2021-22 Team: Krasnaya Armiya Moskva (MHL)
Date of Birth: April 8, 2004
Place of Birth: Moskva, Russia
Height: 6-foot-1, Weight: 181 pounds
Eligibility: First-year draft eligible
- NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters): 23rd
- FC Hockey: 53rd
- TSN (Bob McKenzie): 70th
- McKeen’s Hockey: 43rd
- TSN (Craig Button): 41st
- Draft Prospects Hockey: 81st
- The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 51st
- The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 61st
- The Hockey Writers (Zator): 67th
Artyom Duda is a Russian defenseman who plays for Krasnaya Armiya Moskva in the MHL, the Russian junior league, where he had 14 goals and 41 points in 52 games this season. He added 17 points (5 goals, 12 assists) in 17 playoff games as well, and he played in four games for Zvezda Moskva in the VHL, the Russian equivalent of the AHL.
The first thing that stands out about Duda is his offensive ability, which shouldn’t be a surprise given his point totals. Russian defensemen usually don’t put up gaudy scoring rates, even in juniors, but he’s the exception. Of the top 100 scorers in the MHL, 97 were forwards. Duda ranked second in scoring among defensemen in that league and 74th overall.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
What makes Duda’s offensive game stand out is his shooting ability. He’s not afraid to shoot the puck, and rightfully so. He has an impressive shot, whether it’s a wrister, slap shot, or one-timer. It’s powerful, generally accurate, and most importantly, he can get the puck through traffic. There isn’t much use in being a shot-happy offensive defenseman that can’t get the puck through the traffic, but that’s not an issue for Duda.
Because of his shot, he quarterbacked the power play quite a bit in the MHL. Here’s one example of Duda launching an absolute laser of a one-timer for a power-play goal:
Not only is Duda a good shooter, but his passing ability is solid as well. He makes good breakout passes coming out of the defensive zone. And even if he isn’t stretching the ice, he’ll make a good first pass to a forward who’s looking to get the rush started out of the defensive zone.
If there’s an area of his game that Duda needs to work on, it’s on defense. This isn’t to say he’s poor defensively, but it’s a work in progress compared to what he offers offensively from the back end. At the same time, he does some things well, like defending the rush. It’s his play in the defensive zone, particularly around the net and in the crease, that could use some work.
Even though Duda’s defensive game needs improvement, there’s a lot to like about his offensive upside. He’s a good passer, high-end shooter, and skates well, which helps his puck-moving ability in transition. That makes him one of the more intriguing post-1st round prospects in the 2022 draft.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Artyom Duda – NHL Draft Projection
Except for a couple of rankings, most public scouting services have Duda ranked as a second-round prospect. But with his offense popping in the Russian junior league, it wouldn’t be a surprise if a team in the late part of the first round took a gamble on him.
“Duda is an offensive defenseman who is constantly looking to generate shooting attempts when the puck is on his stick in the offensive zone. He always has his head up when controlling the puck, probing the opposing defense from the blue line for shooting lanes, and isn’t afraid to put the puck on net when the opportunity presents itself…” – Brandon Holmes, FC Hockey.
“Duda is a smooth-skating, two-way defender who brings a sneaky scoring touch by driving to the net with his puckhandling…” – EP Rinkside, 2021.
“One part of his game that we have enjoyed while crushing tape is Duda’s ability to control the puck. He just has a way of always looking calm with the puck on his stick. There’s confidence in how he commands the puck and very rarely has it bobble off his blade. On top of the puck possession skills, he is developing a powerful slap shot. This year has seen an explosion in Duda’s offence, with 13 of his 36 points being goals.” – Chris Faber, Canucks Army.
- Shot/shooting ability
- Skating, especially in transition
- Ability to defend the rush
Under Construction — Improvements to Make
- Defensive awareness in net-front situations
- Physical presence defensively
There’s no doubt Duda has the offensive potential to become an NHL defenseman. The question is whether he’ll be able to defend at the level needed in North America. If he makes defensive strides while developing over the next couple of years, he could become a second-pair blueliner. If not, his ceiling is likely that of a third-pair offensive defenseman who gets power-play time.
Risk: 3.5/5, Reward: 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense: 8.5/10, Defense: 5.5/10
Artyom Duda Statistics
Duda captured a silver medal with Team Russia at the U18 World Championships during the 2020-21 season. He also managed to come away with a gold medal with Team Russia at last year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Artyom Duda Video
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Alex Chauvancy is a New Jersey Devils writer for The Hockey Writers who has a penchant for advanced stats, prospects, signings and trades. He previously wrote for Devils Army Blog, a New Jersey Devils fan blog, from 2015-2017