Gophers commit Chaz Lucius taken by Jets in first round of NHL draft

Gophers commit Chaz Lucius suddenly has the potential to terrorize the hometown Wild for years to come.

After spending most of the first round of the 2021 NHL draft on Friday night waiting to hear his name called, the 18-year-old Lucius finally breathed a sigh of relief when the Winnipeg Jets selected him with the No. 18 overall pick.

Though he’s still at least a couple of years away from the NHL, the 6-foot, 172-pound center projects to be an elite scorer at the next level. He had 13 goals in 13 games last season for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, playing sparingly after having knee surgery.

Whenever he gets to the big leagues, Lucius will bring that scoring prowess with him. Aside from his elite shot,  the Grant native has the speed and quickness to separate himself from defenders. He also has the creativity to set teammates up all around the ice.

Most people around the Twin Cities likely remember Lucius as the 14-year-old kid that committed to the Gophers once upon a time. He’s expected to play for the Gophers next season and will likely be an immediate contributor at the next level.

His younger brother, Cruz, who eligible for next year’s draft, also committed to the Gophers as a teenager.

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