2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profiles: Luke Misa

2024 NHL Draft prospect Luke Misa during a home game this season.
Natalie Shaver - Oakville News

The Scouting Report:

Luke Misa is an 18-year-old center from Oakville, Ontario, who is eligible for the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. The OHL is stocked with supremely talented centers, and Misa is no exception. This season he led the Mississauga Steelheads with 26 goals and 55 assists over 66 games played this season. 

Misa possesses an impressive offensive toolkit of elite speed, hands, and playmaking ability. When you pair this with his strong defensive skills, this makes Misa a forward who could make an impact on an NHL club in the years to come. Elite hockey talent runs in the family, as Luke’s younger brother Micheal is a potential top pick for next year’s NHL Entry draft. Misa improved his draft stock throughout the OHL season and after an impressive showing at the CHL Top Prospects Game skills testing where he placed among the top in speed and agility tests.

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Draft Projections

Ranked #38 by Inside The Rink
Ranked #41 by Elite Prospects
Ranked #67 by TSN/Bob McKenzie
Ranked #76 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
Ranked #41 by Sportsnet/Bukala
Ranked #45 by Draft Prospects Hockey
Ranked #21 by DobberProspects

Conrad Jack of Inside The Rink has Luke Misa projected at 38th overall.

Diving Deeper

As with many elite NHL draft prospects, Misa has a skillset that could potentially translate very well to the NHL level. Let’s take a closer look at some of these attributes.

Puck Handling Ability

Other than breakneck speed, the other attribute that stands out amongst his peers is Misa’s hands and puck-handling ability. He carries the puck exceptionally well at a high speed and can make short one-touch passes on the rush. Misa is very comfortable and confident with the puck on his stick and displays great hands to make deceptive moves in tight spaces. When he is on his game, you will see him carry the puck a lot, showing poise and patience beyond his years.

“He has strong edges when shaking off defenders and cuts to the middle and he has excellent control of the puck when it’s on his stick. It was evident with his testing before the CHL Top Prospects Game as he scored within the agility weave.”

Peter Baracchini, The Hockey Writers

Skating

The attribute within Misa’s game that stands out the most is his speed. In my opinion, one of the best skaters in the draft class. He plays the game at a tremendous pace and uses his speed to the best of his advantage to find open space and create chances for himself and his teammates. This guy is a breakaway-creating machine. Along with his speed, Misa is a very strong technical skater and makes great use of his edges to generate acceleration and power all while making it look effortless.

“Despite his small frame, he will win puck battles by using his speed and competitiveness. Misa is supremely tenacious and will backcheck hard to try to force as many turnovers as he can. Once he forces a turnover, he scans quickly to find outlet passes and flip the ice in his team’s favour.”

Jordan Harris, Dobber Prospects

Areas for Improvement

The biggest cause for concern within Misa’s game is his lack of size. While he isn’t necessarily short, standing at 5’10” however he doesn’t have much weight to throw around at only 165 lbs. This small frame works well for him in the OHL, but if he hopes to make the jump to the NHL he will need to put on some size. Additionally, Misa needs to improve his overall strength.

In direct relation to strength, Misa’s shot needs work to get it up to par with the NHL level, however as he grows stronger the shot will improve and level out his scoring/ finishing ability. There is also a growing concern among scouts that Misa struggles with game-over-game consistency.

On-Ice Abilities:

Misa is a treat to watch play, as mentioned above the pace at which he plays the game is impossible to ignore. Aside from his dazzling offensive game, Luke Misa plays an excellent defensive game which is something that scouts and management love for a center. Overall, Misa is very responsible in his own end and sees the ice very well. He was also utilized in nearly every possible situation this year with the Steelheads which is a credit towards his adaptability and attitude.

He has the vision to know where to be on the ice to be most effective, and the skating ability to get him into those areas. I also wanted to add the fact that despite his small frame, Misa is never afraid of getting into the dirty areas on the ice and is ferocious on the forecheck.

Prospect Potential

At his full potential, I see Misa as an effective middle-six forward. Although he is primarily a center, he can also play the wing which increases his value to management. He could be an excellent setup man when paired with strong finishers but could also slot in as a role guy who can bring a lot of energy and tenacity. With his speed and intensity, I also think he could also be an effective penalty killer in the NHL. I think this is all dependent on him growing stronger and adapting his game to something that will translate a little better at the NHL level.

Best Potential Fit

Toronto (23rd Overall) – This one is a bit of reach based on most predictions, but I think that a player like Misa would fit in well with the Leafs. They could use some forward depth that plays with energy and skill, and they have historically loved OHL forwards on draft night.

San Jose (33rd Overall) – Let’s be honest, the Sharks need all of the help they can get and adding another skilled young forward to add to an already impressive prospect pool, and if he is available at 33, I think he could be a good pick for the Sharks.

Calgary (41st Overall) – Calgary has two picks in the first four rounds of the draft this year, so they can likely tick all of their boxes. If Misa is still around at 41, I think the Flames jump at the opportunity. Misa may be able to fit in as a 3C or even move to wing and team up with another interesting former CHL guy – Connor Zary.

Pittsburgh (44th Overall) – The Penguins have the 44th and 46th picks and I would be shocked if one of them wasn’t a forward. I don’t think he will still be available at this range, but it would be a fun pick for the Pens nonetheless. Pittsburgh has an aging core and could benefit greatly from an injection of youth down the middle like Misa. Also, it’s never bad for a young center to have Sid as a mentor.

Final Thoughts

It is extremely difficult to say when Misa’s name will be called in Vegas at the end of June, but I imagine you will see him selected by the middle of the 2nd round. Ultimately, Misa is a very talented center with a great two-way game, that with a strong development team could translate well to the NHL level. I also think that while some scouts may have some reservations about his size and strength, his skill can’t be ignored and the team that chooses him will be getting a very high-quality prospect in Misa.

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Ryan Scott

Maritimer, lifelong hockey fan and Prospect Writer.

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