quinn believes Moyes now has something to build on.Hell be so pleased inside, Quinn told Sky Sports. There has been a lot of pressure on his shoulders and hes tried to handle it the best he could - some people have even questioned whether they shouldve changed the manager again, which is ludicrous in my opinion, regardless of what happened today. David Moyes praised the spirit of his Sunderland team as they came back from a goal down It was an enormous job to come in and sort out what Sam Allardyce had left. Today will feel good for him - it can give everyone new vigour and new energy. The players will now go on international duty but theyll know the club will be a good place to come back to next week.Sunderlands rearguard action came to the fore in the closing stages at The Vitality Stadium as goalkeeper Jordan Pickford starrred for Moyes men.dddddddddddd Eddie Howe was left frustrated after Bournemouth lost to Sunderland Bournemouth had 22 shots in the match and registered seven on target but Pickford repelled their efforts with a string of stops, including a wonder save from Josh King. Pickford was different class, Quinn said. We can call him a kid because he is one in goalkeeping terms. He is a complete novice but the character hes shown is fantastic. Young players can be forgiven for making mistakes and not being ready for a tough situation but he was banging his chest at the end of the game. Jermain Defoe (left) scored Sunderlands winning goal from the penalty spot Hes a young lad that has seized the moment. In an ideal world hed be playing for a winning team that dont concede many chances but hes been called into action time and time again in recent weeks. He got his rewards today. For a young lad like that to take the game by scruff of the neck, it has to bode well for the future. Also See: Match Report As it happened Moyes reaction Howe reaction Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Adidas Hockey Jerseys Wholesale Nike Baseball Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys China Wholesale NFL Jerseys China Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys Authentic Cheap NHL Jerseys Canada Cheap Nike MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China NCAA Jerseys Cheap Nike NHL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys Store Cheap Football Jerseys Store Wholesale Soccer Jerseys Jerseys NCAA China Jerseys NFL Cheap Cheap Nike NBA Jerseys ' ' '
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