Knights On Ice’s 2020-21 preseason Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the top 25 players under the age of 25 currently in Vegas’ system. The KOI staff members created their own Top 25 Under 25 ballots. Each individual writer’s ballot was then used to generate a composite score that formed the final rankings.
We continue this year’s version of our Top 25 Under 25 series, highlighting the top young players in the Vegas Golden Knights’ organization. Lukas Cormier, a 2020 third-round draft pick, comes in at No. 19.
No. 19: Lukas Cormier
- Position: D
- Age: 18
- Currently playing: Charlottetown Islanders
- Nationality: Canadian
So far in the QMJHL season, Cormier has scored 25 points in 17 games. He’s already got more goals in 2020-21 than in his draft season, with nine in 17 games this year compared to just six in 44 games in 2019-20.
Cormier was drafted as an offensive defenseman, as he came close to a point-per-game pace in the 2019-20 QMJHL season (with 36 points in 44 games), and he is topping that pace so far this year. Cormier currently appears to be a steal for the Golden Knights, who took him 68 spots into the 2020 draft and signed him to a three-year entry-level contract in December.
The 2019-20 season was both Cormier’s second year in the QMJHL and second season in which he scored 36 points, as he matched that amount in 63 games in 2018-19. While his goal rate plummeted between the two seasons, going down from 15 to six, Cormier has become a better playmaking defenseman.
This is a breakdown of #2020NHLDraft prospect Lukas Cormier. He recorded 1G & 2A on October 18th, 2019.— Daniel Gee (@DanielGScouting) April 17, 2020
Cormier's ability to activate from the point created high danger chances throughout this game. Cormier's willingness to shoot was also very prevalent.
Part 1/2 ️QMJHLive pic.twitter.com/YhpgunQBXp
Lukas Cormier was a beast last night for the Islanders. What an individual effort and what a shot. pic.twitter.com/pbjwr011f7— Marco D'Amico (@thehockeyexpert) October 3, 2020
While Cormier will need to work on his defensive game — he wouldn’t have fallen to No. 68 overall in the draft had he been a complete player already — his offensive game is coming along quite nicely. He has the ability to both score and set others up, and he is currently running Charlottetown’s power play, which ranks first in the QMJHL in both success rate (32.4 percent) and goals (24).
Cormier is currently fifth in the QMJHL in scoring, leading all defensemen. Two of his teammates are in the top three, though Cormier’s 16 assists may have something to do with that.
Unless Cormier makes it to the NHL next season, he’ll still be in Charlottetown for a while; he won’t turn 20, the minimum age to be eligible for the AHL, until March of 2022. But judging by how this season is playing out, he may not have much left to prove.