Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Boston Bruins Prospects Series: #30 Maxim Chudinov

Maxim Chudinov, D
5-10, 195
March 25, 1990
Shoots: Right
Boston's 7th choice, 195th overall (seventh round) in 2010 Draft
Signing status: Unsigned

Talent Analysis

Physical: One more sub-6-foot defender to the Boston mix doesn't hurt, right? Short and squat, with extremely strong legs and a powerful upper body despite the lack of height-- a real specimen. Short arms and stick pose a challenge for him defensively. Very good skater with fast initial step, smooth acceleration and the ability to move well laterally and backwards. Makes a good first pass and can move the puck well on the transition. For his size, has a cannon shot from the point, but needs to work on getting it off faster and without so much of a windup/wasted motion. Good wrister and has the mobility to get in below the circles and let it fly. Had a career year in 09-10 playing with fellow Bruins prospect Yuri Alexandrov on Cherepovets Severstal of the KHL, scoring six goals and 13 points in 47 games. His stats line in his first 46 career Russian elite/KHL games: 0-0-0. Plays with some bite: will initiate and likes to hit. Gets up under bigger players and leverages them off-balance with his strength and technique. Working on playing a more positionally sound defensive game, which is important given his lack of size and reach.

Intangibles: Pretty good vision and instincts, but more is needed to be seen from him at the KHL level. He'll have an opportunity to pick up more minutes with Alexandrov headed to North America. Has a reputation as a fierce competitor (read: borderline dirty player) and could be seen as a slightly less-skilled, but nastier version of David Warsofsky. Said to have a lot of heart, character and drive-- if he continues on his upward developmental curve in Russia, could zoom up the Boston prospect depth chart.

Boston Bruins 2010 Development Camp assessment
Did not attend; watch for him to be there in 2011.

Projection
Chudinov is hard to peg right now because there aren't a whole lot of folks who have seen him play, but he was more productive than Alexandrov was at the same age, and his 13 points are pretty solid numbers for a Russian defenseman. The safe bet is that he's a top-four with special teams acumen, but we'll have to see how he performs in the next couple of seasons. Peter Chiarelli not only likened his playing style to that of Brian Rafalski, but said at the draft that he didn't expect Chudinov to compete for a spot in Boston for another two years, so it will be interesting to see what transpires from here.

Quotable
"I really like this player. He's short, but built like a fire hydrant and he can skate and shoot the puck. He plays with an edge and in my opinion has been one of the better young Russian d-men in the international competitions he's been involved in over the past several years. This is a pretty good pick for Boston in the seventh round; there's some upside here."- Red Line Report chief scout Kyle Woodlief to B2010DW, Los Angeles; June 26, 2010

The Final Word
Chudinov is another player who may be a tad low on the list, but in the absence of more anecdotal evidence, and given the fact that we know he's at least two years away if not more, he debuts at No. 30 with the chance to move up if he can continue to build on what was a very solid season. His upside is a bit of a question mark at this stage, but he's definitely a player to watch and may have been a solid value for Boston after being passed over twice previously, but really coming on at 19.

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