2007-08: Maxim Chudinov further built on his success, spending more time with the professional team, though still remaining in a limited role. Beyond competition within Russia, Chudinov also has been a long time member of Team Russia, skating for the 1990 born team on many occasions. Considering his style of play and maturity level, the young blueliner has also not been a stranger to skating on teams from older age groups, including one tournament on an 89 born team and finally his solid performance on the U20 1988 born squad at the Canada-Russia Super Series and at the U20 World Junior Championships. At the Super Series he was one of the few players who impressed, despite the unfortunate late hit incident, with their competitive spirit and aggressive lively play.
2008-09: Chudinov appeared in 26 KHL games for Cherepovets Severstal while competing for the team’s junior club. The 17-year-old averaged just over ten minutes of ice time and had no points and was -6 with 14 PMs. Cheropovets finished 17th in the 24-team league. Chudinov had five assists and was +4 with 6 PMs in seven games for the bronze medal-winning Russian team at the 2009 World Junior U-20 championships.
2009-10: Chudinov appeared in 47 games for Cherepovets Severstal in his first full KHL season. He scored 6 goals with 7 assists and was -9 with 30 PMs while averaging over 18 minutes of ice time per game. Cheropovets finished fifth in the six-team Tarasov Division in the re-aligned KHL. Chudinov scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +2 with 6 PMs in six games for sixth-place Russia at the 2010 World Junior U-20 championships.
2010-11: Chudinov was a workhorse for Cherepovets in his second KHL season, averaging over 20 minutes of ice time per game. In 52 games, he scored 8 goals with 15 assists and was +6 with 30 PMs as Cherepovets topped the 30-win mark and finished third in the Tarasov Division.
2011-12: Chudinov played a key role for Severstal Cherepovets in Russia in his third KHL season, finishing as the club’s second-leading scorer while averaging over 23 minutes of ice time per game. He scored 9 goals with 26 assists and was plus-eight with 62 penalty minutes (all career highs) in 52 games. Cherepovets finished third in the Tarasov Division and in six playoff games Chudinov was plus-two with 2 assists and 10 penalty minutes. In May 2012 he signed a KHL contract to play for SKA St. Petersburg in 2012-13.
2012-13: Chudinov went from Severstal to SKA St. Petersburg in his fourth KHL season and played for Russia in nine Europe Trophy games. In 47 games for the Bobrov Division’s top team he scored 2 goals with 8 assists and was +7 with 46 penalty minutes. SKA reached the West Conference finals against eventual KHL champion Dynamo Moscow. Chudinov scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +6 with 6 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games. In nine games for Team Russia he had 1 assist and was +1 with 6 penalty minutes.
Chudinov is a hard-nosed, puck-moving defenseman. Short but stocky and powerful, he relishes the physical game and uses his low center of gravity to his advantage similar to former NHL’er and fellow Russian Darius Kasparitis. An excellent skater, he has both mobility and speed which he uses well defensively to compensate for his lack of height and wingspan. He has some real offense to his game as well, making smart decisions on the breakout, joining the rush and supporting the attack, and has a knack for slipping coverage and getting open around the tops of circles. He’s been a leader for his KHL team in terms of points and ice time and for his country at the World Juniors where he’s been an assistant captain and put up 9 points over his last 13 games.
Chudinov will remain in the KHL for the foreseeable future. He may never cross the Atlantic.