The best of Canada West were announced Thursday morning, with Western Hockey League Alumni Taran Kozun of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies was named the 2019-20 Canada West Male Athlete of the Year.
Kozun was selected for the conference’s top individual honour by Canada West’s 17 members after a stellar season on the ice, as he continued to cement their places as some of the best student-athletes in school history.
He will now move forward as the Canada West nominee for the prestigious Lieutenant Governor Athletic Award, which honour the nation’s top male student-athletes. That award will be announced by U SPORTS on June 25th.
Kozun’s CW Male Athlete of the Year win adds to what has been a remarkable season of individual accomplishments for the former Seattle Thunderbird and Kamloops Blazer.
The third-year netminder was dominant between the pipes for the Canada West champion Saskatchewan Huskies. The recipient of the Del Wilson Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s Goaltender of the Year in 2014-15, Kozun led the conference in every key goaltending statistic this season, posting a 1.87 goals-against average, .931 save percentage, five shutouts and 17 wins.
As if those numbers weren’t enough, Kozun also became just the second goalie in Canada West history to score when he found the net in January against the Calgary Dinos.
Canada West coaches acknowledged Kozun’s standout season, naming him both the Canada West Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year. He would go onto become the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy winner as U SPORTS’ top player, joining Jon Barkman (2001-02) as the lone Huskies to have captured the nation’s top award.
Beginning his WHL career with the Blazers before eventually joining the Thunderbirds, Kozun appeared in 135 WHL regular season games, compiling a 64-52-7-8 record, 2.73 GAA, .912 SV% and 10 shutouts. A third-year Arts and Sciences student at the University of Saskatchewan, Kozun is currently accessing his WHL Scholarship to achieve his goals in the classroom and on the ice.
Every player who plays in the WHL is eligible to receive the WHL Scholarship. For every season a player plays in the WHL, they receive a guaranteed, full-year WHL Scholarship including tuition, textbooks and compulsory fees to a post-secondary institution of their choice. The WHL Scholarship is a fully-guaranteed academic scholarship with no requirement to play university hockey to qualify.
Kozun is the fourth Huskie to be named Canada West Male Athlete of the Year, joining Derek Hulak (hockey / 2013-14), Adam Ens (volleyball / 2003-04), and Warren Muzika (football / 1998-99). He is now looking to join Ens as Saskatchewan winners of the nation’s top male student-athlete award.