1. Home
  2. News
  3. Catching up with Hudson Elynuik

Catching up with Hudson Elynuik

Friday, June 11th
Catching up with Hudson Elynuik

Playing professional hockey in the middle of a worldwide pandemic is full of challenges.

From daily Covid testing and maintaining physical and mental health, to keeping busy in the new overabundance of free time away from the rink and sustaining a high level of play on the ice, former Growler and current member of the Toronto Marlies Hudson Elynuik has weathered the storm of the 2020-21 season and emerged on the other side a stronger person and a better player.

The 23-year-old Calgary native hasn’t played an ECHL game since hoisting the Kelly Cup two years ago with the Growlers. In two seasons since his days in Newfoundland, Elynuik has appeared in 74 AHL contests in Toronto and collected seven goals and 12 assists for 19 total points.

This season in particular provided the most unique challenges of his young professional career.

“I mean, it’s pretty tough to sum up this year,” Elynuik said.

“There have been a lot of unusual things. Canada has obviously been locked down for pretty much the whole time since Covid started and it’s been even more locked down in Ontario. We really weren’t allowed to do any social things this year within the province of Ontario. It was pretty isolated. Along with just getting tested every single day, a lot of unusual stuff that you never would have predicted. Putting all of that aside, we are very fortunate we have been able to play the game we all love and very grateful to the people that have made it all happen and made it work for us.”

The former Kelly Cup Finals leading scorer admits he truly misses seeing screaming fans in the building but is beyond thankful for the extra people that were allowed inside the Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto this season; the frontline healthcare workers that allowed the Marlies and their AHL brethren to complete the 2020-21 season.

“Players definitely miss the fans the most and the atmosphere of playing in front of live people and them bringing that energy,” he said.

“I know all of the players thank all the nurses for coming in every day and making sure we get tested and are following protocol. All of the staff around the league, everyone’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed. We are all very appreciative. There was a lot of hard work that went into this season.”

Elynuik is the first to admit a season like the pandemic-impacted 2020-21 campaign is a tough one against which to gauge one's progress.

“It was a weird year with a lot going on,” Elynuik admits.

“I thought I had a pretty good start to the season. I might have gotten away from my game a little bit and that affected me and my progress. I thought near the end of the year I felt really strong and I really built off that and had more confidence throughout the home stretch.”

Away from the rink, Elynuik and his teammates kept connected and kept busy in the same way that many people have over the course of the last two years during the pandemic: through video games.

“I was already a video game guy, so I did my fair share of that for sure,” said Elynuik of his extra free time this season.

“I play a lot of Call of Duty Warzone, MLB The Show, NHL, NBA. Just sports games and Call of Duty really. I play on Xbox. I still don’t have the new one yet. They’re still sold out. Those things are hard to come by, you gotta be on the wire.”

But Elynuik didn’t spend all of his time gaming. He also spent time-consuming content that would help him in his career as a hockey player.

“I got into a lot of documentaries and podcasts,” he admitted excitedly.

“More so podcasts, on all kinds of different subjects; from mental health, how the brain works, and those kinds of things that can help in your performance on and off the ice. I’m also a pretty big space guy, so I’ve enjoyed learning about the universe a little bit actually. Just trying to learn things I find interesting and that took up a little bit of my time.”

Something else that took up some of Elynuik’s free time this past season is reconnecting with his former Kelly Cup champion teammates from his time with the Growlers.

“There are so many memories of Newfoundland,” Elynuik said.

“All the boys were so close. We still have a Snapchat group and we talk very often and always keep in touch. That’s probably the most special part of all of it, just how connected we still are and will be forever from winning that championship. Newfoundland is such a special place.”

With no shortage of time to reflect upon the Growlers’ championship, Elynuik admits playing for the Growlers was the right fit for him to begin his professional career.

“That was obviously my first pro hockey season and I don’t think I could have entered a better environment to get a taste of pro hockey,” he said. “It's such a good place. I definitely learned how to win, that’s most important.”

Elynuik’s Newfoundland experience began with a home game against Worcester on November 8, 2018, and since that moment, he knew there was something a little different and special about this province and its people.

“It’s a different kind of feel than I had anywhere else,” Elynuik said.

“It feels like everyone truly cares about people there, even tourists and people who aren’t from Newfoundland. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone is so kind. That was a big eye-opener. And the town itself was great. I remember when we went on that iceberg tour and seeing all the beautiful places on the Rock. That was awesome to see. And I can’t leave out George Street. That place is a very historic place. That’s really where the Kelly Cup celebrations happened with the parade and all that stuff. Those are such good memories. I get chills thinking about it every single time.”

With his year now in the rearview mirror, Elynuik is back home in Calgary, still reviewing his season and gearing up for his next. 

“You’re always analyzing your game and finding what you did well and what you can do better,” he said.

“When the season is all said and done, you sit back and watch video and really go over the things you didn’t do well enough this year and find the things you really need to work on to have a big summer here and really improve. In the next month or so, I plan to analyze my year and go over the details and find the areas of my game I can really improve on.”

Latest News

More News
Deacon Sports and Entertainment Statement on the Trois-Rivières Lions and Newfoundland Growlers
Deacon Sports and Entertainment Statement on the Trois-Rivières Lions and Newfoundland Growlers

Get Hockey Updates

Sign up for our email newsletter to be the first to know about news and upcoming games!