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02-13-2013, 02:59 PM
  #96
TheMadHatTrick
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Anyone have an opinion on centre Luke Johnson. Seems like an intriguing prospect for the third round or so this year.

Luke Johnson (C, 2013), Lincoln – slow to find his groove this season with just one goal in his first 11 games .. talented, strong-skating pivot with solid offensive instincts and playmaking vision .. proficient at finding the seams to move the puck through .. excels making plays tight spaces thanks to excellent hands .. top weapon is an terrific shot that features a quick, accurate release .. most dangerous when he has the puck below the dots .. tends to force plays at times when in possession, most notably on offensive-zone entries .. strong skater with good acceleration and deceptive speed – gets to top gear within first three strides .. mobile, adept and sturdy on his feet .. works hard along the wall and in the corners, and often comes out with the puck .. willing to take a hit to make a play, competes in the physical battles .. however his compete level is noticeably higher on the puck .. developing into more of a factor on the defensive side will be the challenge .. must learn to get himself into better defensive posture especially when the play is moving toward his net .. does support the puck effectively once his team is in possession .. at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, he still needs to mature and bulk up .. the additional strength and subsequent explosiveness will help him separate from defenders and be more productive as a puckrusher .. boasts the necessary skill and ability to dominate a game, yet does so only sporadically .. showed better all-around intensity in his rookie season .. will need to pick it up and find better scoring consistency if he hopes to enter the first-round discussion .. committed to the University of North Dakota for next fall.

Luke Johnson, C, Lincoln -- Johnson, a 5-11, 167-pound A-list skater, played at Grand Forks Central in North Dakota where he won a state championship. The son of former Lincoln Stars coach Steve Johnson and nephew to current Stars coach Chad Johnson is a University of North Dakota commit after he had 20 goals, 55 points and a plus-22 rating in 55 games in 2011-12.

"He can do lots with the puck and probably has one of the best releases in the draft," Gregory said. "The puck comes off his stick with such quickness, speed, and grace … it's an effortless thing. At the USHL level, he will be a dominant player and will warrant first-round consideration this year."

Johnson had two shots on goal, three hits and won nine of 16 faceoffs at the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Sept. 29 in Buffalo. In four games for Lincoln (6-0-0), Johnson has one assist and a minus-2 rating.

"He's skilled, [but] the physical maturity hasn't come yet," NHL Network analyst Craig Button told NHL.com. "For a lot of players, going to college, especially a player like him, really benefits them. The biggest thing they need is time to physically develop and physically mature. For him to be successful, he needs physical maturity. It [college] is a good, slow build."

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