|5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
182 lb (83 kg)
|NHL Team||Detroit Red Wings|
|Born||January 4, 1984,|
|NHL Draft||58th overall, 2002|
Detroit Red Wings
|Pro Career||2003 – present|
Jiri Hudler (born January 4, 1984 in Olomouc, Czech Republic) is an ice hockey player and current member of the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings drafted him with their first pick (58th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
Hudler spent his youth in the top Czech Extraliga league with Vsetin HC. His NHL debut came during the 2003-2004 season, splitting his time between Detroit and their top minor league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. Hudler gained more experience with the Griffins during the 2004-05 NHL lockout, while also playing a handful of games in his native Czech Republic. He returned to Grand Rapids for the 2005-2006 season, where in 76 games he had 36 goals and 60 assists, good for a team-leading 96 points. Hudler also had 6 goals and 16 assists (22 points) in 16 playoff games. Following his breakout year, Hudler earned a regular spot (albeit limited ice time) in the Wings lineup for the 2006-2007 season. He would go on to score 15 goals with 10 assists in 76 games. Hudler played sporadically in the playoffs, often splitting time with Kyle Calder. He chipped in 2 assists in 6 games.
Former Wings teammate and fellow Czech Robert Lang took Hudler under his wing when Hudler joined the team. Hudler spent time living in Lang's home when he first arrived in the United States, and Lang even went so far as to call Hudler "a third son."
Hudler spent time during the offseason training with fellow NHLers Chris Chelios, Mathieu Schneider, and Rob Blake in Southern California. As a result, he says that feels faster and stronger. Hudler enters the 2007-08 NHL season as a skater on the Red Wings top two lines.
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