After very brief stints in the NHL, Charles Hudon finally made the NHL squad out of training camp in 2017.
He appeared ready to make that jump to the top level in previous years, though was returned to the AHL team while the big club opted for more veteran players in the lineup. The choices for roster players were often baffling, and never more so than in the 2017 post-season when the Canadiens made little effort to address their goal-scoring woes.
The 10 goals an 20 assists he scored made for a decent output in his first year, though he probably should have had more if not for a low shooting percentage and nets that seemed to be about an inch too small. He was able to have an impact in games even if he wasn’t scoring, and he was a dangerous player on many of his shifts.
The best of those may have been in overtime versus the New Jersey Devils on December 14, when he made an exceptional play while surrounded by all three opposing skaters, getting the puck to Tomas Plekanec for a fairly easy goal. It was one of the many plays that showed off his skill set — and worth watching again.
We revisited his play alongside Plekanec from the pre-season through the first few games of the regular campaign when reviewing the man on the other flank, Artturi Lehkonen. Hudon had great metrics not only with those two, but other players with the talent to play in the top six as well.
If the Canadiens are hoping to get the most out of the Quebec-born player in 2018-19, giving him the talent to complement his skill is the proper approach.
If he is given those linemates, there’s every reason to believe he will have a breakout year. His work ethic will get him in prime position to create offence, and he has the skill to make things happen when he’s there.
In fact, he either finished the play or was directly responsible for setting up a goal 23 times last season, despite spending significant time with players who underperformed relative to their previous levels. There’s every reason to believe that his offensive game will blossom this season.
Now with his first year of experience under his belt, he knows what to expect heading into the upcoming season, and it could lead to exciting things.
Grade Hudon’s 2017-18 season performance
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