Welcome to the Los Angeles Kings Prospect Update, a weekly feature highlighting a prospect in the Los Angeles Kings system.
The Kings currently own the league rights of 46 players outside of the NHL, including Professional players in Europe, Junior players and players in college. Click here to see the 2008-09 LA Kings Prospect Roster.
This week we are highlighting the accomplishments of 18-year old Kings prospect Geordie Wudrick, currently playing for the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL. Wudrick’s week started with a two-point effort in a 5-4 Swift Current loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings on Jan. 20, as the 6’3,” 213-pound left wing scored just 1:22 into the first period. In a matchup against the Saskatoon Blades on Jan. 23 Wudrick lit the lamp once, helping the Broncos to a 4-3 victory at home. In the third game of a three-game home stand for Swift Current, Wudrick tallied a goal and an assist as the Broncos emerged victorious over the Prince Albert Raiders. Wudrick now has 33 points (20-13=33) in 49 games with Swift Current, as the team currently sits fifth in the Eastern Conference with 55 points (27-23-1).Wudrick has said that he looks up to Kings center Anze Kopitar for style and inspiration, and considering they are both big players developing in a tighter, faster game of hockey, similarities are present between the two young forwards.
“Their skating stride is similar,” said Kings Coordinator of Player Development and Systems Integration Nelson Emerson. “Geordie’s skating stride is pretty wide and powerful once he gets going. I think if you look at Kopitar’s skating and play, it’s the same way. You love to see them skate through the neutral zone, just a big body that is powerful. Kopitar is definitely a great guy to look up to.”
Drafted in the third round (88th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Wudrick became the highest draft pick in Broncos history. The Abbottsford, British Columbia native was taken by Swift Current in the first round (2nd overall) in 2005 WHL Draft and came in to that league with a promising future. Now in his third season with the Broncos, Wudrick had 44 points (20-24=44) in 66 games last season, surpassing his previous season mark by twenty points despite playing one less game.
“Geordie has played better the second half of the year, so we are going to want him to continue that and have a big ending to the season. I think that one of the big focuses that we have him on is skating with power. He is a big kid, who is also young, and he is still growing into his frame. But he is a really good skater and the fact that he is able to move this big body around the ice is going to be key for him and for us. We would love to see him skating and getting opportunities, because he has got a pretty decent shot and scoring touch.
“What we are working on is his strength along the wall, because like I said his big frame and his size should be a real positive for him. So we want to make sure that he focuses on winning all of his puck battles and pay attention to puck protection, maybe hold on to pucks a little bit longer in the offensive zone. Continue with his power type of play and he will do well.
“We are happy that he is playing and that things are going great for him.”
A notable performance were given this week by Los Angeles Kings prospect Teddy Purcell, who played in his second AHL All-Star game on Monday night and whose five assists allowed him to tie for the AHL record with eight All-Star points (3-5=8). Offensive prospect Andrei Loktionov is still on a roll this week as he had four points (2-2=4) in three games with the OHL Windsor Spitfires. Returning from captaining the gold-medal winning Team Canada at the World Junior Championships, Thomas Hickey, profiled last week here, rounded off this week with one goal and two assists in three games.
Click here for the statistics on all of the Los Angeles Kings 2008-09 Prospects.