SPOKANE, Wash. – The 2016 NHL Entry Draft begins Friday, June 24 with the first round and continues with rounds 2-7 on Saturday, June 25. Spokane Chiefs forward Hudson Elynuik hopes to hear his name called after a 44-point breakout season.
“I am excited for Saturday,” Elynuik said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about for a very long time.”
While he expects to get drafted, the three-year WHL veteran knows that he’s not there just yet.
“The NHL Draft is very competitive. They pick kids from all over the world. I am very excited to be in the mix,” he added. “It will be an honor and a great opportunity if I get picked.”
Elynuik jumped up the NHL Central Scouting Draft Prospect Rankings after a strong second half of the 2015-16 WHL regular season, climbing from 122nd on the midterm list to 68th among North American skaters. With an October 12 birthday, the 1997-born forward had an extra year of experience to gain before becoming draft eligible.
At 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Elynuik took full advantage of the added time to develop into an offensive threat for the young Chiefs, scoring 19 goals and 25 assists in 56 games. He surely caught the eyes of NHL scouts after the turn of the calendar year as he scored a point in 17 of 20 games beginning on Jan. 9, including a 10-game point streak.
“I knew that after I broke my toe at the beginning of the season that I had to do all the extra stuff to get noticed,” Elynuik noted. “I attribute my increase in production to (Coach Nachbaur) believing in me and putting me in key situations. I liked being challenged like that.”
“I had to focus on the details and with that came confidence. When I was confident, I was a much better player and created some chemistry with Kailer (Yamamoto) and (Dominic) Zwerger, which was pretty fun.”
Elynuik continued with a strong finish to the season, punching in two goals and three assists in Spokane’s final four games as the Chiefs made the WHL Playoffs for the tenth consecutive season. He added three goals in the team’s six-game Round One loss to the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy-winning Victoria Royals.
In three full WHL seasons, Elynuik has played 145 games, scoring 24 goals and 40 assists for 64 points. This offseason, like every summer for the Calgary native, has been focused on fitness and skill improvement.
“I train five days a week at Crash Conditioning in Calgary. I also skate with my dad (Pat Elynuik) and other WHL and pro players a couple days a week, working on quickness, speed, puck protection and shot. I like to stick handle and take shots in my garage at home whenever I can, too.”
The first round of the NHL Draft will be televised on NBC Sports beginning at 4 p.m. PT on June 24. Rounds 2-7 will be shown on NHL Network beginning at 10 a.m. ET on June 25.
Ticket packages for the Spokane Chiefs’ 2016-17 regular season – including Bud Light Opening Night on October 1 – are on sale now! With packages starting as low as $70, there’s a plan for any budget. Visit the Chiefs’ Ticket Office in person at the southeast corner of Spokane Arena, click here or call 509-535-PUCK for more information.