Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2015 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! The following is a complete listing of all our 2016 Draft Articles.
The son of former NHLer Pat Elyniuk, Hudson Elynuik is yet another player in the 2016 NHL Draft who comes from excellent bloodlines. Elynuik was originally drafted by the Kootenay Ice and moved to the Spokane Chiefs at the 2014 WHL Trade Deadline. A late bloomer, Elynuik was a middling player for his first two and a half years in the WHL, but put up 32 points in his final 33 games games this year and three goals in the Chiefs six game playoff loss to the Victoria Royals in the WHL playoffs. Overall Elynuik finshed with 19 goals and 44 points in 56 games. This helped Elynuik to jump from a mid-season ranking of #122 with NHL Central Scouting to a final ranking of #68.
Hudson Elynuik Scouting Report: Scouting Report #71
Center — shoots Left
Born Oct 12 1997 — Calgary, ALTA
Height 6’05” — Weight 201 lbos [196 cm / 91 kg]
Hudson Elynuik is considerably taller than his father, and at 6-foot-5-inches he is an extremely intriguing NHL Draft prospect. He has an excellent shot. His wrist shot is heavy and accurate, and features a very good release. Elynuik gets himself open in the offensive zone in order to take a pass from a teammate and set up for that shot. He also has a powerful one-timer. Elynuik also has the soft hands to finish plays in tight to the net, and is more than willing to battle for position to do so. He bangs in rebounds, gets tip-ins, and generally causes havoc down low. Elynuik is not a huge hitter, but he uses his size to win battles on the boards, to establish his position in front of the net; and to protect the puck in the cycle game and create plays for teammates. Elynuik plays a very straight forward game. His assists come from keeping possession and keeping the play going on the cycle. He is not the most creative playmaker, but does have the passing skills to make the safe and simple plays.
Elynuik is a good skater for his size. While he’s not a speedster, he certainly does not fall behind the play, and keeps up well with his teammates. Elynuik also has good first step quickness and acceleration for a big man. He has a strong lower body which helps him to have balance in battles along the boards and in front of the net. Adding more muscle to what is a bit of a skinny frame would go a long way to making this aspect of his game even better. Elynuik can also work on his agility and edgework, as he could stand to maneuver better through tight spaces and high traffic areas.
Hudson Elynuik is developing a solid defensive game. He uses his big frame to block shots and cut down passing lanes. Elynuik was trusted in key situations by the Chiefs, playing against opponents top lines, taking key defensive zone draws, and even killing penalties. He was extremely good in the role, being a positive player on a poor defensive club overall.
Some analysts may have a concern that Elynuik’s offense really came to the forefront in the second half of the year and is a relatively small sample size. However, with his good shot, excellent size and skating ability, I do believe he can carry it into next season. Even if he doesn’t though, the size, skating ability and defensive game still give him the potential to be a third or fourth line centre at the NHL level. Elynuik’s style is reminiscent of Lars Eller of the Montreal Canadiens but this is merely a stylistic comparison and not one based on skill level.
The following is a compilation of Hudson Elynuik’s highlights, assembled from youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the #72 prospect on our NHL Draft Board.