NHL Draft Prospect Profile #65: Charles Hudon
Drafted 122nd Overall by the Montreal Canadiens.
Hudon burst onto the scene in 2010-11 winning the QMJHL Rookie of the Year honours after putting up 60 points in 63 games for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. His play would earn him a spot on Team Canada for the 2011 Ivan Hlinka tournament where he scored 5 goals and 9 points in just 5 games, helping Team Canada to capture the gold medal. Hudon would follow that up with another impressive season in the QMJHL scoring 66 points in 59 games. He was a huge part of helping Chicoutimi to upset heavily favoured, and eventual Memorial Cup Champion Shawinigan in the 2nd round of the QMJHL playoffs. Hudon is a talented offensive player who faces many of the same criticisms as Kevin Roy. Like Roy, Hudon just keeps putting up the points and hopes to prove the critics wrong going forward.
Born Jun 23 1994 — Alma, PQ
Height 5.10 — Weight 171 — Shoots L
Hudon has incredible hockey sense, and offensive instincts. He is almost always in the right place at the right time. He finds openings in the defense and stealthily exploits them. A gifted playmaker Hudon has great vision and is able to make crisp passes to teammates with only the tiniest of openings to thread the puck. Hudon has a very accurate wrist shot, and a great release which can fool goalies. He could stand to gain some strength and improve the velocity of his shot, and this would lead to a lot more goals. Hudon is also blessed with soft hands which allow him to make a swift move around a defender or to score on a goaltender in tight. Undersized, Hudon is not afraid of traffic, and is willing to work on the boards and down low, however adding some muscle to his frame would certainly help him in these aspects.
Many have criticized Hudon’s skating, however we feel that the concerns are overblown. Hudon is certainly not blessed with great top end speed, in fact we’d characterize his speed as just slightly above average, but there is more to skating ability than just pure speed. More quick than fast, Hudon has a good first step, and acceleration, this allows him to dart into open spaces and pounce on loose pucks in the offensive zone. He has good balance and is strong on his skates making him difficult to knock off the puck, especially given his size. Hudon is also extremely agile, which helps him to get by defenders after he turns them inside out with his fancy stickwork.
Defensively, Hudon’s game is a work in progress. He loses board battles and containment due to being undersized. This is another area where added bulk will help him to reach the next level. He also needs to work on his defensive positioning as he can sometimes look lost in his own end of the rink. His defensive flaws will need to be improved with more time in the QMJHL and possibly the AHL before he’s ready to contribute in the NHL.
Hudon is an intriguing prospect. While there are certainly some areas of his game that need work such as bulking up and working on his defensive game, those are areas that can be improved on by a young player through hard work and good coaching. However Hudon possesses a natural skill that cannot be taught, his offensive instincts and point producing ability. For these reasons he’s an intriguing prospect going forward. We believe he has the potential to be a playmaking left wing, comparable to Alex Tanguay of the Calgary Flames.
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