The other day at the development camp, I got a chance to talk to Geordie Wudrick, who was the Kings’ third-round pick last month. There might not be a more engaging, enthusiastic kid in the whole camp, which is really fun to see. Wudrick, 18, totaled 20 goals and 24 assists in 66 games with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League last season. Here’s the interview…
Question: First of all, welcome. Is this your first time in L.A.?
Wudrick: “It’s my first time in California. It’s beautiful. We haven’t had much time to check out the city but I know we’re heading out to a Dodgers game so that should be fun. It’s been real nice. A little similar to Vancouver, traffic-wise and all that. It’s a little more intense, traffic-wise, but a little nicer and sunnier, and no rain.”
Question: The last time I saw you, you were getting interviewed on TV at the draft. What was that day like for you?
Wudrick: “That draft day was something I’d been looking forward to since I was really young, since I started skating. I got to spend that day with my dad. It was too bad that the rest of my family wasn’t able to come out, but that was a great day. I was just absolutely excited and thrilled to be picked by the Kings.”
Question: Did you know much about the organization or what’s been going on here?
Wudrick: “Just a little bit. I had an interview with them at the combine and it went pretty well. I’ve been following the team a little bit, especially when Anze Kopitar broke into the league. He’s a pretty exciting player to watch, a bigger-body player, similar to me. So he’s really fun to watch and I enjoy watching him play.”
Question: Yeah, he’s a guy you’ve mentioned quite a bit. Is there anything else you try to pick up from his game?
Wudrick: “Just the way he skates and the way he handles the puck and the way he protects the puck, it’s just unreal for a big guy who can skate that well.”
Question: You’re going to make him feel old if you tell him you look up to him…
Wudrick: (laughs) “Yeah, I know. He’s only a couple years older than me but he’s sure exciting to watch, and over the past couple years I’ve sure enjoyed watching him play. My mom is a big fan of his too.”
Question: Can you tell people a little bit about your game and what they should expect from you?
Wudrick: “Just a bigger-body guy who skates pretty well, who has pretty good hands and pretty good offensive ability. Just works hard all the time and likes to finish checks. I like to take pucks hard to the net and get in front of the net, get a little dirty and maybe even take a few deflections or bang that puck in the back of the net.”
Question: You’ve probably played against quite a few of these guys over the years, right?
Wudrick: “Definitely. I’ve played with Colten Teubert since we were about 8 years old, every summer. So Colten and I are really good buddies, we’re really good friends off the ice as well. And playing with Drew Doughty at the Top Prospects game, he’s a really special player, obviously. It’s been good playing against all these guys, and this camp is awesome.”
Question: I know it’s early, but can you share your impressions of the camp so far?
Wudrick: “Everything is great, with the players and the coaching staff. I think there’s more coaching staff and Kings staff than there are players. That’s awesome. We’re working on skill development in the morning and that’s awesome. Those are all the kind of things that I want to work on, getting better hands and better stride, that sort of thing. Then in the afternoon, when we bring the forwards, defense and goalies all together, it’s just awesome. It’s so fast. You’re playing with great guys and it makes it a lot easier.”