Why You Should Want Jiri Hudler On Your Team
Are you on the Hudler band-wagon? It wasn’t easy to immediately believe in Hudler, but this article will give you a couple reasons why you might want to jump on that wagon.
Jiri Hudler has had one strange career so far, playing all over the world and not always the most consistent. He came from the Czech Republic and starting living in the United States full time for the 2003-2004 season. Before then, he played from 1998 to 2003 for a couple different Czech Republic teams. He had semi-decent seasons, landing at least one point in every season he played. In 2002, the Detroit Red Wings drafted him as their first pick and 58th overall in the NHL Entry Draft. In his first season in America, he played a total of 12 games with the Wings and spent most of his time with the Grand Rapid Griffins in the AHL.
Jiri’s first full season with the Wings was the 2006-2007 season, in which he was named the "Detroit Red Wings Rookie of the Year" by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association. He had a goal or an assist in about 33% of his games played. His next two seasons, he raised that percentage 19% the first season and 18% the second season, averaging a goal or an assist in about 70% of his games played in the 2008-2009 season. Hudler has also been a part of one Stanley Cup winning in the 2007-2008 season. Sounding pretty good so far, right?
In the 2009-2010 season, Hudler played in Moscow with a Russian team known as the Dynamo Moscow where he competed in 54 games and getting a point in every single game he played. When he returned to the Wings the next season, most expected a big comeback and were highly disappointed. Hudler had a goal or an assist in only a whopping 51% of games played. The Wings officials were so disappointed that it was rumored that Detroit tried to trade Hudler during the 2011 draft to anybody who would take him and nobody wanted him. Now, it is easy to understand why so many have hard feelings for the 28 year old.
Don’t give up on him yet, though. It is a good thing the Wings couldn’t get rid of him and here is why: Hudler is close to having the kind of season he did back in 2008-2009, meaning over a 50-point season for the center player. It may even be safe to say Jiri is on his way to having the best season of his career yet so far! He has currently had a point in about 67% of his games played, which puts him at 34 points in 51 games.
Not only has he significantly improved with goals and assists, but he also has a plus-five rating, which is a big jump from high negative-seven last season. It’s no secret the Wings have been struggling on the road compared to their home performance. But, that struggle does not exist in Jiri Hudler. He has scored 12 goals on the road out of the 17 he has scored total this season and 2 of his 17 have been game winning goals for Detroit.
At the end of this season, the player’s 2 year 2.75 million dollar contract is up. It is safe to say that the fans of the Red Wings and officials should take a second look at possibly keeping Hudler around a couple seasons longer.