I could sit here, and throw dozens more stats, or charts your way in an attempt to show you all just how good a player Charles Hudon is. This article is not that, there have been three others this week that I’ve written that have all that info contained in them, and you should give them a read when you have a moment.
I’m writing this as someone who has seen Hudon’s full career trajectory up to this point, from his time in the QMJHL, to the AHL, and finally the NHL this past season. His play style at every level has made him not only my favourite prospect to cover as he developed, but a player who I hope thrives because he’s capable of being a fantastic NHL player.
The best is yet to come for Hudon, and this season is shaping up to be one where he can truly make his mark on the league.
In a year where luck was on the side of absolutely no one on the team (except maybe Nic Deslauriers), Hudon does the right things to create offence. Standing 5’10’’ he isn’t the biggest body on the ice, but he is relentless on the puck, and will battle with anyone to come away with it.
Couple that with his abilities in the offensive zone, and you have a player that you can always count on to make things happen. As stated above, Hudon didn’t have great luck this year, but when he scored in games, he made them count, just look at his first two NHL goals from this past season.
In the first goal he fakes out Erik Karlsson, arguably the best defenseman in the league, so badly that Karlsson falls over himself as Hudon buries the puck behind Craig Anderson. In goal number two, with zero space around him, Hudon is able to pull the puck to his backhand and pick the far corner of the net with relative ease for his second of the game.
It’s a trend that would continue for Hudon over the course of the season, if he scored one goal, he was likely to add another. What’s more, he scored these goals in all sorts of different ways. From dazzling breakaways, to power play snipes, to crashing the net for rebounds, he did what had to be done to get the puck in the net.
While I promised there wouldn’t be stats, well I lied because there is one that I believe highlights the likelihood of there being a brighter season ahead for Hudon. Out of his 30 points last year, he had 10 goals, and 20 assists, which isn’t mind-blowing but when you factor in a stagnant offence and low shooting percentage, things clarify a bit. Moreover, of those 20 assists, 13 were primary assists, meaning out of his 30 points last year, 23 of them were primary points.
Although the point total is a bit lower than fans might have hoped for, his point production is almost entirely primary points. So he’s either finishing plays off, or is the person to set up the goal more often than not. Generating offence in that manner, even with a bad run of luck, on a bad team, is a promising sign for next year. With a regression to the mean in his shooting percentage, and some better luck for his teammates, there’s still plenty to come from the 24-year-old forward.