2016-17 Team: Rögle IF (SHL), Rögle IF U20 (SuperElit)
Date of Birth: Aug. 18, 1999
Place of Birth: Ängelholm, Sweden
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 174 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2017 first-year eligible
- THW Alternate Rankings: 61st (May)
- Future Considerations: 57th (Spring)
- Bob McKenzie: 51st (Mid-season)
- NHL Central Scouting: 18th (EU skaters)
- Craig Button: 81st (March)
Hockey runs in the blood for Lucas Elvenes. Two of his uncles played in the top league in Sweden back in the day, and his father, Stefan Elvenes, made a number of international appearances for the national team. In their footsteps, Lucas represents the family name along with his older brother, Ludvig, in the Swedish Hockey League. But the youngest one will soon become the first in the family to be drafted by an NHL team.
Leading up to the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, however, Elvenes has been under the radar. That’s normal. Seeing as he is one of the youngest prospects eligible for the draft this year, he still has some catching up to do, not the least physically. With only 174 lbs to fill out his 6’0” frame, Elvenes lacks some strength that is required to make a real difference at the senior level. So, during this season, he wasn’t a regular player in the SHL. Next year, he will join IK Oskarshamn in Hockeyallsvenskan (second division) on loan, which will probably do him well.
On the other side, 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.
One more thing: 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.
NHL Draft Projection
Judging from most draft rankings out there, Lucas Elvenes is balancing the line between the second and third round. I would say he’s leaning more towards the late second round, although his young age might make him drop or climb significantly.
“Elvenes is gifted with separation speed, soft hands, and slick playmaking skills. He’s best when constantly moving, using his first-step quickness to explode into seams (particularly around the net, where he scores most of his goals).” – Mitch Brown, recrutes.ca
“Shifty playmaker who sees the ice well. Very good skater. Difficult to contain when at top speed.” – ISS Hockey
- Passing and vision, playmaking skills
- Controlled entries in the offensive zone
- Power-play specialist
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Physical size
- Defensive awareness
Elvenes needs an offensive role in order to get the best out of him. If he can develop the perks and qualities of his game, I’m confident that he could eventually become a mid-six winger in the NHL.
Risk: 4/5, Reward: 3,5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense: 8,5/10, Defense: 6,5/10
No other player under 18 years old scored more points in the U20 SuperElit league than Lucas Elvenes this season, after an impressive run of 45 points (15+30) in 41 games. We have reason to believe it won’t be the last time that Elvenes becomes the scoring leader in his career. Apart from that individual achievement, he claimed the bronze medal with Team Sweden at the U17 World Junior Championship the year before that.
Freelance sports journalist settled in Malmo, Sweden. Author on the official site of the Swedish Hockey League. Cover Swedish prospects on their road to the NHL, and Swedish players making it in the NHL.