Lucas Johansen is the younger brother of Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen. Until recently, he was known only to NHL scouts, the scouting community that has grown around the industry (Red Line Report, ISS) and Kelowna Rockets fans. That is changing, and Johansen is a trending player as we edge toward the draft.

Bob McKenzie’s mid-season rankings had Johansen at No. 36, and his offensive performance has spiked since then:

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  • Through end of December: 35, 5-16-21
  • Since the end of December: 36, 7-24-31
  • Overall: 71, 12-40-52 (includes playoffs)
  • Source


  • Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst: And even though he’s relied upon to help drive the advance up the ice,
    there’s a lot more than offense to Johansen’s game, as he is reliable,
    smart and owns an acute sense of when to attack the puck in his own end
    and quickly transition it.
  • Kirk Luedeke,The Scouting Report: Lucas is a really good skater, four-way mobility, he can stop/start quickly, he can skate backwards very well, very agile and fluid mover with his crossovers and his lateral movement and crisp on his edges. He is going to be good in puck retrieval, effective in leading and joining the rush, advancing the puck. He has good vision and passing ability. He is not a very physical defenseman, has a tendency to be more of a stick-check, play the puck kind of defensemen. Has to get better in the way he processes the game. He has higher offensive upside and could be a player who comes off the board earlier. Source
  • Dan Marr, NHL Central Scouting: “He comes from the defenceman
    factory in Kelowna, so he’s got that in his favour there.
    But his game is growing, it’s
    going in the right direction. He’s on an upward trend so the projection
    should be he’ll continue and chances are he’ll move up as the year
  • NHL Central Scouting: “Good size and strength, developing into a solid two-way defenceman.
    Good hands and puck skills to mange the play at the offensive blue line.
    Excellent short game and passer, good shot from the point. Effective
    game with and without the puck.”
  • Iain Morrell, McKeens: A poised, all-weather defenseman with good size, skill and mobility.

    Johansen adopts a
    safe and conservative approach – and isn’t one to stand out by making
    flashy plays or being aggressive offensively
    . Source


If Johansen is hanging around when Edmonton picks in the second round he might be a perfect fit. Although lots of draft resources have been invested in defenders by the Oilers over the last number of years, this is a player who can wheel and is emerging as an offensive option.

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Craig Button’s rankings:

  • January: No. 75
  • March: No. 50

He has a chance to make it into the first round, and those scoring totals suggest a late spike. His playoff showing (2gp, 2-1-3) has to have been noticed by the 30 NHL teams, and sneaking him through the first two rounds looks impossible at this point. If a team likes him and he is available in round two, then taking him (or trading up) is probably the wise option.


  • Spoils

    nice work, and just because it is never enough… any chance we can see an analysis of the potential Brandon Davidsons hiding in other teams’ systems…

    or teams that have 2 possible top pairing guys who might cough one up.

    or teams with #1s that might shake loose like Pronger did. (we have the crazy paper assets to make that happen).

    given there are three types of D:

    >>>bottom pair
    >>>top pair
    >>>and #1s

    there are only 10-15 #1s IMO. ie. Drew Doughty, Duncan Keith…

    you know, because teams rarely win a cup without a #1

  • Explicit

    Completely off topic LT, but why don’t I hear anything about that Benson character anymore?? Is it me or did he just drop off the map???

    I’m not a guy who follows the junior leagues or the draft much, yet somehow I knew his name years ago, and now that he’s draft eligible, I’m not hearing his name anymore.

    Does Benson project to be a NHL player, or is he just a case of a local boy who developed quicker than his peers??

    Also….. F!ST

    Also, I’ve had my fill of left handed defensman with potential

    • Lowetide

      He didn’t play enough to stay in the first round. A team might take a chance on him, and it will be interesting to see where he lands in the final Bob McKenzie rankings.

    • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

      You can blame Vancouver for that hype and that stupid/atrocious newspaper cover with Benson’s name big and bold along with Gretzky, Orr, Howe, etc. Hockey fans here lamented them for it but it was too late. He was supposed to be the next Great One, but of course couldn’t live up to it. He’s probably not a perennial all star type of guy, didn’t put up major points. But he is a real good leader who could be an effective top 6 guy.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Not great numbers considering he’s playing the kids version of the game. The Mathletics concern me with his size being omitted. From the photos it looks like he’s only 5’10’ish and a buck seventy.

    Can he play goal perhaps?