2016 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Lucas Johansen

You might remember me from such films as: "My Brother Was Drafted By Your Team" and "My Brother Was Traded By Your Team" and "Remember Those Contract Negotiations?"

Johansen... hmm, where have we heard that name before?

Much like Ryan was, Lucas is thought of as a work in progress. Not earning the high pre-draft pedigree of his older brother, Lucas doesn't possess the size of Ryan either. That's not to say he's small, as he still has a good frame for adding bulk as he matures. He doesn't stand out in any one area, but he plays a solid game both in terms of positioning and clearing the crease as well as moving the puck out of the zone. He has a decent offensive mind, as with increased ice time this year due to turnover in Kelowna, he produced 10 goals in 69 games to go with 39 assists.

He's a two-way defenseman who can do a little bit of everything, and uses his smooth skating to get the job done. He'll need to get stronger, and be willing to use his size and strength to be more physical, if he wants to have continued success at the NHL level. That said, he has a good floor, and much like Ryan when he was drafted, no one can really say what his ceiling might be.

Position: D
Current Team: Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Date of Birth: November 16, 1997
Place of Birth: Port Moody, British Columbia
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 176 lbs
Shoots: Left

Lucas Johansen is a two-way defenceman whose game is based on his smooth skating. ... Johansen defends the rush well by keeping defenders in front of him, and forcing them to the outside. He has a quick stick, and poke checks the puck away from attackers. ... He is an extremely smart player, who reads the play well and has good positioning. He can create turnovers, and quickly transition those into offence when he does.

Offensively, Johansen is able to add to the attack with a strong first pass setting up the transition game. He also has good poise, and the stick handling ability to avoid fore checkers and skate the puck out of his own end. Johansen has a good sense of when to lead and/or join the rush and when to hang back in his own end. Working the line, he has the vision and passing ability to quarterback the power play. He also has a strong slapshot which he is able to keep low and get on net, even when facing heavy traffic. High hockey IQ allows Johansen to always seem to make the right play with and without the puck.

Johansen has the potential to be an effective two-way defender in the NHL, playing on both the powerplay and the penalty kill. With his size, it would be nice to see him play a meaner and more physical game, but if that is what you are hoping for it doesn’t seem likely to happen. However, he can still be an effective defender, and someone who also adds points from the back end. In terms of style, Lucas Johansen is comparable to a left-handed version of Jeff Petry, however this is not a talent comparison, but one based on style only.

--Ben Kerr, Top Shelf Prospects (Last Word on Sports)

Emerging defender who projects as a two way defender with strong balance and skating ability. The younger brother of Ryan is still a work in progress, but has size and is a very good puck mover and plays on both the penalty kill and the power play. Leads by example and can move attacker out of the front, get in the lanes and break up passes, and he make that first pass out in transition and jump into the rush. Displays a very good point shot. Will play the body, but if he added a bit more aggression, he make it more difficult to play against him. Needs to get thicker and add weight and muscle.

--Bill Placzek, Draft Site

A Good Fit in Columbus?

Yes, even though one wonders if the well wouldn't be a bit poisoned for this organization and this kid's family. Fair or not, that's probably in the ether. He is a jack-of-all-trades defenseman who does a little bit of everything, skates well, has a great hockey IQ, and can lead the transition game. He needs to get stronger and more physical to have success at the NHL level, and he doesn't do any one thing especially well. He could very well be on the board for the Jackets' second round pick. It would certainly be an interesting story line.

Johansen in Action

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