If you are returning after a summer off just in time for the Carolina Hurricanes training camp, HERE is a clickable menu of the previous ‘Back to School’ articles on Hurricanes prospects below (or just moving up to) the AHL level.
Today’s entry in the ‘Back to School’ series makes the sixth and final stop in the Western Hockey League, checking in on Spokane Chiefs forward Hudson Elynuik.
Selected in the third round of the 2016 NHL Draft, Hudson Elynuik represented a strong combination of pedigree, physical attributes and pre-draft accomplishments. He easily had an NHL frame at 6 feet 5 inches tall, and his father had a 9-year NHL career. In 2016-17, Hudson Elynuik played a great WHL scoring line that also featured Kailer Yamamoto and Jaret Anderson-Dolan who were selected in the first and second rounds respectively in the 2017 NHL draft. Elynuik finished his 2016-17 season with the Spokane Chiefs with 29 goals and 44 assists in 64 games.
Interview with Spokane Chiefs General Manager Scott Carter
About the Interviewee
Scott Carter has been the general manager of the Spokane Chiefs since assuming that role in September 0f 2016. Carter has over 28 years of experience as a hockey scout, business manager and entrepreneur. From 1987 to 2015, he worked as a regional professional and amateur scout for three National Hockey League franchises – Vancouver, Anaheim and Toronto – scouting the Western Hockey League and British Columbia Hockey League.
Interview on Hudson Elynuik
Canes and Coffee: How would you describe Hudson Elynuik’s strengths as a player and NHL prospect? What areas of continued improvement do you see for him at this early stage of his development as a young player?
Scott Carter: Hudson has a great skill set for a big player but must continue to add size and muscle to his frame. It takes time to add quality weight. He also must get more consistent on a game–to–game basis just as most young players need to. Hudson has the ability to be a dominant player at this level.
Canes and Coffee: What is the outlook for Hudson Elynuik heading into the 2017-18 season with the Spokane Chiefs?
Scott Carter: Hudson came to camp this summer with a positive attitude and wants to take on a leadership role with the team. If Hudson’s consistency on a nightly basis is there, I’m confident he will have a good season and make Carolina take a long look at him after our season ends. It’s hard to find 6’5″ skilled centreman with an edge to his game, and Hudson is just that.
Canes and Coffee: With some changes in the coaching ranks, what can you tell us about the coaches that Hudson will be working with to continue his development in 2017-18?
Scott Carter: We have a new coach this season Dan Lambert, and I feel his presence will be important in Hudson’s development as Dan coached in both the NHL and AHL during the past two seasons. Also our new assistant coach Adam Deadmarsh will be working one-on-one with Hudson to help him understand what it will take for him to transition to the pro ranks.
Interview with Marshall Mackinder from Hockey Now
About the interviewee
Marshall Mackinder (Twitter=@Mackinder1861) is a freelance journalist who joined the Hockey Now staff in November 2015 and brings a wealth of knowledge from a scouting standpoint in junior hockey, as well as 10 years in the sports marketing and advertising field. Since 2011, Mackinder, has been a Western Hockey League and British Columbia Hockey League scout for Red Line Report, an independent scouting newsletter that focuses solely on NHL Draft-eligible prospects.
Interview on Hudson Elynuik
Canes and Coffee: How would you describe Hudson Elynuik’s 2016-17 season? What were the highlights of the season for him?
Marshall Mackinder: While Elynuik posted a career best 29-goal and 73-point season, much of his success seems like it was highly aided by playing on a line with dynamic scoring winger Kailer Yamamoto. He still seemed at times that he could have done a lot more in terms of a 200 foot game and playing a complete 60 minutes. However, when he was on his game, he proved he can be a finisher and a key component on the power play where he posted 11 power play goals and another 17 power play assists. He also proved to be a key penalty killer and even scored 4 shorthanded goals. There was however an empty feeling at times during the game where you had to ask yourself if he is giving it 100 percent at all times.
Canes and Coffee: What areas of Hudson Elynuik’s game showed the greatest development/improvement over the course of the 2016-17 season?
Marshall Mackinder: He learned how to open himself up more in terms of spacing and making room for himself. He got a little more physical in the corners and along the half walls. When he saw an opening he went for it rather than waiting to make a decision. He has a huge frame and doesn’t quite dominate like he should. He prefers to be more of a finesse player than a power forward which he has the build for.
Canes and Coffee: What areas of focus/room for improvement do you see for Elynuik over the offseason and entering the 2017-18 season?
Marshall Mackinder: He needs to focus on playing a full 60 minutes and playing a disciplined game. He needs to also focus on keeping his feet moving and staying involved in the play rather than giving up on it and letting his line mates control the play. This is not what you like to see from a center, but he is capable and being a veteran this season, he should be setting examples for the younger kids. In the first preseason game this September, in Everett he took a 5 minute major for kneeing and the WHL gave him a two-game suspension – not the discipline you expect out of a 20 year old.
Canes and Coffee: Hudson Elynuik will have had a strong 2017-18 season in terms of helping the Chiefs win and earning a professional contract if he ________.
Marshall Mackinder: …Separates himself as a standout leader and and leads instead of following. He needs to have a stronger presence in the neutral zone.
Canes and Coffee: Based on Hudson Elynuik’s abilities and skill set, are there any current NHL players that you think could be good models for how he could best develop his game for the NHL?
Marshall Mackinder: Combined with his skill and abilities, he reminds me of a little slower Detroit center Riley Sheahan or Dennis Rasmussen with the Anaheim Ducks.
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else not addressed by my questions above that might be noteworthy and of interest to Carolina Hurricanes fans who are tracking Hudson Elynuik from afar?
Marshall Mackinder: He has good size, really soft hands around the net and skates well for a big guy. Good hard shot and likes to clean up dirty rebounds in front and take space away from goaltender and defenseman in the crease. Would like to see some kind of physicality from a guy that is 6’6″ and 200 pounds.
For past coverage on Hudson Elynuik including a check in on him during the 2016-17, please visit his Canes and Coffee player page HERE.
Canes and Coffee would like to extend a huge thank you to Spokane Chiefs General Manager Scott Carter and Marshall Mackinder from Hockey Now for generously sharing their insight on Hurricanes prospect Hudson Elynuik!