2016 NHL Draft Radar: Lucas Johansen

When you have a brother already in the league, the pressure you put onto yourselves has to be immense. Especially when it is a superstar player like Ryan Johansen. Lucas Johansen has a lot to live up to and after a great year with the Kelowna Rockets, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him fulfill his potential in the NHL. Now where exactly is the lanky defender going to be picked?

Johansen is ranked number twenty six for North American skaters by NHL CS rankings.

The Stats

After a disappointing first year in the WHL, it didn’t seem like Johansen was going to turn into much of a prospect. Of course, when associated with a name, you will always get a longer look and with it, he was able to turn some heads. Not at the top of the WHL in scoring, Johansen still had a very impressive season, nearly scoring .75 ppg. His lack of scoring track record before this year is disconcerting as you want to see if the player can sustain this for a length of time. The potential is so high though, not many will worry about it.

The Eye Test

Steve Kournianos of the Draft Analyst had this to say about Johansen:

“Kelowna’s top defender who has excellent instincts and makes very good reads. What makes him stand out is that he understands the nuances of becoming a consistent three-zone player. Johansen is a very good skater who loves to jump into the attack and even outskated his forwards in order to lend puck support. He can run a power play with efficiency, but he needs to fill into his 6’2 frame in order to be more consistent during chest-to-chest battles. Johansen has a very good shot and makes clean plays in tight spaces in the offensive zone.”

Aynsley Scott of Dobber Hockey had this to say about the young defender:

“Lucas Johansen is a smooth skating cerebral defenseman, with an accurate shot from the point, who plays a solid all around game. Fluid is stride, Johansen can get to open pucks and find seams through fore-checkers as he transitions the puck up ice with ease. Not overly physical, Johansen plays a steady positional defense and keeps and active stick to break up passes of attackers. Though his calling card is with the puck on his stick, he isn’t a one dimensional offensive defenseman as he uses good hockey sense to read plays both ways. Johansen still requires work on his defensive reads as he can be caught trying to be too fancy rather than make the simple play.”

Does he fit in with the Red Wings?

The Red Wings need to start filling the prospect pipeline with some high end defenders. Selecting Johansen would be a good first step to fill that need. Picking him at sixteen though would be a monster reach. If they do select him in the first round, they would more than likely trade down. He could also drop into the second round as well, so a trade up there wouldn’t be impossible. He has every tangible attribute you want from a modern defender and has a pedigree attached to him as well. I think he ends up being selected late in the first, outside of the Wings range.

Player Oddity

He throws out A+ chirps on his brother from time to time