Wednesday "Knight" wisdom featuring a (late-round) draft prospect Gavin Hodnett

Sometimes, the best players come in the later rounds. That could be the case for Gavin Hodnett, who could fall to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Moose Jaw Warriors v Edmonton Oil Kings
Moose Jaw Warriors v Edmonton Oil Kings / Jonathan Kozub/GettyImages
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Sometimes, the best players in the NHL are drafted later. There are players like Pavel Datsyuk (171st overall pick in the 1998 NHL Draft), Henrik Lundqvist (205th overall pick in the 2000 draft), and Joe Pavelski (205th overall pick in the 2003 draft). Being picked later than never is a good thing for some players, for they have the extra motivation to prove the critics wrong.

While the Vegas Golden Knights only have four draft picks in this year's NHL Draft, they can get a late-round steal. Gavin Hodnett is the topic of discussion here, for the young forward could be another solid piece Vegas desperately needs for the future. After all, not every first-round pick is destined to succeed in the NHL. Just look at Alexandre Daigle (first overall pick in the 1993 draft) and Nail Yakupov (first overall pick in the 2012 draft).

For a team void of high-end prospects (or reliable future stars, for that matter), the Golden Knights could take any young player they can get. It doesn't matter if they're coming from the developmental camp or through trades. What matters is providing a safe cushion for the team once the Stanley Cup window closes.

That won't be a thought Vegas will encounter any time soon. However, it doesn't hurt to plan and prepare for that time. That's why fans should also scurry through the later rounds for the potential steal. You never know when you're getting the next Pavel Datsyuk, extending the window and creating jaw-dropping plays that even warrant their own term: "Datsyukian".

Gavin Hodnett's NHL Draft profile

Gavin Hodnett made a name for himself with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL. In three seasons with Edmonton, the winger scored 35 goals and 80 assists in 124 games. He also made his mark with the RINK Hockey Academy before the WHL, playing for three years with the sports school. Hodnett even spent some time with Canada White's U17 team in 2022-23, where he scored three goals and three assists in six games.

The Winnipeg native stands at 5'8", weighing 159 lbs. The size has been a sticking point for many teams, who worry that the center would be vastly limited in his abilities. He has a left-handed shot, which he'll fit right in with the Vegas Golden Knights. The Oil Kings star is projected to land in the mid-to-late rounds, where he might be a steal. That number could fall between No. 190 and No. 224 in the NHL Draft. But what makes the center an interesting prospect in this realm? Why could he be a good fit for Vegas in the future?