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Published April 13, 2024

Gophers men’s hockey’s Chaz Lucius inks NHL deal with the Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets drafted freshman Chaz Lucius in the first round, 18th overall, in the 2021 NHL Draft.
Head coach Bob Motzko watches the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Nov. 22. The Gophers won 4-1.
Image by Sydni Rose
Head coach Bob Motzko watches the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Nov. 22. The Gophers won 4-1.

Gophers men’s hockey freshman Chaz Lucius is on his way to the NHL and is foregoing his three years of eligibility with the program after signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Winnipeg Jets, announced Wednesday evening by the team.

Lucius’ contract will begin in the 2022-23 season as the Jets drafted him in the first round, 18th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft. He is the 22nd men’s hockey player in program history taken in the first round of the NHL Draft.

The 18-year-old, who battled injuries during his first season with Minnesota, skated in 24 games, where he tallied 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists). Lucius tallied five multi-point games with a single-game career-high three points against Michigan State on Jan. 7.

Lucius, originally from Grant, Minn., is the third Gophers men’s hockey player to sign his NHL entry-level contract following the 2021-22 season behind Blake McLaughlin (Anaheim Ducks) and Ben Meyers (Colorado Avalanche).

While Lucius remained sidelined due to injury in the second half of the season, the Gophers were 10-3-0 this season when he tallied a point. He finished second in scoring among freshmen on the team.

Lucius’ three-year deal will pay him an average annual salary of $1,325,000 in the NHL.

Briefly

Gophers men’s hockey seniors Ben Brinkman and Grant Cruikshank have decided to transfer programs for their fifth seasons. Brinkman will join Notre Dame, while Cruikshank will join St. Cloud State.

Gophers men’s hockey senior Matt Denman, juniors Jack Perbix and Jonny Sorenson, and freshman Tristan Broz are currently in the NCAA transfer portal.

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