Julian Lutz – 2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Julian Lutz

2021-22 Team: EHC München (DEL)
Date of Birth: February 29, 2004
Place of Birth: Weingarten, Germany
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 185 pounds
Shoots: Left
Position: Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible

Rankings

It’s a tragedy that the world has been largely deprived of watching Julian Lutz play this season. The big German winger was one of the best producers at the esteemed Red Bull Eishockey Akademie last season, putting up 26 points in 31 games in the Alps Hockey League, the second-most of any U20 player in the league, while his 13 goals placed him first in the same age group. His 0.84 points per game was also just behind Los Angeles Kings’ 2021 second-round pick Francesco Pinelli.

Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide

Lutz’s success prompted EHC München to call him up in Nov. 2020 to the MagentaSport Cup, a German exhibition tournament, making him the youngest player to ever appear for the team, taking the title away from 2020 second-round pick John Peterka. Later in August, he led the German U18 team with two goals at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, where he caught several scout’s eyes with his impressive skating and agility, as well as his tenacious forechecking. The Germans were largely outmatched, but Lutz was able to generate some offensive chances for his team and was arguably the most noticeable player on the ice for Germany.

However, soon after, he went down with an undisclosed injury. Initially, reports expected him to return within two to three weeks, but that soon stretched into months. Just as scouts were worried he wouldn’t play any games in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) this season, he finally made his debut in February. After spending so long off the ice, it was a slow transition to get back to full speed, and he didn’t score his first goal until Mar. 27, 2022, which came in a 9-1 blowout win over Ingolstadt. He finished the season with just one goal and two assists in 14 games while averaging about eight and a half minutes a night, a far cry from where he was expected to be in his draft year.

Thankfully, München finished the season in second place, meaning Lutz will get a chance to play some meaningful playoff games, and his style of play is perfect for the extra intensity of the postseason. He’s an excellent forechecker and is more than happy to get into his opponent’s face, using his long reach to force a turnover. Thanks to his speed and agility, he can play at a high pace and apply pressure in all three zones, making him a headache to play against. Yet, he’s not reckless with his aggression, and instead takes the time to find the best chances to try and break up a play or throw a hit.

Julian Lutz RB Muenchen
Julian Lutz, RB München (GEPA / RedBulls)

Lutz is much more than an aggressive forward, though. He possesses plenty of offensive skill, and thanks to his intelligence and speed, he’s able to keep his head up and quickly sneak around opponents who try to push him off the puck. His stickhandling is good, albeit not great, and the same can be said for his shot, but both are more than good enough to make him a valuable forward.

Other THW Draft Profiles:

Julian Lutz – NHL Draft Projection

Prior to his injury, Lutz was expected to be a late first-round pick, likely in the 25-30 range. His skills were promising, and he already had experience playing against top competition in the DEL, albeit in a depth role. The German program has produced some very intriguing prospects as of late, including Lukas Reichel and Peterka, and Lutz appeared to be on pace to join them. However, after his injury and slow start, his rankings have plummeted. While some scouts still see him as a potential late-first pick, he’s now likely looking at somewhere in the third round.

Quotables

“He’s is a big, hard forechecking winger with good offensive skills. Red Bull Academy is well known in Central Europe for its skating development, and Lutz seems to be one of their best product in this area in their short but relatively successful history. He is fast, quick, mobile, and can get around defences with quick turns, stops, direction changes or simply by his speed. Lutz is a fun-to-watch player. He is also a solid stickhandler, controls the puck in full speed, is successful with the puck in tight areas, drawing opposition’s attention, having always head up and then passing the puck in the lanes he created.” Miroslav Simurka, FC Hockey

“He is versatile and can play both as a center and as a winger. What is striking is his extremely good skating, which is particularly important at the Red Bull Academy, as well as his remarkable game intelligence. Lutz has good on-ice vision and knows how to use his skills to put himself and his teammates in the limelight. With a size of 188 centimetres, he also has a lot to offer physically.” Alexander Gammel, NHL.com/de (translated)

“Lutz is an interesting player who is still something of an unknown in the prospect world. While he might not be a first or second-round consideration at this point, he is the top player for Germany in the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and is someone worth keeping an eye on. Lutz is an energetic player with good skating ability, thanks to his fast feet and strong stride. He finds scoring chances well and has a good shot, which he can also release from pretty difficult positions. He isn’t especially big but certainly doesn’t avoid physical battles. Lutz is not the most skilled guy, but his puck control is also not bad. He should carry Germany’s offensive game in the tournament.” Eetu Siltanen, Dobber Prospects

Strengths

  • Work ethic
  • Speed and skating
  • Aggressive forechecker

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Shooting accuracy
  • Defensive awareness

NHL Potential

Despite his success with the Red Bull Akademie and in international contests, Lutz’s doesn’t appear he has a very high ceiling. He’ll likely max out as a second-liner in the NHL should everything go according to plan, but currently projects to be a solid third-line player who can contribute in a variety of ways to his team. However, there is a giant asterisk beside his potential, largely due to his injury, which took out nearly a full year of development. Given that he possesses a strong work ethic, he could very well see a massive bounce-back campaign next season and once again look like the dominant forward he was projected to be back in 2020-21. Scouts and fans have seen it time and time again with German players, so it’s fair to say that if he slips into the third round, he could be a massive steal.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 4/5, Reward – 3/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offence – 7.5/10, Defence – 6/10

Awards/Achievements

Lutz has already been a regular with the German National teams, appearing with the U16, U17, and U18 squads since the 2019-20 season. This season, he played four games at the Hlinka Gretzky tournament, scoring twice in a single game against Switzerland in a 3-2 overtime loss. Although he missed out on the chance to play at the U20 World Juniors back in Dec. 2021, he may earn another shot after the tournament was rescheduled for Aug. 2022 after COVID forced the IIHF to shut it down.

Julian Lutz Statistics

FC Hockey Draft Tracker

In front of the family: Lutz scored his first goal in the DEL (EHC Munchen feature, in German)

Lutz has the chance to prove himself (NHL Germany Feature, in German)

Videos

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