Good afternoon, Insiders!
The Ontario Reign have announced their first signing of the summer, agreeing to a two-year AHL deal with forward Charles Hudon.
Hudon has played in 134 NHL games over the course of his professional career, which has spanned nine seasons and three NHL organizations. He’s played at the highest level with both Colorado and Montreal, including nine games with the Avalanche during the 2022-23 season. Hudon is also a proven AHL scorer, with five seasons of 25+ goals with various AHL clubs, and has a 30-point NHL season to his name as well. He recently turned 29, so he’s not a prospect-type signing, but he has proven production at the AHL level.
This past season, Hudon had 29 goals at the AHL level with the Colorado Eagles, and another four goals from seven games during the Calder Cup Playoffs which included one in each of Colorado’s wins in the opening round agains the Reign. In a small NHL sample size, his puck possession metrics were very solid this past season, coming in at 54 percent or better in percentage of shot attempts, scoring chances and high-danger chances controlled, averaging just shy of 10 minutes per game at 5-on-5.
Unlike many of the Kings depth signings that we’ve seen over the past few days since free agency opened, Hudon will play exclusively for the Reign in the AHL. While he remains a free agent at the NHL level, the Reign won’t have to worry about him having to clear waivers in order to be assigned to them and will have the security of a top-end scorer committed to their roster for the next two seasons.
Although he’s only spent one season in the Pacific Division, the Reign will definitely be excited to have Hudon flip over to their side of what has become an intense rivalry with the Eagles. Colorado has eliminated Ontario from three consecutive postseasons and the Kings organization has taken notice. LA went out and signed two former Eagles stars when NHL free agency opened on Saturday, adding Mikhail Maltsev and Andreas Englund, and now the Reign have Hudon in their stable of forwards as well. Hudon led Colorado against Ontario last season with a team-high four goals and six points.
From the team’s official release –
Hudon, 29, will begin his 10th professional season with Ontario after a year with the Colorado Avalanche organization that saw him play nine NHL games and 61 contests with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles where he scored a team-high 54 points (29-25=54). Hudon totaled 17 power play goals for the Eagles which led the AHL, and also posted four goals in seven postseason appearances.
A native of Alma, Quebec, Hudon has played in 134 NHL games over the course of his professional career with Colorado and the Montreal Canadians, who drafted him in the 5th round of the 2012 NHL Draft. The left-shot winger has also played 380 AHL games and notched more than 300 total points (161-147=308) with the Eagles, Hamilton Bulldogs, St. John’s IceCaps, Laval Rocket and Syracuse Crunch.
Hudon has posted 25 or more goals in five of his AHL seasons and also has a 30-point NHL campaign to his name when he suited up for 72 games with the Canadians during 2017-18 and scored 10 goals and 20 assists. He is a two-time AHL All-Star selection, participating in the showcase during the 2014-15 and 2019-20 seasons.
Prior to turning pro, Hudon played four seasons of junior hockey in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), tallying 273 points (104-169=273) with 241 PIM and a plus-78 rating in 235 games with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens and Baie-Comeau Drakkar. He was named the QMJHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2011 when he scored 60 points in 63 games during his first junior campaign. Hudon also skated in 50 QMJHL playoff games, collecting 45 points (21-24=45).
Internationally, Hudon represented Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in 2011 where he helped his team earn a goal medal with an event-high five goals in five games, and also participated in the in 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships with a goal and an assist in seven games.