Ludwinski’s Versatility, Smartness Stand Out Before 2022 NHL Draft

The 2022 NHL Draft will be held from July 7-8 at Montreal’s Bell Center. is counting down to the draft with profiles and other features. Today a look at downtown Paul Ludwinski with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League.’s full concept coverage can be found here

TORONTO — Paul Ludwinskic is ultra-competitive. Whether on the ice, in class or even when holding a Rubik’s Cube, he is driven to be the best.

While many people his age probably play video games in their spare time, in his first OHL season with the Kingston Frontenacs, the 18-year-old center can often be found sporting a Rubik’s Cube, a hobby he picked up in grade school. .

“We went to basketball tournaments when I played junior basketball in grade school and in between our games we would try to solve one and we would compete to see who goes faster,” Ludwinski said. “Once you’ve solved it, it’s honestly hard to forget. It’s just patterns. It doesn’t seem like it, but honestly, it’s not that hard once you get the hang of it.”

His record is 53 seconds.

Video: Ludwinski solves Rubik’s Cube in less than a minute

Ludwinski (5-foot-11, 176 pounds), No. 49 in NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters, prides itself on being a versatile player who can be used in all situations.

“Looking (Boston Bruins Center) Patrice BergeronGuys like him make money by playing the right way and playing a 200-foot game,” Ludwinski said. “That’s how players should be; you can’t just be abusive, you have to be a man on both ends of the ice.

“I’m a 200-foot player. I’m dangerous in the attacking zone and hard to control, but in the D zone I’m responsible and don’t let too many goals go against me so I can be I’m committed every situation and I am a reliable player, so in whatever situation I come in, on whatever line, I will bring energy into the game and play the best I can.”

Luca Caputi, Ludwinski’s coach at Kingston, called him one of the most coachable players he’s ever had. He has earned Caputi’s trust in high leverage situations, including penalty kills and defending a one-goal lead in 5-on-6 scenarios.

“Paul is an extremely competitive young man, he sees the ice well and has both elite skating abilities and the ability to contribute to other teams simply because he has that competitive advantage and skating skill that is hard to find in young men,” said Caputi. said. “He has been a breath of fresh air for many people here and a boy who will carry the torch for us in the future.”

Ludwinski, who played lacrosse from 10 to 16 and still grabs his lacrosse stick to warm up before the game, had 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists) in 67 games and 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 11. playoff games in his rookie OHL season.

He missed the 2020-21 season due to the cancellation of the OHL due to the coronavirus pandemic, but spent as much time as possible on the Rouge River between Port Huron and Pickering, Ontario. the basement.

“I have a mat downstairs that I’ll hold in the basement and work on my hands,” Ludwinski said. “I used to have a net, but I destroyed that thing.”

Prior to this season, Ludwinski last played in 2019-20, when he had 32 points (15 goals, 16 assists) and captained the Toronto Marlboros in the Greater Toronto Hockey League, leading to his being ranked No. 5 in 2020. was selected. OHL Priority Selection by Kingston. Entrusting the captaincy was a role he did not take lightly.

“Just knowing I was the man on the team when someone needed something or the man to look up to, it was a great feeling,” said Ludwinski. “There were guys from Double-A, not to say they weren’t great players, but they didn’t have the experience that some of us have played in such a good team for seven years. Just teach them the right way and always stay positive and never get frustrated thats probably the biggest part of my leadership i love that aspect it just shows your character that you are not just there to play but you are a good person and that you can make other people feel welcome too.”

Ludwinski, the son of a nurse who has seen his mother endure a very difficult past two years while on the job during the pandemic, has consistently averaged over 85 and has ambitions once his playing career is over . He wants to be a doctor.

“It’s been tough for her,” Ludwinski said. “She is a hard worker. We think we work hard, but they work 10 times harder than us.

“My mom really pushed me down that path (from wanting to be a doctor). Ever since I was young, I’ve loved math and science. It’s next to my two favorite subjects [physical education]† I always looked forward to those subjects and when I saw my mother succeed after emigrating to Canada, she succeeded and got her degree, which is a huge inspiration.”

Photo credits: Eric Schwar, Kingston (OHL)

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