|5’11”||172||4-23-2004||C||L||5th – 2020||B Prospect||CANADA|
|2020-21||OHL||DID NOT PLAY|
One thing we know for sure is that because Shane Wright plays for the Kingston Frontenacs, his teammate Paul Ludwinski is going to have a lot of eyes on him this season. What those eyes take away from those viewings may differ. The people I have spoken to have varying opinions.
Currently. Ludwinski is ranked as a B-Prospect on NHL Central Scouting’s players to watch list. That typically means a second or third round pick. A few of the independent scouting services has him in the 32 to 35 range while one has him as high as 27. A couple of more have him in the 40’s and just one as low as 54.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that he plays the game at an extremely high pace. His ability and willingness to motor is very noticeable. He gets in on the forecheck quickly and isn’t afraid to after anyone to try and create turnovers – and he’s actually pretty successful at it. He is more than willing to drive to the net with or without the puck. Unless you are looking for it, you won’t notice, but Ludwinski uses subtle little moves in front of the blue paint to separate himself from defenders and pounce on loose pucks for second chance opportunities.
Ludwinski is an accomplished three-zone player. He positions himself perfectly to break up plays or passes through the neutral zone or defensive zone. And when he breaks those up, he transitions quickly and with possession with an excellent ability to gain the offensive blue line. His defensive game is well into his development.
Along with Ludwinski’s pace and willingness to battle physically, he is a strong technical skater with very good top speed and acceleration. He gets to top speed quickly but he has that separation gear as well. He has a knack of being able to slow down and then burst back into top gear quickly and uses his body to protect the puck very well.
Some question his hockey IQ. I don’t have any questions about that IQ as some of the things I have spoken of speak to his IQ. But to add to that, he sees the ice very well and can make plays to set up teammates using those smarts and passing abilities.
What I have been somewhat disappointed in his production this season. I thought he would be further along than he is. But in fairness, he has come on lately. Of his 6 goals and 12 assists through 25 games, 3 goals and 5 assists have come in his last 7 games. He’s going to have to keep close to that pace to lock himself into an early second round pick.
I don’t have a read on what Ludwinski could become at the next level. Can he be a middle six player or is he destined to be a bottom six? By the end of the season it could become clearer but for now we know his defensive game and pace of play is surely going to garner him some attention.