What steps must Lukas Cormier take next season?

Lukas Cormier is a budding defenseman for the Vegas Golden Knights. What steps should the young prospect take to grow?
Los Angeles Kings v Vegas Golden Knights
Los Angeles Kings v Vegas Golden Knights / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Lukas Cormier was an absolute steal for the Vegas Golden Knights as the 68th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. His unrivaled skating ability and overall quickness bring a lot to the table. That's especially true for the Henderson Silver Knights, who've seen him evolve. With 55 points and five power play goals in two seasons, the defenseman has established himself as a budding prospect.

In fact, his play was rewarded with a debut for the Golden Knights, starting his career on January 6, 2024. Although he only produced an assist (which was on the power play) in two games this season, the Silver Knights star showed tremendous promise with the NHL club.

There are other pluses to the young prospect's game, including his ability to push the puck up the ice. Cormier can make seamless passes to his teammates, leading the attack and setting up good scoring opportunities. That was a problem for the Vegas Golden Knights against the Dallas Stars in the first round. With Pete DeBoer's neutral zone tightening, Vegas couldn't do anything offensively in the series.

There's no doubt Cormier's addition will become a welcome addition in the future. However, there are some aspects for the New Brunswick native to improve. That way, he can have a lasting impact on the Golden Knights lineup. What can the budding Henderson Silver Knights prospect work on?

Lukas Cormier must develop himself defensively

Lukas Cormier isn't the biggest player on the ice. Standing at 5'10", he's vastly limited by his physical attributes. That's especially true with his weight, where he weighs only 180 lbs. Adding some bulk to his game will help expand his role beyond being an offensive facilitator.

Doing this will also help him defend against the NHL's best forwards. Bear in mind the Vegas Golden Knights play in the same division against superstars such as Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Elias Pettersson. Defending against these players is no small task, specifically with the size disadvantage Cormier is dealing with.

When people think of good defensemen, they think of players like Nicklas Lidstrom, whose ability to read the ice made him second to none. Same thing with Scott Stevens, whose physical play earned him the nickname, "Captain Crunch." For Lukas Cormier, going beyond the Henderson Silver Knights starts with building on his frame and physicality.

Another Vegas Golden Knights player dealt with the same issues

Jonathan Marchessault dealt with the same problem during his career in Vegas. Standing at 5'9" has its faults, starting with not having many defensive capabilities. However, the winger made the most of having a niche and became a useful sniper. Of course, that started with building his frame to 185 lbs.

The added bulk has helped him become more physical, too. This season, he had 107 hits, which is good for someone his size. The "Golden Misfit" has 584 during his seven-year tenure in Las Vegas, which has stretched his purpose. Therefore, Marchessault's in line to get a nice contract. Whether it's with the Golden Knights remains to be seen.

Lukas Cormier can do the same for himself and the Vegas Golden Knights. The young Henderson Silver Knights star is already making his presence known as a valuable offensive asset. He's excellent near the blue line and has a nice shot. But adding more bulk to his frame will make him a mainstay for a long time.