Modesty is one of the overrated virtues and the ability to play the puck with one's feet is underrated skill. Graham Knott got to embody all of that concomitantly while scoring a sweet goal to cap off the Niagara IceDogs blowout win over the Belleville Bulls on Thursday night.
The 17-year-old wing whom NHL Central Scouting sees as a potential second-round draft choice knows there can be no off position on the competitor switch. With just more than a minute left on Thursday night, Knott pulled off a play that was remarkably dextrous for a teen growing into his rangy 6-foot-3¼, 192-pound frame. After being poke-checked by the Bulls' Niki Petti, Knott was able to go stick-to-right foot-to-stick while moving at top speed and complete the play.
The muted celebration was a topper. Knott didn't raise his stick any more than was necessary and bowed his head as he accepted congratulations for a great goal, knowing full well it came against a Bulls side whose sixth concecutive loss was about to become official. Of course, he was also finishing a penalty-killing shift.
Knott, from Holland Landing, Ont., is an intriguing prospect. The IceDogs were able to nab him in the second round of the 2013 OHL priority selection draft since there were questions about his acceleration and speed. If he can allay those concerns for talent evaluators at the next level, a NHL organization might have something. He capped off his first OHL season by joining Team Canada as an underage player at the world under-18 championship last spring. With nine goals in 22 games for the IceDogs, Knott's also topped his rookie-year output.
And hey, purists will love that he made sure not to show up a beaten team.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (video: TV Cogeco Ontario).