Lucas Lessio is on the radar of National Hockey League scouts.
The St. Michael’s Buzzers product has been identified as one of the Top 30 prospects to watch for the 2011 NHL entry draft by International Scouting Services.
Lessio appears 24th on the list. While he is glad to see his name on such a list, he knows the hard work is not over yet.
“It’s just great,” he says. “I have loved to play hockey ever since I was four-years-old and the NHL seems so close now, but so far away. It gives me a some added incentive for the summer. I am on the lower end of the list in between 20 and 30. I know I have to work as hard as I can to move up on that list in time for next years draft.”
Lessio, a six-foot-one-inch forward, is currently deciding where to play next season.
“My agent and I are rounding up some options to play next year and the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) is an option,” he says. “I just want to educate myself and just see which environment would be best suited for me and my acceleration as a player.”
He describes next season as a critical one, which is making the decision a little tougher on the 17-year-old.
“It’s so hard because everyone is offering so much and they have all been so nice to me in waiting for me to make my decision,” says Lessio. “It’s going to come down to where I feel most comfortable with the coaching staff and the players … It is just going to come down to a gut feeling and where I am going to feel the happiest.”
Lessio was glad he decided to play for the Buzzers last season and described it as a great experience.
“They put me in all kinds of situations from even strength shifts to power plays to penalty killing to shifts late in the game,” he says. “As you develop as a player it is key to get put in those situations because the scouts like to see who is on the ice in those key situations.”
If Lessio is to move up on the scouts NHL draft list, he will have to improve his skills behind the blue line.
“I have to work on beefing up my defensive awareness because I love playing in the offensive zone,” says the young prospect. “As all good players know, defence is just as important as offence. In order to be successful you have to keep the puck out of your net, while scoring a couple goals on your opponents.”
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