LAS VEGAS -- Kaedan Korczak has the potential to become a potent two-way defenseman for the Vegas Golden Knights.
The 18-year-old, selected by Vegas in the second round (No. 41) of the 2019 NHL Draft, is working to make that happen.
The 6-foot-3 prospect scored a career-high 33 points (four goals, 29 assists) for Kelowna of the Western Hockey League last season, a 17-point improvement from his previous season (16 points; three goals, 13 assists).
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"I've always been good in the D-zone," Korczak said at Golden Knights development camp last month. "In the past couple of years, I've really worked on [being a two-way defenseman] on the ice after practice and things like that."
Golden Knights director of player development Wil Nichol said of Korczak, "He's got great size, a great package and a great foundation. Just like all the kids that come through here, he's a really impressive young man."
The Golden Knights traded the No. 48 and No. 82 picks to the San Jose Sharks to move up seven spots and draft Korczak. It happened so fast that he wasn't sure how to feel when his name was called.
"Honestly, I don't remember," Korczak said. "I was just really happy to come to Vegas. There could have been plenty of spots. But I think before the draft, I told my agent and my family that Vegas was my No. 1 spot."
The Yorkton, Saskatchewan native said he models his game after St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo, someone who can score points but has a steady presence in all areas of the ice, Korczak said.
Korczak helped Canada win the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, playing with Peyton Krebs, the Golden Knights' first-round pick (No. 17) in the 2019 draft.
Korczak had plenty of camp veterans to learn from; defensemen Nic Hague and Dylan Coghlan skated in their third development camp.
"I think there's always a bit of leadership to have here, being one of the guys who have been here before," Hague said. "This is where you help the young guys, form those friendships and help them along the way."
Korczak said he'll apply what he learned from his teammates in the WHL this season.
"Just taking stuff back from the older guys, those who have played pro hockey," Korczak said. "They're things that I can implement in my game and be a force when I get on the ice."
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