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.
Coming in at No. 7 is winger Lucas Elvenes, whom the Vegas Golden Knights selected in the fifth round (No. 127 overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The slight drop from sixth overall in our previous rankings has less to do with Elvenes than it does with older prospects being further along in their development. Elvenes is on the cusp of cracking the top five and remains a promising asset in Vegas’ pipeline.
No. 7: Lucas Elvenes
- Age: 21
- Position: Right wing
- Currently playing: Henderson Silver Knights
- Nationality: Swedish
Following the draft, Elvenes scored 36 points in 70 games in two seasons with Rogle BK of the SHL before making the transition to North America for the 2019-20 campaign.
There were concerns about Elvenes adjusting to the smaller ice surface, but he quickly put those to rest. In fact, he scored 15 points in 10 games in his first month in the AHL, earning rookie-of-the-month honors right out of the gate.
He was named to the AHL All-Star Classic after scoring 31 points through 36 games, though he was quick to credit his teammates for the selection.
In the end, his breakout rookie season with the Chicago Wolves saw the Swedish winger score 12 goals and 48 points in 59 games. He led Vegas’ former AHL affiliate in scoring and finished fourth among all rookies in the AHL; his 36 assists ranked first on the Wolves, eighth in the league and second among rookies.
Elvenes followed that up with six goals and 24 points in 37 games this past year in the Henderson Silver Knights’ inaugural season; the team went 25-13-1 en route to the Pacific Division title but ultimately fell to Bakersfield in the Pacific Division Championship.
Elvenes’ production wasn’t as explosive as the previous year, but he still contributed, finishing fourth on the team in assists and points. Two of his six goals were of the empty-net variety, but while he may not be known for his goal-scoring, Elvenes has a solid shot and is not afraid to go to the dirty areas when necessary.
However, he is a playmaker through and through. The native of Angelholm, Sweden demonstrates creativity in the offensive zone, has fantastic vision and is able to generate plays and scoring chances out of nothing. He’s very strong with the puck and uses his stickhandling ability to evade defenders and extend plays.
Simply put, he is a catalyst in the offensive zone.
It is clear that the soon-to-be 22-year-old has grown more and more comfortable over the last two seasons. It took a little time to adjust to the new system under first-year head coach Manny Viveiros, but Elvenes was a reliable and versatile forward, playing up and down the lineup throughout the season.
Elvenes is entering the final year of his entry-level contract and has yet to play a full season of AHL hockey given the COVID restrictions. As such, it’s likely he’ll spend another year developing his game in Henderson, where he’ll have to compete for top-six minutes as he looks to be an integral part of the Silver Knights’ offense.
He plans to focus on strength training in the offseason and wants to “get stronger everywhere” to add to his 6-foot-1, 187-pound frame, which should help.
If he rediscovers the prolific scoring pace from his rookie season, he could be a possible call-up, particularly in the event of injuries or salary cap complications, which Vegas is expected to face once again this year.
Elvenes projects to be a middle-six winger at the NHL level, though he has the potential to become an elite playmaker. He would be a key asset to the Golden Knights’ power play given his skillful passing and keen offensive awareness.
Previously in the Golden Knights Top 25 Under 25 2020-21 Series:
Honorable mention: Layton Ahac
No. 25: Jonas Rondbjerg
No. 24: Jake Leschyshyn
No. 23: Paul Cotter
No. 22: Keegan Kolesar
No. 21: Ben Jones
No. 20: Marcus Kallionkieli
No. 19: Lukas Cormier
No. 18: Pavel Dorofeyev
No. 17: Brandon Kruse
No. 16: Peter DeLiberatore
No. 15: Connor Corcoran
No. 14: Ivan Morozov
No. 13: Isaiah Saville
No. 12: Jiri Patera
No. 11: Brendan Brisson
No. 10: Dylan Coghlan
No. 9: Kaedan Korczak
No. 8: Jack Dugan