2022 NHL Draft Tracker: Julian Lutz
Julian Lutz hopes to be the next big German hockey superstar.
And he’s on his way.
Lutz is currently playing in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) with EHC Munchen, where he looks to put up solid numbers in a men’s league as a 17-year-old.
“He’s is a big, hard forechecking winger with good offensive skills,” FCHockey regional scout Miroslav Simurka said. “Red Bull Academy is well known in Central Europe for their skating development, and Lutz seems to be one of their best product in this area in their short but relatively successful history.
“He is fast, quick, mobile, can get around defenses with quick turns, stops, direction changes or simply by his speed. Lutz is a fun to watch player. He is also a solid stickhandler, controls the puck in full speed, is successful with the puck in tight areas, drawing oppositions attention, having always head up and then passing the puck in the lanes he created.”
WHO IS JULIAN LUTZ
Born in Weingarten, DEU, Lutz has actually spent much of his hockey career playing in Austria where he has developed in the Red Bull Eishockey Akademie. In 2018-19, he recorded 60 points (28 goals, 32 assists) in 27 games as a 14-year-old. He quickly made a name for himself in the Erste Bank Juniors League (EBJL) and rose through the ranks of the Red Bull Eishockey Akademie.
While he has made the transition over to the DEL, Lutz was selected with the No. 116 pick in the 2021 Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Import Draft by the Soo Greyhounds. It’s unclear whether or not he will make the jump to the Ontario Hockey League or continue his venture in Europe.
During the 2019-20 season, Lutz played for the Red Bull Eishockey Akademie in the DHL Cup where he registered 26 points (17 goals, nine assists) in 34 games. He also had four points (three goals, one assist) in eight games during their run in the DHL SuperCup.
As 2020-21 approached, COVID had rocked the sports world and Lutz ended up splitting time between the Czech U20 League and the Alps Hockey League (AlpsHL). He had two assists in four games in the Czech U20, he was then assigned to the Red Bull Eishockey Juniors of the AlpsHL. He was second on his team in scoring with 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists) in 31 games.
Lutz also represented Germany at the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship this past April in Texas. He suited up for four games and had just one lone assist. In August, he starred for Germany once again, this time at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he picked up two goals.
Lutz is a quick and dynamic forward who at times can play in all three zones. He uses his speed and aggression to get control of a play, allowing him to setup teammates for open scoring chances.
“Lutz’s combination of speed, aggression, and work ethic allowed him to get in on the forecheck to disrupt the opposition’s breakout and generate turnovers, which in turn led to either prolonged offensive zone possessions or forced dump outs by opposing puck carriers,” FCHockey regional scout Brandon Holmes said. “Playing in the team’s top six and on the top power play unit, Lutz also showed a willingness to go to dirty areas and play the net-front, which allowed him to be constantly involved in offensive play even when the puck was not on his stick.
“In addition to being a quick and hard-working winger, Lutz also showed strong skill at times with the puck on his stick. On a couple of occasions, Lutz demonstrated good puck control while weaving through defensive coverage, allowing him to find space in the offensive zone with his hands to open up shooting and passing lanes. ”
LUTZ’S AREAS OF IMPROVEMENTS
While there are some concerns when it comes to Lutz’s game, there shouldn’t be an overload of concern.
He is a player that can be easily coached out of his bad habits.
“His shots can find opposing shin pads more often than the goalie, when passing lanes are available to allow his team to maintain possession,” FCHockey regional scout Joshua Frojelin said. “Also, Lutz does not possess immensely high skill or speed, but that never stopped him from challenging opponents in transition. These plays would be defended with ease, and see him turn the puck over.
“Also worrisome, while I feel his ability to win puck battles and stick positioning too often be elite, he’s a bit of a non-factor in his own defensive zone. I would love to see his aggressiveness as a forechecker translate to the defensive zone. A 6-foot-2, aggressive, forechecking, and playmaking winger is a wanted commodity for any NHL team.”
Overall, Lutz could be a dominant second, or third liner on any NHL team. He possesses a high hockey IQ which will only allow for him to grow as a player. There will be lots of eyes on him this year as he enters his first full season in the DEL.
Lutz looks to keep his name in talks as a first-round selection in the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft.