Winnipeg Jets take American centre Chaz Lucius in NHL Draft

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The Winnipeg Jets continued to banal up connected centremen with their archetypal circular prime successful the 2021 NHL Draft.

The Jets utilized the 18th wide enactment to drawback highly-touted American Chaz Lucius connected Friday.

Lucius, 18, played for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program past season.

He dealt with an wounded though and lone appeared successful 13 games with the under-18 squad successful the pandemic-affected season, but averaged a extremity per crippled with 13 goals and 7 assists.

Lucius was expected to spell a small higher successful the draught arsenic the 12th ranked North American skater.

“The twelvemonth itself, surely I deliberation played into this pick,” Jets wide manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said. “He’s had to spell done immoderate adversity. helium had immoderate injuries that constricted the magnitude of games that helium could play.

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“But yeah, we’re existent excited. I deliberation its a precise bully worth prime wherever we got it. And existent skilled player, a precise bully quality player. Just the interrogation process that we went though with him was fantastic. Knows a batch astir his game, knows a batch astir however to play, works existent hard astatine it. He’s existent skilled.”

The Minnesota merchandise racked up 50 points successful 46 games the erstwhile play with the U.S. Under-17 squad, and besides led the tourney successful scoring astatine the 2020 U17 World Hockey Challenge.

Lucius said helium models his crippled aft Jets guardant Mark Scheifele and calls him 1 of his idols.

“If I were to picture my game, I’d accidental what sticks retired the astir is my goal-scoring and violative production,” Lucius said. “I’d say, I’m a bully teammate, a bully leader, and I bash the close thing, and play a bully 200-foot game.”

 Winnipeg Jets Chaz Lucius Interview – July 23' 5:56 RAW: Winnipeg Jets Chaz Lucius Interview – July 23

RAW: Winnipeg Jets Chaz Lucius Interview – July 23

He’ll play for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers adjacent season, and Winnipeg volition beryllium a abbreviated thrust for friends and family.

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“It’s adjacent to location for me, truthful that’s a positive for sure,” said Lucius. “It’s a truly amusive squad to watch, fast-pace. There’s a truly agleam aboriginal for the Winnipeg Jets and I’m conscionable blessed to beryllium a portion of it astatine this point.

“I’m truly looking guardant to the aboriginal of the Winnipeg Jets also. Just a batch of large players connected the squad already, truthful I’m hoping to adhd to that and lend to 1 time hopefully triumph a Stanley Cup.”

He stands astatine six ft one, and weighs successful astatine 185 pounds.

Ready to rotation for Round 1 of the #NHLDraft!

— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) July 24, 2021

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The Jets besides utilized their first-round draught prime connected a centre past twelvemonth with the enactment of Cole Perfetti astatine 10th overall.

The Jets person conscionable 3 much selections successful the seven-round draught aft dealing distant their fourth, sixth and seventh-round picks.

Just 1 Manitoban was taken successful the archetypal circular with Winnipeg defenceman Carson Lambos going to the Minnesota Wild astatine 26th overall.

Lambos slipped successful the draft. He was the 11th ranked North American skater, but an wounded constricted him to conscionable 2 games past play with the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice.

Rounds 2 done 7 of the draught volition spell connected Saturday.

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