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George Walker IV / AP

David Edstrom, center, poses with Las Vegas Golden Knights officials after being picked by the team during the first round of the NHL hockey draft Wednesday, June 28, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn.

This was the first time the Golden Knights went into the NHL Draft with fewer than six selections. They started the two-day event with five and wrapped up with four.

Vegas selected three more prospects on the second day of the entry draft in Nashville on Thursday, in addition to selecting center David Edstrom from Sweden with their first-round selection Wednesday.

“We didn’t have many picks, but I think we did a very good job of getting quality with what we had,” said Golden Knights assistant director of player personnel Bob Lowes in comments on the team’s Twitter page.

No. 77 – Mathieu Cataford, C, Halifax (QMJHL); 5-11, 190 pounds

The Golden Knights did not make a pick until the third round, No. 77, selecting Cataford from Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Cataford is a 5-11 forward who can also play at right wing. He had 75 points (31 goals, 44 assists) in his second season with the Mooseheads. He had 13 points in 21 games during the QMJHL’s playoffs in Halifax’s run to the championship series, losing to Quebec in six games.

The 18-year-old is undersized, but showed promise from an offensive standpoint. He was fourth in scoring on a talented Halifax team highlighted by Columbus prospect Jordan Dumais, who led the Moosheads with 140 points last season (54 goals, 86 assists).

FC Hockey had Cataford ranked 39th in its draft rankings, while the majority had him in the 60s.

“He’s a Swiss army knife,” Lowes said. “He’s a real energy guy. He works really hard and is strong on pucks. We were really excited to get him in that area.”

No. 96 – Arttu Karki, D, Tappara (Finland); 6-2, 187 pounds

A talented offensive defenseman with a left-handed shot, Karki had 39 points (13 goals, 26 assists) in 36 games with Tappara in Finland’s junior league this past season.

His 13 goals were tops among defensemen on Tappara, but was the third highest-scoring blue liner on the team.

“He’s a really good puck mover,” Lowes said. “We liked his range and his ability to get the puck moving up ice.”

Scouting reports say Karki has the tools to be a great offensive-minded player, but needs to make improvements defensively.

“He handles the puck well and plays especially well on the offensive zone blue line, where he can deke players and get shots through traffic,” according to prospect website Dobber Prospects. “He can get to good top speed and isn’t a bad skater by any means, but has a lot of room to improve in terms of foot quickness and explosiveness to improve his ability to retrieve pucks in the defensive zone.”

No. 192 – Tuomas Uronen, F, HIFK (Finland); 6-0, 182 pounds

Uronen has been a consistent scorer at the junior level, including last season with 43 points (23 goals, 20 assists) in 39 games with HIFK’s Under-20 team. He had 37 points in 36 games the season prior.

Lowes said Uronen went through an up-and-down season because he was projected to play more at the professional level, but his performance playing for the national team — nine points in 19 games — may have caused him to slip in the draft.

“Our guys feel confident that there’s a lot of skill there, a lot of untapped skill,” Lowes said. “He’s just got to work on his consistency.”

No. 224 – Pick traded to Columbus

Vegas traded the last pick of the draft to the Blue Jackets for their seventh-round pick next summer.

Danny Webster can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Danny on Twitter at twitter.com/DannyWebster21.

Article written by #LasVegasSun

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