ST. PAUL, Minn. | Defenseman Jim Koudys was a 12th-round pick of the Islanders in 1982. If his son Patrick heard his name Friday night or Saturday at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center, he would most certainly better his father.
But that didn’t make it any less sweet for Patrick Koudys – also a defenseman – when the Capitals made him their fifth-round selection, 147th overall.
“I’m gonna rub that in his face for a little bit,” Patrick Koudys said with a smile.
Jim Koudys had what his son called a “good career” spent in the minors in the American Hockey League and International Hockey League. Again, Patrick wants to do more than just follow in his father’s footsteps, saying the next few years are all about doing what’s “best to fulfill my dream of playing in the NHL.”
Koudys has nice size at 6-foot-2 but was the youngest player as a freshman at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He managed only one goal and two assists in 32 games, a result of playing on a veteran blue line.
“I feel my points this year don’t really affect my offensive ability that I have,” Koudys said. “We do have some great defensemen that were out there getting points for us. That wasn’t necessarily my role. I feel next year I’ll be able to step in and fill that role and get some more points and then everyone can kinda see my offensive upside that I do believe I have.”
Koudys sees himself as a solid two-way defenseman – one who still has a lot to learn at RPI under coach Seth Appert. The 18-year-old admitted the adjustment to the quicker college game wasn’t easy at first, but his coach said he caught up well.
“I think his talent, mind for the game, and work ethic are real special, and we’re expecting
great things from him in the next couple of years,” Appert said.
The Caps are, too. Director of amateur scouting Ross Mahoney was impressed with how Koudys handled himself against top prospects like No. 1 pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins during a development session in Toronto last year.
“Our big defenseman that we took, Koudys, is a very good skater, is an intelligent player, moves the puck well,” Mahoney said. “As a freshman at university he sure had to bide his time. There were some times he had a very veteran defense. So we expect him to play a lot more next year and probably make a bigger jump in his development.”
Koudys has smarts off the ice, as well. He’s a civil engineering major at RPI and likely has at least two more years left in Upstate New York. Still, his sights are set on the “ultimate goal” of making the NHL. And once he plays one game in the NHL, he’ll be another step ahead of his father.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to crack the [Caps] lineup the next few years and help them to do very well,” Koudys said.