Our annual 2020 version of the top players under the age of 25 in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.
2020 Pensburgh Top 25 Under 25: Graduates and Departed
#25: Radim Zohorna
#24: Judd Caulfield
#23: Will Reilly
#22: Jan Drozg
#21: Sam Miletic
#20 Lukas Svejkovsky, RW
2019 Ranking: NR
Age: 18 (November 23, 2001)
Acquired 4th round pick, 2020
Height/Weight: 5’10, 165 pounds
Lukas Svejkovsky (2020 Draft) - number 20 C, Vancouver— Joel Henderson (@dathockeydoe) October 12, 2019
You'll notice him enter the screen at the bottom. His skating is so effortless. His vision is fantastic. I could go on and on about how impressed I was but... just watch him control play and jump on pucks. #WHL pic.twitter.com/JjqfJo9FQv
The @NHL Dad line strikes again for @tigershockey thanks to Lukas Svejkovsky— AccessNow Sports (@AccessNowSports) February 29, 2020
MH 5 | REG 1#WHL | #A7Sports pic.twitter.com/Oxyz01r0gR
Clean entry leads to a nice set-up from Lukas Svejkovsky with C Evan Patrician (2020/2001) finishing in front. Giants were all over the Winterhawks that period and had multiple high-danger chances pic.twitter.com/oI21OKmvPt— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) November 9, 2019
The game's first goal belongs to Lukas Svejkovsky! @WHLGiants lead 1-0 early on. #VANvsVIC | #WHLPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/uk03Kk3OPF— The WHL (@TheWHL) April 12, 2019
And some more thoughts:
Pick 107 | #LetsGoPens #NHLDraft— Ryan CADDY (@C_A_D_D_Y) October 7, 2020
Lukas Svejkovsky | C | WHL
Strong on-ice numbers on that top Giants line. Seems like a decent gamble this far back. pic.twitter.com/tc4xUzYMFt
Nice pick by the Pens at 108 to take Lukas Svejkovsky. Came across as a line driver with Vancouver and then really took off after the trade. pic.twitter.com/Rr0YW75efl— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) October 7, 2020
Lukas Svejkovsky was a prospect the Penguins obviously liked a lot, or at least more than his 165th ranking among North American skaters in the draft being as they selected him 108th overall in this year’s draft.
Svejkovsky isn’t the biggest guy in the world at 5’10 165 pounds, but took off last season in the WHL after a trade to Medicine Hat saw him score 28 points in 34 games with his new junior club.
Svejkovsky has good bloodlines too, his father was a first round draft pick by Washington in 1996. That’s only four years before the Pens drafted Brooks Orpik or five years before they drafted Colby Armstrong. Kinda crazy how that works, could you imagine a Brooks Orpik Jr. draftable in four years? (No such player exists, but just sayin’).
As The Athletic’s Corey Pronman said:
Svejkovsky had a fine second WHL season between Vancouver and Medicine Hat with 38 points in 52 games. Some scouts think he’s better than his point totals suggest. There’s nothing dynamic about him, but Svejkovsky has good speed and puck skills. He has great patience and poise with the puck, showing the ability to hold onto it for an extra second to let lanes develop and find options to create chances. He’s not that big or physical, but he works hard and can win some puck battles. He’s probably an AHL/European league type with his skill set, but there’s enough talent there to give him a chance to be more.
As of now, the Pens are clearly banking on the chance that he can be more than what he’s shown so far. No scout really raves about Svejkovsky’s skating — though it doesn’t seem to be abnormally detrimental either — but his hands, vision and hockey IQ are what made him a draftable prospect.
Svejkovsky has the benefit of time, and his overall skill and hands makes him unique and valuable for the Penguins.