"Ultra competitive prick to play against." -Red Line Report
Draft Year (2010): An older prospect who turned 20 before his draft, Gudas earned a reputation as one of the biggest hitters in this draft class. He competes hard, and despite his small height he loves to take the body. Red Line rates Gudas the third biggest pest in this draft class and compares his demeanor to that of a pit bull. Was named a Western Conference Second Team All-Star in his draft season, partly because he also has the ability to move the puck resonably well and he has decent mobility.
2013: Gudas has perfected the hip-check and despite his attraction to physical play he has a good head about him in the defensive third. As a rookie, he has begun to be matched up against the opposition's top line in a shut down role. He plays a physical, responsible game and can move the puck relatively well. He's spent a lot of work on his stick skills. His shot is on the heavy side and he's not shy about using it, especially in limited power play time. He is a minutes eater who can play in all situations and his ceiling has risen from a 4/5 defenseman to a clear top-4. Solidly built fire hydrant who likes to make life miserable. Hall of Fame beard grower.
Draft Year (2010): Stickhandling is considered poor and his decision-making with the puck needs refinement. Because he's two years older than most of the prospects in this draft, what you see is what you get, to an extent. He's not going to get much bigger than his current size, although his tenacity compensates for his stature.
2013: Stickhandling has improved somewhat, though he's certainly not a dangler. He doesn't have a long reach due to his lack of height, but he makes up for it in aggressive play. He started his NHL career constantly looking for the big hit, often taking himself out of position - especially from side to side of the defensive zone. He has since calmed a bit and is picking his spots better. He still tends to err on the side of aggression, which most coaches will take. It's easier to pull back than push. Doesn't possess the puck skills to be a 40-point scorer though could flirt with 30 points if he gets power play time and ample minutes on an offense-heavy squad.
Draft Year (2010): Because of his age, the Lightning could sign him immediately and send him to Norfolk of the AHL. He's got a lot of experience, having played 14 games for Kladno in the Czech Extraliga two years ago and 65 games in the Czech second tier league with Beroun between 2006 and 2009. He also was a training camp invitee of the Kings last Fall, so he won't be entering his first NHL training camp. With one or two seasons of refinement, he could make it to the NHL as an energetic third pairing blueliner and world class pest.
2013: Gudas played a top-pair role in Calder Cup runs for Norfolk and Syracuse and as of December 2013 has already secured a top-4 spot with the Lightning, blowing original projections out of the water. He will be a huge asset for his team in the playoffs in a shut down role. He has the potential to eventually be a 2/3 defenseman who plays on PK1 and PP2.
Comparisons: Darius Kasparaitus, Scott Stevens