Every year, some player falls from what is generally considered by draft pontificators “their” spot in the round they will be picked by. Some fall by maybe one or two spots, some fall six or seven, and some even fall out of the first round altogether. The reasons are, as most things at the draft are, nebulous. Some just assume he’s not a fit for their team, others assume they have more pressing needs, and some just have “their guy” and it’s not him. Sometimes it’s all of the above! And that’s how guys like Patrice Bergeron of all people drop into the second round.
So imagine where any player eligible for this draft of all drafts might feel this year. So many teams have had to contract scouting, so many have had to rearrange how their scouting worked with several league closures, and so any prospect is liable to end up either getting called way earlier or way later than expected. And one who could see the benefit of a possible fall from his “intended” spot? Chaz Lucius.
Lucius is an all-american’s all-american; grew up playing in Minnesota, joined the US National Development team, and committed to the University of Minnesota. And while injury hampered what was looking like a pretty solid season, there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t easily be picked in the first round. What with his unreal stick-handling and shooting skill that made him one of the most dangerous players in the USHL and USDP this year; always able to get a shot off quickly and accurately, always able to cause trouble with the puck whenever he has it, and is always willing to get into the mix to take a quality, high-danger chance. And oh what chances they are. Chaz Lucius when he’s on his horse is a goal-scorer’s goalscorer, and even with a nasty injury to start the year, very few goaltenders were able to stop him this year.
Where Lucius needs to work is on is his skating, and that injury, which was a knee injury, is only gonna make it a harder prospect to keep working on. His skating, especially his crossovers, are kinda rough, and as a result his top speed is not what it could be. Also, there is absolutely at least another 20 pounds you can prop up on Lucius’ somewhat slim frame to make him more survivable at the NHL level. Further, as a result of his offensive focus, Lucius is not the most patient nor is he one of the most adept defender. He can absolutely get involved and his strong stickwork can make him problematic to try and shoot around, but he’s definitely not exactly the most involved player, and the US team doesn’t bother playing him like it. If you’re gonna draft him, you’re dropping him in front of your skating coach to see if he can’t figure out if there’s more speed in those legs; starting with Minnesota’s, and then the pro squad who gets him.
Lucius is a dude with the kind of skills you absolutely should want to make a project out of. And tragically, that means that if everything goes out the way it should...he probably won’t be available.
But you never know...
- 12th by EliteProspects Consolidated Rankings
- 17th by EliteProspects.com
- 12th by FC Hockey
- 12th by Neutral Zone Hockey
- 9th by TSN (Bob McKenzie)
- 9th by McKeen’s Hockey
- 15th by TSN (Craig Button)
- 12th by NHL Central Scouting among North American Skaters
- 10th by SportsNet
- 11th by Recruit Scouting
- 16th by DobberProspects
- 12th by Smaht Scouting
- 16th by The Puck Authority
|2017-18||MN Blackhawks 14U AAA||MNEBL 14U||14||22||13||35||N/A|
|2018-19||Gentry Academy 15U AAA||NAPHL 15U||13||39||23||62||2|
|U.S. National U17 Team||USDP||46||31||19||50||10|
|U.S. National U18 Team||USDP||6||0||2||2||0|
|U.S. National U18 Team||USDP||13||13||7||20||6|