Undersized offensive defenceman with great mobility and puck skills. Needs to continue to mature physically but has the skill to reach the NHL.
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July 2022 – The Carolina Hurricanes have selected Grudinin in the fifth round of the 2022 NHL Draft. Nick Richard
December 2021 – Vladimir Grudinin is a part of the new era of mobile defencemen that has been on the rise in hockey. Grudinin has been up and down the CSKA organization this year, playing in the MHL, VHL, and KHL. He has been most successful in the MHL, producing nine points in 15 games, while averaging 17 minutes of ice time. Grudinin was recently named to Russia’s World Junior team and will look to build on his success to boost his draft stock.
Grudinin is a small, extremely mobile defenceman that relies on his speed and puck handling to advance the play. His biggest strength is his skating and he plays a strong north-south game, which he combines with good edgework to switch up the angles and point of attack when driving play. Grudinin has a ton of offensive talent and is not afraid to work the puck down low as a defenceman. He is often relied upon to play quarterback for Krasnaya on the powerplay. When Grudinin has the puck on the blueline, he uses his elusiveness to walk the blueline and open up passing lanes, which often lead to scoring opportunities. Grudinin has also been impressive when defending the rush, using his active stick to stop rushes before the opposition can capitalize. The biggest area of Grudinin’s game that needs improvement is his physical game. As a 5-9 defenceman, Grudinin would benefit from adding strength to his frame, allowing him to control the puck better and win more puck battles in the corners. Another part of his game that needs improvement is his decision-making under pressure in his own end. Sometimes when he is pressured, he throws the puck up the boards rather than taking the split second he has to find an open teammate to start a breakout. Overall, Grudinin’s strengths outweigh his weaknesses and make him an intriguing prospect that a team should take a flyer on in the first half of the 2022 NHL draft. Zack Szweras