The Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights selected David Edstrom with the 32nd overall pick in the 1st round. They are slated to make four picks on Day 2 with the first coming in the 3rd round at #77. Here’s a quick rundown of what we know about each player selected by the Golden Knights in the 2023 NHL Draft.
3rd Round – #77 (from BUF)
Selection: Mathieu Cataford (F) – Halifax (QMJHL)
An average-sized two-way forward who can play center or wing. Cataford’s biggest strength is how he thinks the game as he’s not the fastest or most skilled forward but knows how to be in the right spots to be a complementary player.
Has a good shot and also knows how to score in tight. Just an overall solid player with every tool in the bag but without any truly wowing qualities.
Posted 75 points on 31 goals and 44 assists in the QMJHL last season.
There are a lot of different layers to Cataford; he can do just about everything to a decent level. There’s no real weakness to him, but also nothing high-end in terms of skill level. If we look at how he scores his goals, yes, he can score from in-tight, but he can also score from distance and from the bumper role on the power play. This demonstrates his potential diversity as a goal-scorer at the next level. He’s an offensive dual-threat with both his shooting and passing skills in addition to playing on the inside (he’s not a perimeter player). He’s physically involved along the boards and has a solid compete level in all three zones. His play away from the puck is also quite advanced, his effort level on backcheck is solid, and he anticipates plays well in the neutral zone with great ability. His great stick activations to block passes and passing lanes make him useful on the PK, and he can sacrifice his body to block shots as well. -NHL Draft Black Book
3rd Round – #96
Selection: Arttu Karki (D) – Tappara (Finland)
Karki is an offensive-minded defenseman who is spectacular on the power play.
Won the Finnish league and was the 2nd leading goal scorer of all defensemen.
His best asset: his hands. He can beat players one-on-one and can get himself out of trouble deep in his zone by displaying his high level of puck handling to escape pressure. He’s very cool under pressure when retrieving pucks, demonstrating a high level of confidence with the puck on his stick. A beast on the power play (in Finland’s junior league, anyway) he has a big-time point shot he uses to one-time pucks effectively. He scored many goals off one-timers in a stationary position, often from the faceoff circle on the right side of the ice. However, he does need to incorporate more deception skills when he uses it, as he’s a bit of a one-trick pony right now. He needs to add more fakes, use off looks and hesitation fakes more often, and incorporate more movement at the line. -NHL Draft Black Book
Offensive-minded defender who controls the offensive blue line with poise. Shows good mobility but needs to improve his overall pace of play in order to maximize his potential as an effective NHL puck mover. –DobberProspects.com
Oh…and he can rip a puck! pic.twitter.com/LvuLazq0Ol
— NHLDraftProspects (@NHLDraftPros) October 19, 2022
6th Round – #192 Overall
Selection: Toumas Uronen (F) – HIFK (Finland)
A speedy winger, Uronen has shown the ability to score and set up teammates playing in the junior league in Finland. Scored 43 points in 39 games while adding 42 penalty minutes.
He’s a bit small for the rigors of the NHL game though. He’ll have to bulk up while maintaining his speed if he’s going to make it in North America.
He will additionally use his speed in the offensive zone to force defenders to rush their breakouts and cut off passing lanes. He can be a creative player with accurate saucer passes and good vision from the outside but the play is rolling in the offensive zone he tends to stay more on the perimeter as opposed to heading to the net like he does on the rush. He gets off his shot quickly and evades shot blocking defenders but needs to lean into his shot on his front foot as opposed to his back foot. -NHL Draft Black Book
**Trade – VGK trade #224 to CBJ for a 2024 7th round pick*