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2024 NHL DRAFT SCOUTING REPORT (VIDEO + GRADES): Jett Luchanko, C, Guelph Storm, OHL

Jett Luchanko of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images
Jett Luchanko
2024 NHL Draft Eligible
Position: C, Shoots: R
H/W: 5’11”, 183lbs
Date of Birth: 2006-08-21

When it became apparent that the Storm would lose Matthew Poitras to the Boston Bruins, the outlook for Guelph’s season really took a hit. What would they do without their star player? Insert former first round pick Jett Luchanko, who came to the rescue, transforming himself from high energy depth player to star first line pivot in only a year. Not only has this helped save Guelph’s season, but it’s put Luchanko on the map as a potential first round selection in 2024.

A competitive and intelligent playmaking pivot, Luchanko has the skill set to be a strong middle six contributor at the NHL level. He’s a strong skater who has a clear understanding of how to alter pace to be successful. He’s an effective forechecker and two-way forward who can be utilized in any situation. He’s got great vision and is a tremendous passer, helping to elevate the play of those around him.

With a later August birthday, Luchanko is one of the younger players available this year and that shows on the ice. There’s a need for him to improve his strength, on and off the puck, in order to be a more consistent play driver, and in order for him to truly unlock the upside his skating ability gives him. However, even if components of his game are inconsistent, his effort is not. He’s always a willing combatant who is inside driven and his tenaciousness is one of the main reasons he is already such a versatile player.

While the Guelph Storm have secured a playoff berth, standings in the Western Conference are extremely tight. They could finish anywhere from 5th to 8th, making them a serious underdog in round one of the playoffs. That means that if the Storm are eliminated early, Luchanko should be made available to Canada at the IIHF U18’s, where he could potentially play a key role and open up some eyes.


If you read my report on Sam Dickinson, I referenced his on-ice testing from the CHL Top Prospect’s Game. He finished second overall. The only player to beat him? Jett Luchanko. He placed in nearly every category but was best in the agility and reaction tests. The most interesting thing is that I feel Luchanko is still learning to truly utilize his skating ability at the OHL level.

Luchanko is a modern-day skater who utilizes linear crossovers to build speed and glides to conserve energy. He builds speed quickly out of pivots or cuts and it’s in these quick bursts where he is often his most dangerous. This is especially true on the forecheck or when leading the counterattack. Luchanko has good agility and controls the puck well along the wall too, dipsy doodling around checks to maintain possession. This is important because he is often his most dangerous as a playmaker in those scenarios.

However, as mentioned, Luchanko is someone who has yet to truly unlock his upside as an attacker…which is scary because he’s already pretty good. It’s rare to see him truly unleash his speed as a puck carrier. He’s more likely to alter his pace after gaining the zone, to help him survey the ice and draw in pressure. When he does try to attack with speed, he can get knocked off stride, especially when trying to change direction with a sharp cut. This is where strength and balance training enter the scene to help him be more efficient as a play driver; there’s a need to be stronger on his edges and work to fight through contact without losing stride. Once that happens, I believe we’ll see Luchanko really take his game to another level because his game will become more multi-dimensional.

A good example of Luchanko’s need to bulk up in order to truly be a consistently dynamic player in transition. First Colby Barlow knocks him off stride on the forecheck and then Luchanko isn’t able to re-find his footing to escape as a carrier. To his credit, he stayed with the play, protected the puck well and managed to get the puck out of his zone.

I look at this play as a good example of Luchanko still learning how to utilize his speed effectively at the OHL level. He has the ability to explode out of his pivots, but it’s not often something you see from him. He could have accepted that pass, exploded out of that pivot and created a two on two scenario. Worst case, he gets cut off and has to chip and chase, holding his speed to be the first to retrieve. Instead, he’s easily boxed in and Guelph fails to gain the blueline.

This is much better utilization of his speed. He explodes out of the defensive end and backs down the opposing defense, passing off to secure zone time for the Storm.

Another great example of Luchanko’s speed. The use of linear crossovers is impressive and then he protects the puck well after gaining the zone to help Guelph successfully gain the offensive zone with the man advantage.

Exhibit C of Luchanko’s quickness. Look at how quickly he builds speed to get through the trap of the Otters, gaining the zone with ease.

Look at how Luchanko actually picks up speed with that quick directional change, blowing past the defense for the goal.

