2019-20 Team: Charlottetown Islanders
Date of Birth: Mar 27, 2002
Place of Birth: Ste-Marie-de-Kent, NB, Canada
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 170 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 27th
- Bob McKenzie, TSN: 45th
- Future Considerations: 20th
- The Draft Analyst: 42nd
- The Hockey Writers (Bell): 23rd
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: THW’s 2020 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.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Lukas Cormier – NHL Draft Projection
After Cormier’s breakout rookie season, scouts were put on alert. Now that he’s followed it up with another solid campaign, they are definitely going to have him high on their lists when the draft comes around. His mobility and two-way game are perfect for the NHL right now, making him the perfect choice for teams looking for speed on the backend. Look for him to go late in the first round or early in the second round.
“Cormier is flying under the radar (the result of his lack of exposure to date), but his body of work in QMJHL play as a rookie and through his first few games as a sophomore reflects that of a clear top 31 selection, potentially as high as the top 20. With exceptional skating ability and a terrific sense of where the play is going, Cormier is able to evade the forecheck and make consistent positive contributions on the breakout.” – Sam Happi, The Prospect Network
“Cormier is a puck-rushing defenseman, showing the ability to escape pressure and find skating lanes on the breakout with his agility and shiftiness. He showcases incredible skating abilities, creating many controlled zone exits and entries using his excellent acceleration, speed and agility to blaze through the neutral zone. He possesses some smooth edges, which helps him get great lateral quickness and agility to walk the blue line offensively. His turns are brisk, allowing to escape pressure from behind the net or make a spin move to dodge an opponent. Playing as the quarterback on the power play, Cormier displays decent deception and puck distribution as he runs the offense from the point. He owns a great wrist and slap shot, displaying a quick release and impressive velocity on both.” – Andy Lehoux, Future Considerations
“Aside from his statistics, Cormier is an excellent skater. He shifts from backward to forwards well and deploys strong edges. Cormier loves getting involved in the offensive zone and fires strong wrist shots from the point. In the defensive and neutral zones, Cormier is seen often fighting for pucks.” – Josh Tessler, Dobber Prospects
- Elite shot
- Hockey IQ
- Superb puck control
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Defensive awareness
- Tendency to rush passes
Cormier is the definition of a new-age defenceman. He’s mobile, fast, quick in transition, and most importantly, smart. All these attributes are key in the NHL today. Expect him to become a top-four defenceman and power play quarterback in his prime and a solid point producer for whoever is lucky enough to select him.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 8.5/10, Defence – 7/10
Cormier was named to the 2018-19 QMJHL All-Rookie Team and broke the record for most goals scored by a rookie defenceman. He also played for Team Canada at the 2019-20 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and walked away with a silver medal.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.