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Interview with Battalion's 8th Rnd Selection, Austin Kosack


The Brampton Battalion boasted a very young but very talented blueline this past season and it is a defence corps that will only grow stronger individually, and as a unit, as time goes on. Lost in the top 6 is one of the Battalions draft picks from this seasons OHL Priority draft, Austin Kosack. An 8th round selection by Brampton could be considered a steal in years to come but right now just looks like they are stockpiling talented defenceman. When ITO’s OHL Aficionado Thayne Hallyburton, @thallyburton, and myself watched Oakville in this years OHL Showcase Cup, it didn’t take long for Kosack to become one of the defenceman to watch in this tournament. I always beat Thayne in pointing out Austin, and for good reason, he skated, he carried, he set up plays in the zone. He was a treat to watch. I asked Thayne to give me 3 words to describe Austin and he came up with ‘intelligent’ and ‘offensive upside’ and compared his style of play to Peterborough Petes Steven Trojanovic. Not a bad comparison, but not the most flattering either when you used ‘offensive upside’ to describe Austin. Nevertheless, I had a chance to talk to Austin and pick his brain a little bit. Here is what the 8th round selection of the Brampton Battalion had to say:

Austin, first of all thank you for joining me for this interview and let me start by talking about the OHL Showcase Cup. You battle through the tournament where myself and colleague Thayne Hallyburton watched you intently because we loved how you controlled the back end of your team. Why do you think we ended up
watching you just as much as, if not more, than other teammates from
oakville, like Perischak, Smith, Shiplo, Burns and the like?
I think I am a solid 2 way defenseman that can play tough and smart down low but I can also lead a rush or jump into the rush if the opportunity is there. People in the crowd usually notice the guys in the offensive end while the coaches and scouts watch a lot more about the defensive end. Fortunately I was able to create some positive things when I jumped into the rush so that is probably what you noticed.

   From the Showcase Cup comes the OHL Priority Draft. The big day comes and you finally hear your name called by the Brampton Battalion, after the initial jubilation of being drafted to the OHL, did you step back and seriously look at the blueline they have and start thinking about your chances of jumping into the OHL in
time for the 11/12 season?
Yeah there was a mix of excitement and relief to be honest. I started getting calls pretty quick after I was selected and they told me about how good and young the defensemen were with the Battalion. I know there is very little chance that I could make the team for this upcoming season given the strength of the current blueline.

When was the initial contact with the Battalion and Stan Butler? And what were your initial reaction to the team and your soon to be Head Coach?
I was called right after I was picked by a member of the Battalion staff and I was very excited as you can imagine. My initial reaction was more about who else was selected because I have known Brandon Robinson for years since our families know each other pretty well and I played a lot of lacrosse against him over the years. I went to school with Bryson Cianfrone and he is one of my great friends and then you have Sean and Jake selected from Oakville as well, so I was pretty excited about who was selected by the Battalion. I had never met coach Butler but I have only heard very good things.

In the midst of covering the Memorial Cup for the loyal followers of www.intheoradio.com (shameless plug) Brampton Orientation/Rookie camp happens and it is you against other rookie/veteran Battalion players like NHL Drafted Phil Lane, Sam Carrick and the draft hopefuls like Spencer Abraham, Zach Bell and Barclay Goodrow. Did you think you gave it your all in the 2 day camp?
Orientation camp wasn't what I had expected to be honest. I really
thought it was going to be some meet and greet stuff and some on ice stuff. To come in and be on the ice playing fast paced contact games caught me a bit off guard. I am a rookie so I want to make a good impression while respecting the veterans who I have just met and I am on the ice with. I also appreciate the ability of my fellow defensemen so I passed off a lot more than I normally would have to let the veteran d-men start the plays. I wasn't disappointed with my play but I know I can play much better and I expect to in September.

You had two teammates from Oakville with you in Goaltender Jake Smith and Forward Sean Perischak, was it easier having them beside you even though you are still competing against them since only 4 '95 birthdays can be signed in first year eligibility?
I never thought about the competition for 95 spots. Sean and Jake and I have been together for 7 years and are really good friends plus we play different positions so I didn't think about that until now.

   I am sure there was good exit advice that Brampton gave you, one of
which was probably a joke about 'get a lil taller in the summer' but
in all seriousness what is the game plan for Austin Kosack so when
September comes around, you are the first one called to sign the paper
and play in the 11/12 season as a member of the Brampton Battalion.
Yeah I heard that one as well. I know I am going to get bigger but right now all I can do is work out as hard as I can and come into camp as strong and fast as I can. I am working out at BTNL 6 days a week in Oakville and it is a very tough but fun. The other day I was finished workout and playing NHL 11 with Sam Gagner from the Oilers. Just guys having fun after a hard workout.

I mentioned it before, but the blueline for the Battalion is
stacked, and not only that, young. No turnaround from their 7
defenceman they had last year. Is this a point of worry for you
knowing that no matter how hard you train, there is a good chance, you
will not be putting on that sweater until the season after this?
The Battalion D is stacked. I don't expect to put on a Brampton jersey this year so I signed with the Burlington Cougars to play JR A. It is a great organization and I know that I am going to get to play and develop at a high level. I train hard anyway because I can't control personnel decisions and I have to train hard to be ready to take regular shifts with the Cougs. I am only 16 and being able to play for Burlington, live at home in Oakville, and be able to practise with the Battalion when I can is about as good as I could hope for. My goal is to put that jersey on the following year.

And finally, a lot of Oakville players were taken, 6 in total, are
you guys still besties and is there a lil side wager of which of you
guys will make it into the O first?
Yeah I think that is the most taken out of Oakville in a long time. The core guys drafted have been buds for 7 years so we are all pulling for each other to do well. I really think that one of my Battalion teammates will be the first one playing in the O. Sean was picked the highest and he looked great in mini camp. Jake also looked great and I know from experience how he can win games so I think one of them will be the first. Of course I hope that I will be the first because of the bragging rights that come with it.

There you have it ladies and gentleman, a look into the mind of Austin Kosack… by Austin Kosack. His goal remains the same even though he has re-arranged the timeline. If you get a chance to watch him play in a Jr. A game you will definitely see what makes this kid special. And hopefully sooner rather than later, he will pull on the White with army trim Brampton Battalion Jersey and begin to add some dazzle to that tough blueline that the Battalion currently possess. Don’t forget to follow Austin Kosack on Twitter (www.twitter.com/@kosack22) and make sure you stay tuned to www.intheoradio.com for more interviews coming up as well as staying up to date with all the news around the OHL found on the website, and through the twitter feed. (www.twitter.com/@intheoradio)

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