Hometown: Parry Sound, ON
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 131 (North American skaters)
NHL Central Scouting midterm ranking: 68
TSN’s final ranking: 81
McKeen’s final ranking: 52
Stats (OHL-Owen Sound): 68 GP, 31-34=65
Via McKeen’s (subscribe to McKeen’s Hockey here):
It should not have to be said, but Aidan Dudas is not the second coming of Johnny Gaudreau or Alex DeBrincat. He could probably borrow clothes from either player, and he does flash really enticing offensive talent from his tiny frame, but he did not put up anywhere near the numbers of DeBrincat, while Gaudreau had similar numbers in junior before exploding in the collegiate game. Dudas, on the other hand, fell slightly short of the one point per game mark in his draft year with Owen Sound before a quiet playoff and a nondescript and abbreviated performance for Team Canada at the WU18. He is a quick and agile skater whose patience on the puck help him to create scoring chances for himself and his linemates. He has also proven to be an effective performer on both special teams’ units for the Attack. Dudas is a high volume shooter and his wrist shot can be a pretty dangerous weapon, although his lack of upper body strength relegates his slap and snap shots to largely ineffective due to poor power. He may lack the style of game that DeBrincat had, where he would play as if he was six inches taller and 40 pounds heavier, but Dudas plays with energy, if not heaviness. He never gives up on a play and his effort level is undeniable. As the Gaudreau and DeBrincat comparisons remind us, this size concern is no longer a factor that will close the door on an NHL prospect. With Dudas we will see if a skill set that projects more towards middle six than top six will be given the same leeway at that size. We don’t see why not.
Aidan Dudas, on the feeling of being selected by Los Angeles:
It’s hard to explain. It’s pretty cool. I have a teammate that got drafted last year. I’m just really excited right now.
Dudas, on what came together over the last year:
I think I use my offensive skill to my advantage. I think I’m more of an offensive guy that likes to use my shot, likes to make plays, but at the same time, I’m reliable defensively and do what I have to do in the D-zone to get to the O-zone.
Dudas, on the number of times he met with Los Angeles, and the nature of those conversations:
I met with them twice. They were pretty laid back. They were really good guys that I met with, so it was nice to meet with them, and they gave me some positive feedback during the year and stuff I had to work on, so it was really cool.
Dudas, on what he’ll continue to refine over the coming year:
I think the first thing is obviously my defensive game. Being a smaller player, you have to be really smart in the defensive zone and use your stick really well and body position. Things like that. I think my game is a lot of offense, and I think I really have to work on my shot, and if I can build my shot up more and more, I think I can be dangerous in the league.
Dudas, on teaming with Gabriel Vilardi at development camp:
He’s a great player. The past two years, it was cool to play against him. You see guys like that that are exceptional talents, so it’s really cool going to development camp with him and learning from him and seeing what he does on and off the ice to pick up little habits here and there. I’m just really excited right now.
Dudas, on whether he’s ever been to Los Angeles:
I haven’t been to LA, no.
Dudas, on whether it’s “nerve-wracking” waiting for his name to be called:
It’s been pretty nerve-wracking. You’re just waiting there to hear your name called, and once it gets called, it’s a pretty cool feeling.
Dudas, on being a late add to the Top Prospects Game:
Yeah, I think those situations are really cool just to build your game around. You play under pressure, and I think the prospect game really helped me through the year, and I think just going into LA, you show them why they picked me, and I’m really looking forward to it.
-Lead photo via Bruce Bennett/Getty Images