ECHL Defensemen of the Year Goes To The West For The Second Year In A Row

Every season the ECHL chooses a defenseman who demonstrates all-around ability and strength. The ECHL chose from the Idaho Steelheads this season for the second year.

The Steelheads Defenseman is in his sixth professional season, and his second being in the ECHL. Before coming to Idaho, Kudla played for HC Nove Zamky and HK Dukla Trencin “A” in the Slovakia League, HC Frýdek-Místek, and HC Litvínov in Czechia. During his time in Slovakia and Czechia, Kudla played in 181 games and tallied 15 goals with 50 assists.

Kudla came to the Idaho Steelheads in the 2022-2023 season. He earned two call-ups to the AHL for the Colorado Eagles and Tucson Roadrunners. He dressed in 59 games for the Steelheads last season and notched 8 goals with 42 assists. He played in 20 postseason games with 1 goal and 12 assists. During the 2023-2024 season, Kudla earned two more call-ups to the Calgary Wranglers and Syracuse Crunch. Kudla played in 60 games for Idaho this season with 10 goals and 50 assists.

Cincinnati’s Jalen Smereck was second, followed by Idaho’s Matt Register, Utah’s Kyle Mayhew, and Toldeo’s Riley McCourt.

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