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Tracking the Storm

Wallmark's Road to Raleigh

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 2:45 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Wallmark\'s Road to Raleigh
Home in Sweden, Lucas Wallmark found out he was drafted in a rather unconventional way.
Six of the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2014 NHL Draft picks were in Philadelphia to hear their name called on the last weekend in June.

Michael Smith
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Lucas Wallmark, who was one of the youngest-eligible draft prospects in 2013, was the one exception. He was with his parents at their summer home in Sweden.

“I had bad Internet there, so I couldn’t follow along,” he recalled.

It would have been early evening in Sweden at the time when the Hurricanes made back-to-back picks in the fourth round, calling Wallmark’s name 97th overall.

Wallmark’s phone buzzed. It was a friend.

“He was following the Draft, and he texted me [when I was picked],” Wallmark, 18, said. “That was really fun.”

And that’s how he found out he was drafted, away from the pomp and circumstance present in Philadelphia.

“Being with my parents, it was pretty exciting,” he said.

Shortly after, he spoke with fellow Swedes Elias Lindholm and Erik Karlsson.

“Elias called me after I was drafted, so I talked with him,” he said. “We are good friends, so he just welcomed me.”

Just over three weeks later, Wallmark joined the rest of the Canes’ 2014 draft class and other 20-some prospects in Raleigh for the team’s development camp. While it’s not his first time in North America, it is his first time coming to North Carolina.

“It’s pretty fun to be here and see how it works,” Wallmark, a 6-foot, 176-pound forward, said. “I’m training with a lot of good guys here, so it’s fun.”

Though he’s the lone European in a room full of North American-born players, Wallmark said it hasn’t been a challenge to become acclimated.

“I’m really bad at English,” he sheepishly said in English that was actually not bad at all. “It’s fun to be here.”

And, once on the ice, every player speaks the universal language of hockey.

“Exactly. It’s cool to be here,” he said.

Born on Sept. 5, 1995, 10 days before the cutoff for 2013 NHL Draft eligibility, Wallmark was passed over in New Jersey, despite being ranked 16th among all European skaters by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service. He entered this year’s draft as the 20th-ranked European skater by the CSS.

“Lucas is a player we liked a lot last year, and he went through the Draft last year as a ‘95,” Director of Amateur Scouting Tony MacDonald said in Philadelphia. “He’s got good hockey sense, he’s a good skater and he’s got good skill. We feel he can continue to grow and develop in Sweden, probably.”

Following development camp, Wallmark will join the Swedish national team in Montreal. Last year, he was teammates with Lindholm on the Swede’s world junior team, as they captured the silver medal in their home country. Wallmark ranked third on the team in scoring, as he posted eight points (3g, 5a) in seven tournament games.

In 2013-14, Wallmark skated in 41 games for Lulea of the Swedish Hockey League, recording three goals and seven assists, and he will return to the SHL for the 2014-15 season.



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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
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9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 41 15 13 -8 28
J. Faulk 46 8 18 -14 26
J. Skinner 41 10 9 -7 19
E. Lindholm 46 9 10 -10 19
R. Nash 46 7 12 -4 19
J. Tlusty 39 11 7 -12 18
N. Gerbe 42 4 13 -2 17
V. Rask 46 6 9 -9 15
A. Sekera 44 1 14 -8 15
C. Terry 33 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 5 8 2 .916 2.32
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45