Kevin Czuczman
Image: Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

Kevin Czuczman

Hometown:

Port Elgin Ontario

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1991-01-09

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2009

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

Free agent signing, 2014

Weight:

205 lbs.

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History

2007-08: Kevin Czuczman made his debut in junior A hockey, appearing in two games with the Owen Sound Greys, and played for the Grey-Bruce Highlanders midget program near his hometown of Port Elgin.

2008-09: Czuczman played two games with the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Listowel Cyclones; spending most of the season with the Junior C Walkerton Hawks in Ontario. He had no points nor penalties with the Cyclones. Czuczman scored 3 goals with 20 assists and 49 penalty minutes in 35 regular season games. In 10 playoff games he scored 2 goals with 3 assists and 4 penalty minutes as the Hawks won the WOJCHL championship.

2009-10: Overlooked by college hockey and major junior programs due to his size, Czuczman skated for the Waterloo Siskins in the Greater Ontario junior A hockey league. He scored 2 goals with 23 assists and 84 penalty minutes in 51 regular season games and had 1 goal, 1 assist and 15 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games.

2010-11: Czuczman, now 6’3″ and 200 pounds, joined the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Newmarket Hurricanes. He impressed college scouts at the OJHL Governors Showcase in October and in November the 19-year-old committed to playing college hockey at Lake Superior State in 2011-12. In 47 regular season games with Newmarket he scored 4 goals with 19 assists and 40 penalty minutes. Czuczman scored 1 goal with 3 assists and 13 penalty minutes in 10 OJHL playoff games.

2011-12: Czuczman was one of four defensemen to play in all 40 games for Lake Superior State University in his freshman season. He scored 2 goals with 11 assists and was -1 with 26 penalty minutes. The Lakers finished seventh in the CCHA and swept Alaska in the first round before falling in back-to-back games to Western Michigan in the CCHA quarterfinals.

2012-13: Czuczman was invited to the Buffalo Sabres development camp over the summer before returning to Lake Superior State for his sophomore season. In 38 games he scored 2 goals with 9 assists and was +3 with 42 penalty minutes. The Lakers finished eighth in the CCHA and lost back-to-back games to Bowling Green after winning the first game of their first round playoff series.

2013-14: Czuczman made his NHL debut following his junior season at Lake Superior State — signing a two-year, entry-level free agent contract with the Islanders on March 11th, 2014 and skating over 20 minutes in the Islanders game at Minnesota one week later. In 13 games with New York he had 2 assists and was minus-5 with 14 penalty minutes; averaging 19:32 minutes of ice time. Czuczman played in 36 games for the Lakers in what would be his final season of college hockey. He scored 10 goals with 11 assists and was minus-7 with 73 penalty minutes. Lake Superior State finished tied with Bemidji State for eighth in the newly-aligned WCHA but missed the playoffs based on tiebreaker criteria.

2014-15: Czuczman went from playing 13 NHL games with the Islanders following his final season of college hockey to seeing limited ice time with AHL affiliate Bridgeport in his first pro season — skating for the ECHL’s Florida Everblades late in the season and in the Kelly Cup playoffs. He scored 1 goal with 6 assists and was +4 with 56 penalty minutes in 50 games for Bridgeport; playing on a defense corps that  featured two former first-round picks in their first year of pro hockey. Czuczman scored 1 goal and was -6 with 4 penalty minutes in nine regular season games for the Everblades. Florida finished first in the East Division and reached the second round in the Kelly Cup playoffs. Czuczman was -6 with no points and 6 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games. The Islanders re-signed Czuczman to a one-year contract as a restricted free agent in July 2015. 

 

Talent Analysis

Czuczman was signed by the Islanders as a free agent following his junior season of college hockey despite the presence of several high profile prospects — making the jump directly from college hockey to the NHL. He is a late bloomer whose size and skating ability suggest he can be a reliable NHL defenseman but he is still very much a developmental project. He plays a relatively safe game and never seems to panic with the puck but can chip in on the offensive end.

Future

Czuczman attended his second NHL training camp with the Islanders and is skating for the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2015-16. Bridgeport is much-improved and battling for a playoff spot and Czuczman has been a solid presence in the team's lineup. At the NHL level he projects as an honest, solid defender who will throw the body and do the small duties necessary to help his team win.

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Photo: Mathew Barzal is 9th in WHL scoring, with 83 points (25 goals, 58 assists) in 52 games. (Courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

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Photo: Kevin Czuczman has 8 points (2 goals, 6 assists) in 36 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season. (Courtesy of Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

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Photo: Although Kevin Czuczman hasn’t put on an Islanders jersey since his 13-game stint in March, 2014, it is only a matter of time before he finds his way back to the NHL. (Courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Photo: Although Kevin Czuczman hasn’t put on an Islanders jersey since his 13-game stint in March, 2014, it is only a matter of time before he finds his way back to the NHL. (Courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

 

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Photo: Although Michael Dal Colle did not join Team Canada at the World Junior Championships, he helped lead the Oshawa Generals to a Memorial Cup Championship. (Courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Photo: Although Michael Dal Colle did not join Team Canada at the World Junior Championships last season, he helped lead the Oshawa Generals to a Memorial Cup in May. (Courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

 

 

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