Golden Knights Top Prospect Rankings: #5 Lucas Elvenes

Golden Knights Top Prospect Rankings: #5 Lucas Elvenes

 

Name: Lucas Elvenes

Current Team: Rögle BK / SHL – 18/19

Date of Birth Aug 18, 1999

Age 18

Place of Birth Ängelholm, SWE

Position C/RW

Height 6’1″ / 185 cm

Weight 172 lbs / 78 kg

Shoots Left

Drafted 2017 round 5 #127 overall by Vegas Golden Knights

I don’t know if Lucas Elvenes believes in horoscopes, but he knows that his life has been dramatically different if he’d been born in September instead of August. To be eligible for the NHL draft, a player must be 18 no later than the following September 15. Lucas Elvenes was born August 18, 1999, which made him the 15th youngest player drafted in 2017, which is the only fathomable reason that Elvenes was taken behind 126 other players. At the top of the fifth round George McPhee found himself in a position to add a hugely talented playmaker coming out of Sweden’s SuperElit under-20 league. At the time that he was drafted at 17, Elvenes had even played 12 games in the SHL, Sweden’s top men’s league. While Elvenes didn’t put up a single point in the SHL in his draft-1 year, his 45 points in 41 games in the SuperElit were enough to push some draft services to rank him as high as the mid-second round. It’s downright puzzling that he could slip all the way to the fifth round of the 2017 draft while his advanced statistics suggested that he had a 36% chance of becoming a 60-point player in in the NHL.

Fast-forward one year, and it is clear that if Elvenes were three weeks older and draft eligible for the first time in 2018, he would be a top-20 pick. Among players under 20 in the SHL, Elvenes was third in points per game, tallying 16 in 28 games. By comparison, Issac Lundestrom (who is only 76 days younger than Elvenes) is projected to be taken early in the first round of 2018 while only scoring 15 points in 42 games. Prior to being called up to the SHL in December, Elvenes scored 21 points in 22 games in the Allsvenskan (Sweden’s second tier Men’s league). Elvenes didn’t garner much press this year, in part, because 2017’s 5th overall pick, Elias Pettersson, was breaking virtually all of the SHL’s U20 scoring records. Pettersson is 284 days older than Elvenes. However, when you adjust for the age difference the two forwards scored at an almost identical rate in the Allsvenskan. While no one is suggesting that Elvenes is going to compete to break Pettersson’s records in the coming season, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. If Elvenes keeps progressing at the same rate, he could end up being one of the best players in his draft class.

In his draft year, many scouts doubted whether Elvenes could skate well enough to compete at the highest levels. Those doubts have all but disappeared over the last year. His top speed, evasiveness in the offensive zone, and acceleration are now verging on elite. When he has the puck on his stick in the opposition’s zone he can evade even the best defensemen to create dangerous chances for his linemates.

This winger is a creative puck handler who generally looks for the pass before the shot. Elvenes ability to dish cross-crease passes is very reminiscent of the William Karlsson line. Plays like this and like this could make him an instant fit in Vegas’ top-9.

 

He is a tenacious forechecker and is defensively responsible. He is, in many ways, the embodiment of the Golden Knights play style. That is not to say that Elvenes is without faults. For example, while his quick release is impressive for a teenager, he could certainly stand to work on developing a more lethal shot.

TheHockeyWriters.com has lots of praise for Elvenes:

“Elvenes is an offensively gifted winger, with exciting playmaking and dangling skills. When he gets the puck, he will not lose it until he decides to set his teammates up for scoring chances. That’s arguably his greatest strength. In addition to that, he is a solid skater, a player that can be very entertaining to watch, with a great sense of creativity to his game…Elvenes can be an effective weapon on the power play, where he likes to find his spot in and around the right circle in the offensive zone. It’s not particularly far-fetched to draw similarities to a certain Nicklas Backstrom in that regard.”

Elvenes inked a three-year entry level contract with the Knights on June 15, 2018, but fans should not expect Elvenes in North America this fall. His contract with Rogle BK runs through the 2018/19 season, and will be free to come to North America when it ends. The NHL/SHL transfer agreement does not permit players taken outside the first round from terminating their contracts early. Elvenes has made it clear that he plans to come over as soon as he’s ready, but understand that he may have to spend a year in the AHL adapting to the smaller ice. Until then, Vegas fans should keep a close eye on highlight reels out of Sweden.

That said, when Elvenes hits his prime, he’ll have the potential to be an elite playmaker in the NHL. For now, Elvenes will continue to soar just below the radar, but you should not be surprised if you see Elvenes dawning a Knights jersey as early as 2019

Vegas’ Full Prospect Rankings:

#1 Cody Glass

#2 Nick Suzuki

#3 Erik Brannstrom

#4 Nic Hague

#5 Lucas Elvenes

#6 Maxim Zhukov

#7 Ben Jones

#8 Zach Whitecloud

#9 Jake Leschyshyn

#10 Jack Dugan

#11 Dylan Coghlan

#12 Jonas Rondbjerg

Game Calendar

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