UTAH PUCK REPORT

Utah Defenseman Sean Durzi: ‘We Want To Win In Front Of These Fans’

Jun 6, 2024, 5:09 PM | Updated: Jun 10, 2024, 10:49 am

SALT LAKE CITYNHL defenseman Sean Durzi joined the Utah Puck Report Podcast to discuss his hockey background and relocating to the Beehive State.

Sean Durzi on Utah NHL team

Durzi recently joined Jay Stevens on the KSL Sports’ Utah Puck Report podcast. The defenseman talked about growing up in the sport and the process of relocating from Arizona to Utah.

During their conversation, Durzi praised the fans in Utah.

“We want to win in front of these fans,” Durzi said.

 

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Sean Durzi’s hockey career

The former Arizona Coyotes player began playing hockey when he was five years old.

The Toronto native told Stevens that he worked his way up the ranks as a youth and into junior hockey before getting his shot at the NHL level.

In 2017, Durzi went to support his friend at the NHL Draft and hoped to hear his name called as well. However, the draft concluded without the defenseman getting selected. Durzi said that he used the disappointment to motivate him during the following year. He worked on his game and tried to improve on his weaknesses. A year later, Durzi’s name was called when his hometown Maple Leafs picked him with the 52nd overall pick during the second round of the 2018 NHL Draft.

Durzi played for four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League before getting his shot in the NHL. In 2019, he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings.

From 2021-23, Durzi played in 136 games for the Kings. He recorded 12 goals and 53 assists during his time in Los Angeles. In June 2023, Durzi was traded to the Coyotes. In his lone season with the former Arizona franchise, Durzi scored nine goals and had 32 assists. He also posted a plus-minus rating of -1.

What Sean Durzi brings to Utah’s Hockey Club

Durzi said that he’s worked hard to improve his skillset and now has the ability to play both left and right defenseman.

“A two-way defenseman who can play power plays, penalty kill, any situation of the game, which is something I try to pride myself on,” Durzi said on the Utah Puck Report podcast.

In addition to playing both directions, Durzi prides himself on his performance on power plays.

“I was always known in junior hockey as a power play guy and coming up through the ranks there. In the NHL, I was lucky enough to play power play right away with L.A.” Durzi said. “I’ve taken a lot of pride in my ability to play both sides of the puck now.”

Durzi said that he brings a few years of experience with him to Utah, but added that he’s still a young guy in the league.

“A guy with a lot of growth still ahead of him,” the defenseman added.. “I’m excited for that and to do it in front of, you know, the fans in Utah.”

Relocation to Utah

Durzi was asked if he and the Coyotes heard rumors of the team moving out of Arizona during the season and the defenseman said it was something that definitely affected the group.

“We heard it all year, but we also heard that there have been rumors before,” Durzi said. “It was a distraction all year.”

Midway through the season, the team went on a big losing streak and have to come together to put the distraction of relocation rumors aside.

 

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Durzi said the guys met and said they planned to focus on the games in front of them and deal with everything else after the season.

The defenseman believes the team played “better hockey” from that point on.

Despite ending the losing streak and closing out the season with a victory at home over the Edmonton Oilers, the Coyotes missed the postseason.

RELATED: Utah Puck Report Podcast

Frozen Fury history

Durzi said that he’d been to Utah prior to the team’s welcome party at the Delta Center in April.

The former L.A. defenseman participated in the Frozen Fury series at the Salt Lake City arena when the Kings matched up with the Vegas Golden Knights a couple of years ago.

Durzi said it was a short time to Utah. However, he remembers playing in front of a crowd of Utahns.

“It was a competitive game because of the atmosphere,” the new Utah hockey player told Stevens. “You could tell there was an energy in there. It was pretty cool to have that energy in a state that didn’t have hockey at the time. So that was exciting.”

Touring Utah and welcome party

“Special” was the word that Durzi used to describe the welcome party for the team in April.

 

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“One of the coolest experiences I’ve had so far in my career. I think a lot of it was unexpected. We weren’t sure what we were going to be going through. Obviously, everything happened so quick,” Durzi said.

The defenseman described the arena as “a playoff-type atmosphere” despite no game being played.

“It was pretty special,” Durzi said of the reception by fans at the Delta Center.

Utah NHL team nickname

One of the popular topics of conversation surrounding the team is its future nickname.

Durzi said he doesn’t have a preference for the team’s nickname. He went through the list of 20 nicknames put out on the organization’s initial survey to fans and liked most of them.

“I just hope our jerseys are cool,” the defenseman said.

To hear Durzi’s entire conversation on the Utah Puck Report podcast, check out the video above.

Kyle Ireland is an insider for Utah’s NHL team for KSLSports.com. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Utah Defenseman Sean Durzi: ‘We Want To Win In Front Of These Fans’