Grade: 57.5


This is Luchanko’s weakest area. He scores the majority of his goals from within a few feet of the crease. He prefers to one time shots in tight, releasing the puck quickly and accurately. He’s someone who relies on timing and cuts to get those open looks, so he uses the one timer to capitalize.

Luchanko’s best shot may actually be his backhand. If you watch any of his breakaways or shootout attempts, he loves going to the backhand to finish. He also often tries to get pucks to his backhand when finishing on scrambles near the crease. He elevates the puck quickly on his backhand and it’s very much a weapon for him.

Luchanko does flash a high end wrist shot. But at this point of his development, he’s just not someone you’re going to see shooting the puck from a distance. He’s best classified as a pass first player, especially when he’s operating on the right side, half wall area (his preference). Can this area of his game develop as he adds strength and builds confidence? Absolutely. The perception of his upside as a goal scorer can change. But, right now, he projects as a high end playmaker at the NHL level, and not a goal scorer. Think of a guy like Mats Zuccarello.

He loves to finish on the backhand.

One of the few goals scored this year by Luchanko from the outside. Great shot placement on the wrister.

Luchanko gets himself open in the slot and buries it with the one timer.

Great patience here as Luchanko waits out the goaltender and then beats him with a well placed snap shot.

Grade: 45


Passing is a skill and it’s a skill that Luchanko has mastered already. When he has time and space, it’s rare to see him miss the mark. He is especially lethal on the powerplay where he cycles back from the point to the right hash marks. From there, he consistently makes the seam pass to open left side teammates (usually Braeden Bowman). The vast majority of his primary assists this year have come from that exact same play, as Luchanko ips the puck cross ice, through traffic.

Luchanko also has quick hands that allow him to be creative when trying to miss sticks and slip checks. He combines quick cuts and pivots, with control of the puck, to be elusive near the wall and when trying to cut up ice in transition. When he challenges a single defender one on one, he usually comes out on top because of how unpredictable he is as a puck carrier.

As mentioned, Luchanko isn’t always as successful in transition as you’d expect him to be given his skating ability. He occasionally struggles to make quick moves or maintain possession at full speed, which doesn’t allow him to unlock his true capacity to push pace. Is this strength related? Is this execution/skill related? That remains to be seen. His NHL upside is likely tied to his ability to improve this.

Additionally, Luchanko needs to improve at the faceoff circle. He’s currently below the 50% mark at the junior level on the season. I do believe that he best profiles as a center, but NHL teams will be looking for him to improve his efficiency at the dot if he’s to truly stay down the middle.

Excellent puck protection by Luchanko as he cuts through the neutral zone and enters the offensive zone with speed, helping to set up a great scoring chance for the Storm.

Luchanko turns Bruins draft pick Jackson Edward inside/out and gets to the net for a terrific scoring opportunity.

Luchanko splits the defense with a quick and subtle directional change and rips one off the bar.

Great work by Luchanko to carve up the North Bay Battalion before finishing on…you guessed it…the backhand.

Terrific cross ice pass Exhibit A.

Terrific cross ice pass Exhibit B.

Terrific cross ice pass Exhibit C.

Great skilled play by Luchanko as he works his way into the middle and then sets up Bowman.

Bit of a dangerous play by Luchanko, but it works out for the Storm. Strong puck protection ability here as he cuts to the middle with the defender on his back.

This occasionally happens to Luchanko, where he’s unable to secure pucks at full speed and it ends up killing a play. Again, the application of his speed is not always consistent.

Grade: 55


Where Luchanko truly shines is in the cerebral components of the game. This is an extremely intelligent player.

Luchanko’s vision with the puck is very high end. As mentioned, he has a penchant for making that difficult seam pass, spotting open teammates cross ice through traffic. Part of the reason why he loves to alter pace is to help him survey the ice as a playmaker, trying to identify passing lanes and anticipate where linemates are going to be. But, he can also make quick decisions with the puck too, especially when spinning off checks coming out of the forecheck or the cycle; he has an attacking mentality that makes him very dangerous below the hash marks.

Perhaps what I love best about Luchanko’s game is that he mitigates risk well and is not afraid to get his nose dirty. He’s perfectly content to chip and chase, using his speed to retrieve. He works the cycle and will grind it out to wear down opposing defenders. When he sees an opportunity to use his speed to beat defenders outside, he’ll turn on the jets and do just that. The unpredictability of his gamesmanship is what makes him such a difficult cover.

