Today’s entry is #15 out of what will hopefully be a complete set of 17 prospects below the AHL level. You can find the full set of clickable links in the menu page HERE.
Today’s update on Spokane Chiefs forward Hudson Elynuik also completes the tour of five stops in the WHL and a total of seven in the Canadian Hockey League leaving only two stops in Europe to complete the set of 17 players for the “Midterms” series.
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 has an NHL frame at 6 feet 5 inches tall, and his father had a 9-year NHL career. In 2016-17, Hudson Elynuik played on 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 and has returned to Spokane for the 2017-18 season.
Interview with Kevin Dudley from The Spokesman-Review
About the Interviewee
Kevin Dudley (Twitter=@k_dudley) is a freelance writer covering the Spokane Chiefs for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington. He also went to high school with Spokane native and Carolina Hurricanes’ forward Derek Ryan.
Interview on Hudson Elynuik
Canes and Coffee: What has been Hudson Elynuik’s playing situation thus far for the 2017-18 season?
Kevin Dudley: Elynuik centers a line with Zach Fischer on his right wing an Riley Woods on his left. That line, along with the Ethan McIndoe/Jaret Anderson-Dolan/Kailer Yamamoto line are counted on to score. It’s no surprise those six players are among the top seven in points for Spokane (D Ty Smith is also in the top seven). You could say those lines are 1a and 1b. Elynuik is second on the team with 69 points coming into the Feb. 17 game against Tri-City. He plays on the power play and rotates in on the penalty kill, so he’s basically in during every situation. His line has shown incredible chemistry this season, especially after the Chiefs traded for Zach Fischer in October. Elynuik and Fischer seem to have a great sense of where the other is. It’s actually incredible to watch. I can’t find any specific ice time stats but Elynuik is probably among the leaders for forwards. Let’s just say that when the game is late and the Chiefs shorten their bench, Elynuik’s line is counted on to produce.
Canes and Coffee: Can you please provide a short summary of Hudson Elynuik’s 2017-18 season so far?
Kevin Dudley: With 69 points, Elynuik is second to Jaret Anderson-Dolan (73) on the team coming into the Feb. 17 game against Tri-City. He’s at 1.23 points per game, which is actually third on the team (Kailer Yamamoto is first with 1.70, but he missed a month at the World Juniors and about a month at the beginning of the season with the Edmonton Oilers, so he’s played in fewer games and is smoking teams now). Elynuik is an alternate captain this season and is counted on to provide a leadership role, given that he’s a 20-year-old with a lot of experience.
Canes and Coffee: Considering his play in 2016-17 and now in 2017-18, in what areas do you notice the most progress in Elynuik’s development from last season to this one?
Kevin Dudley: I think Elynuik has found good linemates, and that has helped him immensely this season. He’s still a top player for Spokane – he was already good and counted on to produce offense, but he’s found nice chemistry with Riley Woods and Zach Fischer, and I think that’s helped him a bunch. He’s always been among the bigger guys in the league and now that he’s a 20-year-old, he’s rounding into his body and using it as a strength.
Canes and Coffee: As Hudson Elynuik works to develop into an NHL player, what areas of his game still have room for improvement? What are his strengths at this stage of his development?
Kevin Dudley: Elynuik’s strength is his size and wingspan. He’s able to get his stick into lanes when defending one-on-one with an opponent, and I think that can frustrate the other team. He’s not a fast guy, and he’s actually quite patient and methodical with the puck. He protects the puck well in the offensive zone, and I think his size helps in that regard. He’s still really lanky, but that can be enhanced at the next level. Being methodical with the puck works in juniors, but he’ll have to learn to make quicker decisions at the next level.
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else about Hudson Elynuik and/or his 2017-18 season that is not covered in the previous questions that would be of interest to Carolina Hurricanes fans tracking his development from afar?
Kevin Dudley: From the start of the season, Elynuik has been one of the guys the Chiefs count on. That’s evident in his role on the team. The Chiefs traded for Elynuik when he was a 16-year-old and it took him until his 18-year-old season to break out, which led to him being drafted by Carolina, as you know. He had some injuries over the years but really came on when injuries throughout the Chiefs lineup moved him up to the top of the lineup where he was able to play with more offensive-minded line mates.
Canes and Coffee would like to extend a huge thank you to Kevin Dudley from The Spokesman-Review for generously sharing his ‘from the rink’ insight on Hurricanes prospect Hudson Elynuik.
I was surprised by the statement that Elynuik is “not fast.” I thought I remembered him at the prospect tournament on several breakaways where he separated. If other regulars remember I would be interested in what they recall.