Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: RW Lucas Elvenes

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Once again the Vancouver Canucks failed to secure a spot in the NHL playoffs. So, instead of competing for the Stanley Cup, Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the upcoming months to prepare next season’s roster. Now that the organisation is officially in a ‘transition period’, the 2017 NHL Entry Draft will be of utmost importance.

A four-game winning streak to start the 2016-17 season gave fans hope for the playoffs. But — blame the coach, the roster, injuries or anything else — unfortunately, the team was unable to play competitively for an entire season. With that, they are guaranteed another high draft pick this year.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming draft by profiling as many eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

This year’s draft seems wide-open, with no real consensus in any of the seven rounds. So, it will certainly be interesting to see who will put on a Vancouver Canucks jersey come June.

Next up is Swedish forward Lucas Elvenes of Rogle BK.


Name: Lucas Elvenes

Position: Right wing, center

Shoots: Left

Birthdate: 1999-08-18

Height, weight: 6’0”, 174 lbs

Team, league: Rogle BK J20, SuperElit

Stats (from eliteprospects.com): 

G

A

P

PIM

+/-

41153045221

Rankings:
#57 by Future Considerations
#18 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2.5/5, 4/5

NHL-potential: Top-six forward

Draft Range: Top 70

Scouting report

"A skilled winger with solid vision and playmaking ability…an agile skater with solid edgework…keeps his feet going  and manages to reach top speed in a hurry with short, quick strides…uses his separation gear to blow past defenders or his soft hands to deke through them…creative with his puck handling and passing ability…has a quick release on his shot…battles hard for pucks…type of player who’s eyes light up when he sees a loose puck…explosive once the rubber touches his blade, turning up-ice quickly on transition…very often tries to deke the world out instead of making the simple play…does not engage consistently on defense but when he does he is effective at slowing down the opposition with sticks in lanes and puck pressure…not a physical player but does use his body to shield the puck…needs to get stronger to improve his overall effectiveness…an offensive gifted winger with solid pro potential as a two-way guy.   (Future Considerations, November 2016)"

Strengths

Lucas Elvenes is one of Sweden’s most promising 2017 prospects. He possesses first-round-level skill but has some other things holding him back. Elvenes has the potential to be a top-six forward in the NHL and the team that picks him might look very lucky with their selection a few years down the road.

What stands out the most about Elvenes is his vision. He sees the ice very well and has superb passing skills, which he uses to set up scoring chances consistently. Elvenes can hold on to the puck until a passing lane opens up and then quickly create danger in front of the net. That ability also makes him an excellent option on the power play.

In addition, Elvenes has excellent puck skills and can pull off dekes that make defenders miss. He has good agility and edge work, allowing him to shake off opponents in the corners and create space to make a play. Elvenes is not the greatest neutral-zone player but can be a consistent threat in the offensive zone.

Weaknesses

Elvenes can be dangerous in the offensive zone, but he doesn’t always show it. In some games, he shows flashes of brilliance. Other times, he shows nothing and doesn’t look deserving of an early draft pick. What he does when he shows up, however, should be intriguing enough to use an early selection on him.

More from Draft

Another issue is his decision-making. Elvenes is an excellent offensive player with time and space, but sometimes he struggles to make quick plays under pressure. He wants to hold on to the puck and make things happen every time, even when he should just pass it on quickly.

Furthermore, Elvenes is a solid skater but has some issues in that area as well. He has good agility, which once again helps him in the offensive zone, but his speed isn’t great. Part of the reason is his slightly awkward stride and skating style, as he is a bit of an upright skater.

Lastly, Elvenes doesn’t get very engaged defensively. As of today, he looks like a purely offensive forward although he has shown flashes of defensive ability as well. Perhaps the right coach is all it takes — the tools are there.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to like about Elvenes but the list of concerns isn’t short either. But even though the list of weaknesses above looks longer than the list of strengths, Elvenes is a potential second-round player. The reason is that most weaknesses can be ironed out.

Elvenes sees the ice well and has excellent hockey IQ and puck skills. With that, he should be able to improve his decision-making under pressure over time. A summer with a skating coach should be enough to turn him into a more powerful, faster skater. And a coach that puts emphasis on responsible two-way play can make sure Elvenes gets stronger defensively.

So, despite his first-round skill-set, Elvenes could drop into the Canucks’ lap at 63rd. Finding a player with Elvenes’ skill will be difficult in the third round, so he would certainly be a good pick. If the Canucks want to have more of a sure thing, however, they will have to look somewhere else.

Next: 2017 NHL Draft Profile Overview

That said, the draft is there to go for the home run, right? ‘Sure things,’ bottom-six players, can always be had for little money in free agency.