Luchanko also happens to be a very effective two-way player already, who is used on both the penalty kill and to protect leads late in games. He has terrific defensive instincts; his stick positioning in the neutral zone and defensive zone is excellent. Of course, part of this is a mentality too, which we’ll cover in his physicality/compete section. As Luchanko’s gains strength, he’s going to become a very valuable defensive forward.

Unreal vision from Luchanko to find Max Namestnikov.

Terrific defensive play by Luchanko. He supports his defender perfectly by cutting off the passing lane, forcing the turnover and allowing Guelph to clear the puck shorthanded.

Highly intelligent play by Luchanko on the counterattack. He drives the middle with speed, but then continues driving after passing off, taking out both defenders to open up space and screen the goalie for the Bowman shot.

Great patience and poise with the puck as Luchanko draws the attention of both Owen Sound defenders, opening up the slot for Braeden Bowman.

Luchanko sells the shot and makes a great pass to Bowman for the goal.

This is an excellent clip that shows the good and bad. Firstly, a tremendous defensive play by Luchanko on the backcheck. Then a poor play in the offensive zone. Again, Luchanko just doesn’t build enough speed entering the zone and is easily neutralized. He is 100% quick enough to have picked up that puck in the neutral zone with more speed and then beat the defender down the wall.

Grade: 60


Luchanko is not a classically physical player, but he is highly competitive. He’ll finish his checks in puck pursuit, but he’s far from a heavy hitter. He’s also not the type of player that I’d consider a pest; someone who’s constantly involved in scrums or getting under the skin of opposing players. However, he’s far from a perimeter player and he’s someone who consistently attacks the middle and the net despite lacking in size/strength currently.

He is tremendous at getting inside leverage in puck pursuit, cutting off the hands of opposing players and executing stick lifts to secure possession. His speed allows him to be a very effective forechecker. In similar fashion, he routinely gets inside of defenders near the crease, jousting for positioning to earn second chance opportunities. When he doesn’t have the puck in the offensive zone, you’ll often find him cutting to the net.

Can he be muscled off the puck? Yeah, and that’s something that I’ve already touched on. There’s a need to be stronger on the puck so that he can elevate his game to the next level. This is especially noticeable in the cycle and when he’s trying to attack the offensive zone with speed. However, when those strength gaps close, the upside is significant because Luchanko is a tenacious player who has a consistent will…just not always the way.

Effective forechecking 101. Luchanko uses a quick burst to surprise the defender, then gets inside leverage and lifts the stick to secure possession.

Sam Dickinson meet Jett Luchanko. Luchanko 1, Dickinson 0.

I feel like the best way to describe this clip is that Spiderman gif where they point at each other. Luchanko and Owen Beck are similar players with similar upsides. Here we see Luchanko make a great play on the backcheck, again, getting inside of the hands to make a clear takeaway.

Strong defensive zone coverage by Luchanko in OT. He cuts off Liam Greentree’s advance into the offensive zone, then he makes a great physical play along the wall to chip the puck out, leading to a two on one for Guelph.

Another great shift from Luchanko that shows his strong compete level. Two terrific hustle plays that allow Guelph to keep the pressure on in the offensive zone.

The 6’4, 200lbs Ethan Miedema is no match for Luchanko, who steals the puck and sets up the empty netter.

When Luchanko is the second man in, he’s often most successful because he is so good at executing stick lifts while keeping his feet moving. But when he’s first to pucks, he can struggle to maintain possession and initiate the cycle without significant strength on the puck.

But that’s not always the case, like here where Luchanko uses his body to knock the defender off stride then sets up the goal.

Luchanko just isn’t strong enough to maintain possession here despite slipping through the cracks.

Nice physical play by Luchanko. However, these types of hits are not extremely common.

Luchanko wins a battle along the wall and then finds his way to the net front to clean up the garbage…on his backhand.

Another instance of Luchanko’s compete level. He stays with the play near the crease and ends up finishing off the play.

Grade: 52.5

OFP: 54.875

A note on the 20-80 scale used above. We look at five attributes (skating, shooting, puck skills, hockey IQ and physicality) for skaters and six for goalies (athleticism/quickness, compete/temperament, vision/play reading, technique/style, rebound control and puck handling). Each individual attribute is graded along the 20-80 scale, which includes half-grades. The idea is that a projection of 50 in a given attribute meant that our observer believed that the player could get to roughly NHL average at that attribute at maturity.