WE HAVE A TRADE TO ANNOUNCE! The Tampa Bay Lightning traded a fourth-round pick (103rd overall, originally CHI) and a sixth-round pick (169th, originally DET) to the Los Angeles Kings for the 86th overall pick in the third round. With that pick, the Lightning select - Lucas Edmonds, Winger, Kingston Frontenacs.
Edmonds is a 5’11”, 185-pound winger. He’s a right-handed shot, but has played on both sides of the ice. He was born in Canada, but has dual citizenship in Sweden and played from 2016-2021 in Swedish junior leagues. His father, Randy, was also a professional hockey player as well as a head coach and general manager. Randy played five seasons in the lower levels of Swedish hockey before moving behind the bench. Despite being born in Canada, Edmonds has played internationally for Team Sweden in the past.
This season, Edmonds moved from Sweden to play for the Kingston Frontenacs in the OHL. He wore an A as Alternate Captain and recorded 34 goals and 113 points in 68 games. He also recorded six goals and 11 points in 11 playoff games. Now, you may be looking at that and going “Gee, why didn’t a guy that scored like that get drafted #1 overall?” Well the answer, my friends, is that he is 21 years old and this is his fourth time being eligible for the NHL Entry Draft. Overage players should score a ton in the CHL leagues, and that’s exactly what Edmonds did.
Perhaps the added exposure of playing in the OHL, as well as the gaudy numbers, got him a bit more attention from NHL scouts than he received while playing in Sweden. The HockeyProspects.com NHL Draft Black Book had him ranked 100th, certainly signaling that he was at least on the radar of NHL scouts. The Black Book describes him as being a talented shooter, with his shot and offensive awareness being his strengths. However, his skating and compete level need improvement, and we’ve seen what Barb Underhill can do in the realm of cleaning up a player’s skating mechanics.
As is the case for the vast majority of prospects (and probably every single one that we’ll cover from this draft), is that his defense will need work. The compete level is also a concern. One anonymous scout quoted in the Black Book mentioned that he’s in a group of “non competitive, low-energy players” on the Kingston roster and that their coach played that way too. It will be up to the coaching staff in Syracuse to work with him on being more consistent in his effort level on both ends of the ice. Doing so will help him reach his potential with his NHL caliber tools. Because of his age, he’ll be able to sign and go to the AHL immediately for the upcoming season.
There’s some definite flaws in his game. He’s got some NHL level skill and apparently an NHL worthy shot in his toolbox. The skating and the consistency will have to be worked out. If the coaching staff in Syracuse can whip him into shape quickly, maybe we’re looking at a guy that can step in sooner than later on the wing of the third line to add some depth goal scoring and a second power play unit option. The ideal timeline would be a year in Syracuse to work on his deficiencies and then up to the NHL, perhaps as a replacement for Corey Perry when his contract is up and assuming Perry either retires or isn’t re-signed at that time.
That may be a bit aggressive in terms of timing, but the Lightning do need some prospects that end up on the fast track to the NHL to help fill in some of the gaps on the roster in the coming years on the cheap.