NHL Draft Diaries: Equipment Edition - Gavin McKenna

By Matt Stathopoulos


NHL Draft Diaries: Equipment Edition - Gavin McKenna
The 2024 NHL Entry Draft is still over a month away. Be that as it may, the buzz for the 2026 draft has already begun in some circles. Yes, the draft that isn’t scheduled to take place for another two years. 

The reason for this ever-so-early excitement of the future event is due to one name — Gavin McKenna. At just 16 years old, this prodigious talent from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, has captured the attention of scouts and fans alike with his exceptional talent and potential. His remarkable achievements in his early years earned him the distinction of being the first Yukon-born player to be drafted first overall in the Western Hockey League (WHL).

McKenna’s rise to prominence has been nothing short of meteoric. As a standout rookie for the Medicine Hat Tigers this season, he’s demonstrated an extraordinary knack for scoring, tallying an impressive 34 goals and 97 points in just 61 games, despite being one of the league’s youngest players. 

While McKenna’s on-ice prowess is undeniable, his choice of equipment has also piqued interest among hockey enthusiasts. The budding star is a fan of Bauer gear, particularly favoring the Vapor HyperLite 2 stick and HyperLite 2 skates. Although his gloves, pants and helmet bear the CCM brand, this is due to the brand’s partnership with the WHL and CHL. When it comes to sticks and skates, McKenna’s preference for Bauer appears to be paying dividends, with his performance drawing attention from Bauer Hockey’s social media channels.

Despite McKenna’s presence on Bauer’s pages, it’s important to note that his equipment choices are still subject to change, especially as he transitions to the NHL. While he currently enjoys this likely temporary arrangement with Bauer, similar to Chicago Blackhawks phenom Connor Bedard during his junior hockey days, McKenna’s future endorsements remain uncertain. With this association to Bauer, McKenna isn’t necessarily receiving substantial compensation for using its equipment, leaving the door open for him to explore other options as he ascends to the professional ranks.

While on the topic of Bedard, a fun fact that many may not know yet, is that he is actually a cousin by marriage of Gavin McKenna’s. 

McKenna’s journey is reminiscent of other young talents who have captivated the hockey world with their early successes. Like Bedard, who made headlines by signing with Sherwood ahead of his rookie NHL season, McKenna’s future decisions regarding endorsements and equipment are bound to generate considerable attention. While his story is still unfolding, his remarkable debut season in the WHL serves as a compelling prologue to what promises to be an exciting career.

McKenna’s trajectory is filled with potential and promise. With two more seasons in the WHL to hone his skills and further solidify his status as a top prospect, the anticipation surrounding his eventual NHL debut continues to grow. For fans and scouts alike, the 2026 NHL Entry Draft holds the promise of unveiling the next hockey phenom, and McKenna’s journey is poised to be a captivating chapter in the sport’s storied history.

McKenna’s emergence as a rising star in the hockey world is a testament to his exceptional talent and dedication. As he continues to dazzle on the ice and make waves in the prospect scene, all eyes will be on him as he embarks on the next phase of his journey toward NHL stardom.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Kozub

Follow us for the latest NHL gear news (and giveaways!)

© Copyright 2024 GearGeek Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Sitemap