Welcome to the Lucas Elvenes show.
In our 2019-20 Yearbook, Elvenes didn’t crack the top 10 NHL prospects list, which makes sense given that he was coming off a disappointing season with Rogle in the Swedish league where he failed to show much improvement. But up until a few weeks ago, the 20-year-old Chicago Wolves center was the only player to lead the AHL in scoring this year. When you start the season with 19 points in your first 13 games – including a four-point North American debut – you’re bound to be near the top. AHL veterans Reid Boucher and Drake Batherson have since tied for the top spot with 34 points with Elvenes falling to fifth, but he’s still eight points clear of seven-year AHLer Curtis McKenzie for the Wolves’ scoring lead.
Yeah, Elvenes is starting to prove everyone wrong. Elvenes, who was a fifth-round draft pick by Vegas in 2017, has thrived since moving to North America, with very few adjustments needed early on. His speed has translated well, he sees the ice as well as he did on the bigger European surfaces and he’s the one generating most of his line’s scoring chances this year. With the season nearing the halfway point, Elvenes sits four points ahead of Jack Studnicka for the AHL scoring lead among rookies. He’s not a big shooter with just 36 shots through 30 games, but the pass-first pivot has a seven-point gap over Providence’s Robert Lantosi (13) with 22 assists.