photo by Sara Melikian/RPI
Name: Patrick Koudys
Weight: 210 lbs
Hometown: Smithville, ON
With their fifth round pick at 147th, the Washington Capitals selected Patrick Koudys, a defenseman currently studying civil engineering and playing hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), in the ECAC of Division I college hockey. RPI has produced NHL talent such as Adam Oates and Joe Juneau (incidentally, both former Capitals).
Koudys just completed his freshman year at RPI, scoring one goal and two assists in 31 games as an Engineer. Prior to his freshman year, Inside College Hockey (INCH) named him 11th on their Top 20 list of Incoming Freshman Defensemen.
He compares his game to that of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who actually has a very similar background to Koudys. "He is from Smithville right now, even though he was originally from Grimsby," Koudys says of Bieksa. "He went to Blessed Trinity like I did. He played Junior A in Burlington, and was drafted to the [OHL] and went to school - so was I."
He plays like Bieksa as well, considering himself a "solid two-way defenseman." He points to his vision as being an asset, saying, "I can read the play well and see the game, overall, pretty well." Earlier this June, he spoke with NHL.com about his flexibility as a player. "If a team needs a defensive-defenseman, I'm that guy," he says. "An offensive guy, physical presence or a fighter … I can do that, too."
At 6'4" and 210 lbs, he's nearly at NHL-ready size. "I think my size is a big thing, too," Koudys says. "Not too many guys are as big as I am right now, and I see myself filling in lots this summer, and a lot more over the next couple of years before I make my big push for the NHL."
Father Jim, also a defenseman, was drafted by the New York Islanders with the very last pick of the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, 252nd, in the 12th round. He honed his skills with the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL for three seasons. Though he never played an NHL game, he spent several seasons in the AHL and IHL.
Patrick says his father actually inspired him to go the college route instead of going straight from the CHL to professional hockey as his father did. After getting picked by the Oshawa Generals in the 7th round of the 2009 OHL Draft, RPI offered him a scholarship, and Koudys accepted the chance to get an education and play college hockey. "It was a no-brainer for me," Koudys says of his decision. Koudys points out that if professional hockey doesn't work out for him, he'll have a degree to fall back on.
However, after invites to last summer's NHL Research, Development, and Orientation camp as well as the recent NHL combine, scouts clearly see talent and he should enjoy some sort of professional career. Ranked 76th among North American skaters in the Central Scouting Services (CSS) final rankings, CSS scouts see Koudys as a player who can and will improve as he continues to develop with RPI's program.
"He has really good upside, a really strong skater, good defensively," says CSS scout Gary Eggleston. "He was a little bit restrained offensively, but I think he can still go with the puck and contribute to the offense. He's a pretty physical kid, strong in the corners and capable of moving to the puck quickly. He played with a lot of poise for a freshman."
It was at this month's combine that Koudys first met with the Washington Capitals and spoke with management. He felt his interview went well, and was happy to hear his name called by the Capitals on the second day of this weekend's draft.
In an interview with the media after his selection, Koudys expressed his excitement, saying, "They're obviously a great organization and really excited that I got drafted there."