Winnipeg Jets take future Gopher Chaz Lucius in 1st round of NHL Draft

The Winnipeg Jets selected Gopher Hockey forward Chaz Lucius with the 18th overall of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft on Friday night, making the incoming freshman the 22nd University of Minnesota product to be drafted in the opening round.

A native of Grant, Minn., Lucius is the first Maroon & Gold player selected by the Jets in the first round (fifth overall draft pick by the organization) and the 220th Gopher Hockey player selected in the NHL Entry Draft – a statistic that leads all NCAA programs.

“It was obviously unbelievable,” Lucius said following the selection. “First and foremost, (my parents) have done so much for me, and I really thank them. And then obviously for the Winnipeg Jets organization to believe in me — I couldn’t have dreamed it any better.”

The USA Hockey National Team Development Program product is one of four Gophers currently competing at the 2021 World Junior Summer Showcase and already has a successful track record at the international level. He previously won a gold medal at the 2019 U-17 Four Nations Tournament and earned a silver medal at the 2019 World Under-17 Challenge.

Lucius is the first Minnesota selected in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft and the first of three signed Gopher Hockey prospects projected to be picked in this year’s draft. He’ll join the defending Big Ten tournament champions for the 2021-22 campaign.

“Chaz Lucius is a true offensive producer and one of the most gifted goal scorers in the world. He has great dedication to training and becoming the best athlete he can,” Minnesota Head Coach Bob Motzko said. “It will be very exciting to watch Chaz grow in a Gopher uniform.”