Winnipeg Jets Select Forward Chaz Lucius In The First Round

Jets bolster prospect pool by drafting Chaz Lucius 18th overall

After trading draft picks the past couple of seasons for rentals and other “win-now” pieces, the Winnipeg Jets had just four selections at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.  Despite the quantity of picks, the Jets added some quality at the draft, and Chaz Lucius is exhibit A.

Lucius is a goal-scoring machine out of the United States National Development Program.  Like Cole Perfetti last year, Lucius is a highly-touted player who fell to Winnipeg in the draft.  He was generally ranked higher than #18 in most mocks and draft boards but he fell in the draft partially due to a terrible knee injury that delayed the start of his 2020-21 season until February.  Concerns about his skating, defensive game, and the aforementioned injury may have also fueled his fall to the 18th slot.

Lucius’s greatest assets are his shot and offensive instincts.  He can fill the net from pretty much anywhere.

See the source image

Analysis:

I love this pick.  I actually had the Jets taking Corson Ceulemans (who went 25th to Columbus) at this spot, but I didn’t think Lucius would be on the board.  I also would’ve been happy with Winnipegger and Winnipeg Ice defenceman Carson Lambos here even though he would’ve added to our logjam of left-shooting defensemen.  I think he’ll develop into a good all-situations defenceman but Lucius was the pick and he’s the one I’m here to analyze.

The first good thing about him is he shoots right.  It’s not a massive deal (especially considering he’s probably a few years away and the makeup of the team could shift by then) but after losing Mason Appleton in the expansion draft the Jets were down to only a couple right-shooting forwards; Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler.  There also isn’t much in the system, as by my count, Kristian Reichel, Nathan Smith, and Austin Wong, are the only other right-shooting forwards in the entire Jets organization.  It’s not a huge issue but kind of like baseball, it’s nice to have some diversity in the handedness of your lineup.

Although he’s listed as center and has played center, I think he projects as a winger at the NHL level.  In my opinion he doesn’t have the skating ability to be a center.  That’s okay because the Jets have Scheifele/Dubois/Lowry/Gustafsson down the middle and hopefully Perfetti can develop into a top six C as well.  Lucius can shift to right wing where he’ll be a fine replacement for Wheeler as the Jets captain begins to wind down his career.

See the source image

Chaz Lucius will continue his developement in a very strong program at the University of Minnesota.

Name: Chaz Lucius

Position: Center

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 185 lbs

Shoots: Right

DOB: May 2, 2003

Place of Birth: Lawrence, Kansas

Team: United States National Development Team

2020-21 Stats:

GP: 12  G: 13  A: 5  Pts: 18  PIM:Plus/Minus: 6

Draft: 1st round, 18th overall, 2021 NHL Entry Draft

Player Comparison: Brock Boeser

College: Commited to the University of Minnesota

Draft Grade: A

Kevin Cheveldayoff, Mark Hillier and his scouts did very well with this pick and Lucius might end up being a steal.  Time will tell. 

*

Blog Stats

  • 181,489 hits