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.

Probability of Success
  • C

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.

Talent Analysis

Signed by the Islanders as a free agent out of Lake Superior State following his junior season despite the presence of several high profile defensemen prospects already in the system, Czuczman is a late bloomer whose size and skating ability suggest he can be a reliable NHL defenseman one day. He plays a relatively safe game and never seems to panic with the puck. While offense is not the prime focus of his game, he did score 10 goals for the Lakers in his final season of college hockey and has contributed to the attack while skating for Islanders' AHL affiliate Bridgeport.

Future

Czuczman, after jumping directly from the NCAA to the NHL last spring, attended his first Islanders training camp in 2014-15 and opened the season with AHL affiliate Bridgeport. Skating for the Sound Tigers, he was playing in a top-four defenseman role to start the season and was contributing on both ends of the ice. Bridgeport was off to a surprising fast start with six first-year pro defensemen in the lineup. Long-term, Czuczman doesn't appear to have the offensive game of some of the other young defensemen in the Islanders pipeline but his skill set and size suggest he can be a sound defender at the NHL level.

Influx of new prospects making impact on New York Islanders’ AHL affiliate

by Christian Litscher
on

Ryan Pulock - New York Islanders

Photo: Defenseman Ryan Pulock has made an immediate impact on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, managing 11 goals and five assists in his first 25 games. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

The New York Islanders have an abundance of prospects playing at the professional level. The influx of junior prospects from last season has led to an improved Sound Tiger team.

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