Koudys, a 6-foot-3 native of Smithville, Ontario, spent the last two seasons at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) after skating in Canadian junior leagues for two years. He intends to parlay his experience at both the college and junior levels into a prominent role in Muskegon this season.
|Pat Koudys chose Muskegon to further hone his game|
after two seasons at RPI. (Photo: RPI Athletics)
Pat, whose father Jim Koudys (pronounced COW-dice) was a New York Islanders draft pick and had a three-year pro career, was taken in the fifth round of the 2011 NHL Draft by Washington. He just returned from Capitals development camp, which wrapped up last weekend.
"It went a lot better than I expected," said Koudys, who also attended last summer after his freshman year at RPI. "I got good feedback from scouts and the coaches watching."
He will be looking for input from the Lumberjacks coaching staff this season, starting at Training Camp in late August.
"I've talked to [Head Coach] Jim McKenzie, Steve and Dave and I've just been impressed with the coaching staff," Koudys said. "It's a great facility. I saw it on the website and I just got a firsthand look now. It looks like a perfect fit for me."
Koudys is seeking to reset his young career and he chose the USHL as his launching pad for that effort. He intends to hone his game in Muskegon while pursuing an offer from another NCAA team.
|With his combination of size and strength, Koudys |
got the attention of the Capitals last summer. (Photo: NHL)
When drafted, Koudys was touted as a physical, defensively-sound player who projected as a potential second-pairing defenseman at the highest level. He is determined to round out his big-bodied skill set before heading back to a Division I college.
"I see myself as a two-way defenseman, but I focus more on taking care of my own zone," he said. "I'm big and I like to play the physical game while making smart decisions with the puck."
It sounds like Koudys could be the ideal complement for a fellow 2011 NHL draft pick on the Jacks roster, offensive-minded Swedish blueliner Rasmus Bengtsson, whose NHL rights are owned by the Florida Panthers.
But regardless of whom he plays alongside, Muskegon fans should expect a hard-working disposition from the newcomer.
"At the next level, guys are stronger and everything is faster," Koudys said.
"I'm just trying to get better every day."