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Countdown to the Draft – Manitoba Spotlight: Gavin Hodnett

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Five Manitoba residents are listed in the NHL Central Scouting final rankings for 2024.

NHL Central Scouting released its final rankings for the 2024 NHL Draft on April 16, with five Manitoba residents included.

This is a weaker class when you consider Manitoba residents, but there are some interesting candidates. This year, the centralized draft will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, over the usual two-day period: Friday, June 28, through Saturday, June 29.

Game On's Jackson Bachewich has compiled a scouting report on each of the five Manitobans listed. Each report is set to be released in the coming weeks as a five-part series leading up to the draft.

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No. 223. Gavin Hodnett (Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL), Winnipeg MB

Season statistics: GP:61 G:23 A:47 PTS:70

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Former teams: Winnipeg U15/U18 Ice Hockey Academy

NHL Comparable: Thomas B.

Scouting report by Gavin Hodnett:

  • Finish
  • Skating
  • Defensive play

Weaknesses:

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Gavin Hodnett is a dynamic forward for the Edmonton Oil Kings who offers an intriguing blend of offensive power and defensive reliability. Despite his small size, he has proven he can excel in a competitive league and has showcased his ability at both ends of the ice.

Hodnett's offensive game is his biggest asset. In 61 games, he has 23 goals and 47 assists for 70 points. His ability to generate offense from a variety of situations, especially at even strength where nearly 70 percent of his shots come from dangerous areas like the slot, highlights his effectiveness in creating scoring opportunities. He is great at producing out of the rush and playing the puck, using his speed and vision to read the defense.

One of Hodnett's outstanding attributes is his speed. His ability to accelerate quickly and maintain high speeds makes him a constant threat on the ice. His speed allows him to forecheck effectively and forces opposing defenders to make hasty decisions. This speed is crucial for a player of his size, as it allows him to evade larger opponents and find open ice to operate on.

On defense, Hodnett is a responsible player, always positioning himself well and using his speed for efficient backchecking. His defensive awareness and ability to disrupt plays make him an asset in all situations, not just when his team has the puck.

Hodnett's 5'8″ height and 165lbs weight are a concern for some talent scouts, especially when judging his game at a professional level. However, his fearless style of play hopefully alleviates those concerns to some extent. He doesn't get pushed around easily and struggles in high traffic areas.

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While Hodnett is effective when he moves and creates space, he sometimes relies too heavily on his teammates to create chances and needs to use his speed more consistently on his overall weak forecheck.

Gavin Hodnett's combination of speed, offensive prowess and defensive responsibility makes him an attractive prospect, especially for teams seeking a dynamic, two-way forward. However, his size remains a potential obstacle to higher draft rankings. We could see him selected in the later rounds of the draft, if he is selected at all.

Stay tuned to find out the next player. Manitoba Draft Spotlight by Game On.