Golden Knights sign Lukas Cormier to entry-level contract

The defenseman was taken in the third round of this year’s draft.

The Vegas Golden Knights have signed left-shot defenseman Lukas Cormier to a three-year entry-level contract.

Cormier was selected in the third round (No. 68 overall) of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft; he is the first member of Vegas’ 2020 draft class to sign with the Knights.

The Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, New Brunswick native was one of the final cuts from Team Canada at the 2021 World Junior Championship.

Cormier, a skilled mobile defenseman who moves the puck well, is off to a great start this season with seven goals and 21 points in 13 games with the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL. His 21 points lead all defensemen in the league.

The 18-year-old got off to a similarly hot start last season, though it was cut short due to injury. He still matched his point total (36) from his rookie year, doing so in 19 fewer games, but he’s shown he’s capable of more if he can stay healthy.

Cormier is currently on pace for his best output yet, already topping his goal total from last season through just 13 contests. That’s not a total surprise since Cormier’s 15 goals in 2018-19 set a QMJHL record for most goals by a rookie defenseman.

What the 5-foot-10, 180-pound rearguard lacks in size, he makes up for in speed and skill. His skating allows him to play a 200-foot game, and he’s been particularly effective on the power play. That’s not always a good thing, especially if a player relies on the man advantage for production. However, the Golden Knights are clearly confident in his offensive upside and overall potential.