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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pat Koudys: A guy you should know

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute used to produce some pretty bad dudes as far as the NHL was concerned: Adam Oates, Darren (the Grand) Puppa, Joe Juneau...all came out of Troy, N.Y.'s engineering center of higher learning par excellence.

Now, freshman defenseman Patrick Koudys (pronounced COW-dice) could be the latest in the line of RPI standouts (although admittedly it has been a long time since the Engineers graduated a bona fide hockey star; as much as I like pride of New Bedford Brian Pothier, he doesn't belong in that category).

The 6-4, 200-pound (Nov. 1992 birthdate) defenseman from Smithville, Ontario is a raw, project defender but one with some interesting potential down the road. He only has one goal in 12 games, but some scouts feel he'll be a first-round pick because there's at least a few NHL teams out there who have glommed on to his considerable size and skill package.

Koudys skates well in a straight line, though his footwork/pivots/turns (agility) are still a little rough. He can be a bit of a turnstile when opposing forwards attack him with speed and force him to move laterally. But, he makes a good first pass and is going to play at about 225-230 pounds when all is said and done. He needs to get his shot off a little faster and improve the accuracy, but it's a bomb.

He was a Jr. A standout last season, winning top defenseman honors for the OJHL's Burlington Cougars, so the kid definitely has some two-way chops. You won't hear him talked about in the same sentence as a guy like Dougie Hamilton, but you're looking at a guy who's essentially the same size and doesn't move quite as well, but brings the same kind of intriguing pure physical attributes and offensive upside that NHL teams drool over.

Pat Koudys...get to know him, because of Boston keeps its own pick in 2011 and is down around 25-30, then he might be a legitimate option. Especially if the team opts to go forward with the Toronto selection or takes a small, ultra-skilled player like Ryan Murphy.

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