DALLAS, Texas -- It took until the sixth round, but Gavin Hain finally got his name called on Saturday and became the fourth incoming Fighting Hawk to be picked in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Hain went to the Philadelphia Flyers, joining former head coach Dave Hakstol in the Flyers' organization.
“It was a long day, all the nerves coming into the day,” said Hain. “You don’t know when it’s going to happen, but finally [you] hear your name and it couldn’t be a better organization.”
Many were unsure where Hain was going to in this draft, if at all, but adversity isn’t something Hain is one to shy away from. In his first season with the U.S. National Team Development Program, Hain dealt with a bit of a struggle early on but was able to finish up with 18 points in 25 USHL contests and 35 points in 61 total games with the Under-18 Team.
“Obviously the projection are all over the place,” said Hain. “Whether it happened now or five rounds ago, it doesn’t matter. It starts from here. It was my first year away from home and the adversity I faced -- new team, new program -- it was a bit rough. The U.S. Development Program is a hard, grueling place, but it’s a great place to develop. The new level of play had me struggle at times, but I had to overcome it. Everyone expects a lot out of you, but that only helps down the road.”
With the adversity helping him down the line, Hain feels that he’ll come into North Dakota stronger mentally and physically for the season ahead.
“I feel my style of play fits to UND: gritty, hard-nosed style,” noted Hain. “When I went there, I talked to Coach Hakstol and I loved the culture there. Everything about it felt right. I feel I’m a two-way player, I like to take care of the d-zone, and move the puck. Hopefully, I can dominate the offensive end and try to create some goals.”