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Tracking the Storm

Wallmark's Road to Raleigh

Friday, 07.25.2014 / 2:45 PM ET / 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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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 69 21 28 -11 49
J. Faulk 74 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 73 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 69 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 72 11 20 -11 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 70 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 74 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 46 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 38 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62