Hudson Fasching: the Kings’ too-cool-for-school college prospect

When NHL teams hold their annual Development Camps each summer, it’s usually the first chance for most people to get an up close look at players that have just been drafted. This past July there was one notable omission from the Kings’ roster, 17-year-old Hudson Fasching. The Burnsville, MN native had been selected in the fourth round (118th overall) just a few weeks prior, but stayed behind to attend summer school before beginning his first year at the University of Minnesota this fall.

Since then, he and his team have gotten off to a hot start and are currently ranked number-one in the country among Division I college hockey programs.

He’s also put himself in a good position to go to Sweden later this month for the World Junior Championship, hockey’s premier international tournament for players under 20-years old.  Just this week he was named to Team USA’s preliminary roster, where he’ll be the only Kings prospect hopeful of wearing the red, white and blue.

In the article below MayorsManor correspondent Amy Gist, our eyes and ears on the ground in Minnesota – in addition to being an editor for Gong  and featured contributor at Minnesota Hockey Magazine – takes a look at the young prospect and shares some observations from scouting and spending time with him at the rink recently. Enjoy…

* * *

If all LA Kings fans were 16-year old girls and prospect players were up and coming heartthrobs, Hudson Fasching would be the next Justin Bieber.

While some may fall for Fasching due to the blonde locks that have earned him the nickname of ‘Thor’ by some teammates, it’s the control he exhibits of his 6-foot-2, 207-pound frame that will really make the masses swoon.

Fasching has put up 14 points in 14 games (six goals, eight assists) with the Minnesota Golden Gophers this season and led all Big-10 freshmen in scoring during the month of November.

For any young player it can be a tall order to control the negative space between themselves and an opposing skater, unless you’re Fasching that is. His ability to close in on his opponent is partially related to his aggressive style of play in nearly every situation, as well as his notably tight edgework.

Not necessarily an overlooked part of hockey, but certainly not something commented on by the average fan on a nightly basis, edgework is something that can make or break a player in any phase of development and certainly something Fasching has taken into account throughout his continued growth as a player.

“Making sure my stride is good and all of my balance and edgework is really safe and sound is important for me,” he explained.

That very line of thinking is also indicative of how he plays to an extent: safe, sound with a dash of aggression and a lot of creativity.

Watching Fasching skate in both practice and in a game situation is a treat for any hockey fan. He moves over the ice with finesse and purpose, a pillar of forward motion who is always one step ahead of the play. His hockey smarts and ability to predict plays is something that can be attributed to his time with the US National Development Team in Ann Arbor, MI.

“I think there’s no other place to develop better than the program,” says Fasching. “From things like weight lifting to just learning about the game and coming in and analyzing a rush.”

While there, he developed the skills required to not only be drafted by the Kings, but those he needed in order to be adequately prepared for key situations with the Gophers.

“We’ve gone through things a million times over the past two years, so when coach comes in and tells me something I know what he’s talking about because I’ve done it,” commented Fasching. “Just little things like that helped me really understand the game and all the smaller aspects.”

It’s often those minor details that help a player crack an NHL roster, and even stay there long-term; a goal Fasching has voiced in the past. Any observer will most likely notice his hard-nosed style of play and uncanny ability to find pucks no matter where he is, something he’s highly aware of.

“The best thing I do on the ice is winning battles out of the corners and making plays out of the corners and in front of the net,” he claimed. “I bring pucks to the net hard. So just going to the net hard and finding pucks.”

Hudson is a sought-after talent for all of the above-mentioned reasons, and definitely, a character guy any dressing room would benefit from. While some have stated he may need to be a bit more confident in certain situations, it’s most likely a question of something that will come with more time and experience.

To round out this report, we had a good old-fashioned hockey Q&A with Fasching in the underbelly of Mariucci Arena. So, sit back, relax, and get to know the Minnesota prince…or hockey’s Justin Beiber…whatever floats your boat.

Q: Why did you choose to go the collegiate route?
A: School is important to me and the program here is really beneficial; it’s less showcasing and more developing here.

Q: What are you taking away from your time at U of M so far?
A: I learn from my linemates every day. They have a tremendous amount of skill and I just watching them every day is really valuable to me.

Q: Any freshman initiations yet?
A: Nothing too bad, it’s been pretty calm.

Q: What’s it like playing hockey in your home state?
A: It’s almost weird playing here. Growing up I never really thought I’d play for the Gophers and then all of a sudden I was going to be playing here and it’s been a lot of fun so far.

Q: How do you think your level of maturity compares to that of other young players already in the NHL, like Charlie Coyle, for example?
A: I think it’s similar to here a little bit. I mean I’m an 18-year old true freshman coming in and taking on a huge role in a big program. It’s not the NHL but it comes with similar pressures. I’m sure I have that maturity here and I’ll be able to transfer that on to my next role.

Q: If you could be awarded any personal award in the NHL which one would you like to be?
A: That’s a tough one for me…playing in the NHL and winning the Stanley Cup would be enough for me, a personal award would be the cherry on top.

Q: What is your biggest, short term goal?
A: Just continue what I’ve been doing and maintain that and try to make the World Junior Team in the near future.

For more prospect coverage, please see the links below.


Prospect Game Watch – Kings’ youngest player off to hot start

Kings Top 10 Prospect Rankings – MayorsManor pre-season report

Valentin Zykov: He’ll Steal Your Heart, You’ll Thank Him For It

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