With the 68th Pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the Vegas Golden Knights Have Selected Lukas Cormier From the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
About Lukas Cormier
One of the top defenders coming out of this year’s draft outside of Jamie Drysdale and Jake Sanderson, Cormier has all the makings of a legitimate modern-day NHL defender. He’s a bit smaller at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, but he has the ability to move the puck up the ice cleanly and has incredible skating abilities. His exceptional vision, mobility and skating to make up for some mistakes as far as positioning and defensive awareness goes.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“One of the more mobile defencemen in this year’s draft, Lukas Cormier, has been a standout since entering the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old with an impressive 15 goals and 36 points in 63 games which broke the rookie goal record set by Adam Polasek in the 2009-10 season. He was also a very solid plus-24 in a league known more for its loose defensive play and high-scoring affairs.
Related: Our Free NHL Draft Guide
Cormier has not missed a beat in his sophomore season with the Charlottetown Islanders. He has already matched his point total from last season in 19 fewer games and has become more of a playmaker in his second go-around. He has also continued his solid defensive play with yet another impressive plus-12 performance. He finished the shortened season with six goals and 36 points in 44 games.
Known more as an offensive defenceman, Cormier has displayed some two-way tendencies as well, as evidenced by his plus/minus numbers. His mobility, puck skills, elite shot and willingness to jump into the play has fueled his offensive numbers over the last two seasons in the QMJHL. As a 16-year-old he played on the top pairing with the Islanders, which is unprecedented for a player just starting out in the junior leagues. More importantly, he not only survived there, but he also thrived.
In a league that is based on speed and quickness, Cormier will be a sought after prospect in this year’s draft. More and more teams are building their backend on these attributes because of this fact. That is why I see him going in the first round, instead of late in the second round.
Cormier’s size could be an issue, but as we’ve seen with Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks, a lack of size isn’t as much of a hindrance as it was in the past. I don’t foresee that being an issue for him at all. Mobility is king, and he has it in spades. If he can translate that to the NHL, he will be a point-producer and play driver for many seasons to come.”
How This Affects the Golden Knights’ Plans
After losing top prospect Erik Brannstrom in the trade that brought Mark Stone to Vegas, the Golden Knights needed to replenish their defensive prospect pool. Adding QMJHL defenseman Lukas Cormier is exactly the type of move they need to make. He slid a bit, likely due to his size, but he’s a supremely talented skater and will look very nice on a blueline with Shea Theodore.
There were some scouts that had him in their first or second round so this is a tremendous value for the Golden Knights in the third round. They grabbed a sniper in Brendan Brisson yesterday and adding a mobile puck-moving defenseman complements that perfectly here in day two.