The Wildcats strike quickly with their first commitment to the 2022/23 recruiting class, adding lengthy, mobile defensemen, Jacob Kozden.
Jacob Kozden, standing at 6’3”, 200-pounds, comes from Breinigsville, PA and spent the last three years playing in the (USPHL-PR) US Premier Hockey League for the Bridgewater Jr. Bandits, Florida Eels and Skipjacks Hockey Club. He brings a veteran presence for a freshman and has the ability to make an immediate impact.
“From the first day Coach Berman reached out to me I knew it felt right,” said Kozden.” It’s such a great opportunity when you consider the big school atmosphere, prestigious Eller College of Management and successful hockey program. Arizona has everything I’m looking for in being able to represent the University on the ice while also earning a finance degree from one of the best business schools in the nation. it’s a tremendous opportunity. I am very honored and excited to be a Wildcat and can’t wait for the journey that lies ahead.”
The Wildcats will have four right handed defensemen returning for the 2022/23 season. All of which are projected to fit in top-6 roles: Matthew Hohl, Cameron Teamor, Ryan Fischer and John Shively. So, it was clear that finding some left-handed help on the back end was a priority for Coach Berman. But that’s not the only thing that make Kozden such a great fit in the coaches’ eyes.
“We are thrilled to find exactly what we were looking for, especially this early in the process,” said coach Berman. “Jacob checks a ton of boxes that we considered high priority this offseason. We desperately needed a left-handed defenseman with length. We have a couple of smaller skilled guys already that just need the right compliment to their game in order to maximize what they bring. In saying that, we weren’t willing to find size at the cost of our core identity: mobility and puck movement. That’s what makes Jacob so exciting. it’s very difficult to find defensemen with the full package of size, mobility and puck movement. Jacob brings all of that with a ton of room to grow. He hasn’t been used much in an offensive role over the last couple of seasons but I see no reason he couldn’t. he has a heavy shot and good offensive instincts as a converted forward. My favorite part of his game is the way he uses his reach and skating ability to close gaps quickly - taking away time and space. That’s the area we most wanted to improve on the back end. Furthermore, it’s no secret around here that our programs consistent success is built on culture. Everyone I talked to raved about the quality of person Jacob is, that matters in our program, we couldn’t be more excited to add him to the mix.”
Stay tuned as the Wildcats continue to reload for the 2022-23 season!