When the Czech Republic came calling for defenseman Radko Gudas he was quick to seize the opportunity to play at the 2010 World Junior Championship. It’s just another step in his development, a process that includes his current stint with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL.
Gudas, who checks in at 5-11 and 195 pounds, is thick and burly. A native of Kladno in the Czech Republic, Gudas is enjoying life on and off the ice in Washington State. Last year, he toiled with Berounsti Medvedi in the Czech2 League. Through 33 2009-10 games, the 19-year-old WHL rookie has scored seven goals and added 20 assists while compiling a plus-27 rating.
At the WJC, Gudas has been quiet on the scoring side with only an assist in five games. However, he does lead the Czech Republic team with a plus-2 rating. For most of the tournament, Gudas has been paired with Carolina Hurricanes‘ prospect Michal Jordan. The Czechs did not qualify for the medal round at the WJC, but they avoided relegation with convincing wins over Austria (7-1) and a 10-2 thrashing of Latvia earlier today.
The Los Angeles Kings gave Gudas a look this past summer, but he will need a solid season in the WHL to earn another pro look. Potentially a mid- to late-round pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Gudas has one more year of junior eligibility.
In Everett, head coach Craig Hartsburg has Gudas playing alongside Ryan Murray, a 16-year-old rookie. The Silvertips can occasionally pair their two imports together on the blueline as Finnish rearguard Rasmus Rissanen is also playing in Everett. Rissanen was among the final four cuts by Finland‘s national junior team prior to the WJC.