February 17, 1899|
Siikajoki, Finland, Russian Empire
|Died||October 28, 1976
Thunder Bay, ON, CAN
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||160 lb (73 kg; 11 st 6 lb)|
Toronto Maple Leafs
Juho Albert Pudas (originally Putaansuu) (February 17, 1899 – October 28, 1976) was a Finnish-Canadian hockey player and coach. He was the first Finnish-born hockey player in the National Hockey League and possibly in North America. Following his hockey career Pudas was active in the capacity of referee.
Pudas moved to Canada at the age of 18 months. He began his hockey career in Port Arthur, Ontario with the Pascoes, Ports, and later, the Port Arthur Bearcats. On October 28, 1926, Pudas accepted a contract offer from the Toronto St. Pats, along with fellow Bearcats Bill Brydge, Danny Cox and Lorne Chabot. Pudas was recalled December 29, 1926, by the Toronto Maple Leafs (the St. Pats renamed themselves early in the season) to play a pair of games against Boston and Montreal. These four games made Pudas officially the first Finnish-born player to play in the NHL.
In 1936, Pudas coached the Port Arthur Bearcats who represented Canada in the Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany. Canada won a silver medal with Pudas as coach (the only medal Canada won at these games).