22 March 2007

The Littlest Red Wing

Hudler is a dazzling puckhandler who has a phenomenal offensive arsenal. He is a good skater with great foot speed which he uses to avoid opponents in the corners effectively. His good hockey sense, on-ice vision and playmaking ability make him an offensive threat on every shift. He has good scoring instincts and a quick accurate shot that he is willing to use in all situations. He is a great leader and hard worker which he showed at the U-18 WJC where he was capitan. [sic] The downside is that he sometimes tends to shy away from physical contact and is a bit of a liability defensively.

So said the Hockey's Future prospect report on my (5'9" 178 lb.) rookie Jiri Hudler. Did someone tell him this? Was the resulting insecurity and desire to prove himself the cause for his inclinations to go after guys like 6'4" 244 lb. Pavel Kubina (for which efforts he got a nice cross-check to the face; see photo) and also stepping up to defend, of all people, Kris Draper from the Blackhawks' James Wisniewski. Is this to blame for my fear during the Boston game that he was going to inexplicably throw himself at Chara and get railroaded? I don't know, I think when you're 5'9" in the NHL you're fairly justified in not wanting to get murdered - but then again the kid's figured out how to do it and come out no worse for the wear.

But hey, nice to see that was their biggest complaint. (Apparently they don't see his color coordination skills as something to pick on, who would have thought?)


Also, and it still pains me to say this, thanks Vancouver, we owe you. I will show my happiness by linking to my favorite thing Vancouver has ever done, aka Luongo to the tune of Lola.

And finally, the Pittsburgh Penguins signed Bronco hockey center Mark Letestu to an amateur tryout contract, so he'll be playing with Wilkes-Barre next season. He was a huge force for us this season (not to mention CCHA rookie of the year) and I'm sad to see him go...but at least it's to the Pens and not Phoenix like our power defenseman Chris Frank. Make them take good care of him, Elly!

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