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2021 Flames First Round Targets: Chaz Lucius

The first round of the 2021 NHL Draft will take place on July 23. Following the results of the draft lottery, the Flames hold the 12th overall selection and will have a chance to add a high-end prospect to their organization.

Yet another exciting prospect from the USNDT program, this rendition of “First Round Targets” takes a look at goal scoring right wing Chaz Lucius.

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The scouting report

Coming in at 6 feet tall and 173 pounds, Lucius isn’t about to switch careers to playing for the Minnesota Vikings O-Line. It is, however, going to be good news for whichever NHL team decides to take him, because Chaz has got decent speed and a wicked great shot. 

@Hadik_Scouting of DobberProspects describes his shooting ability as such:

Lucius’ shooting is easily top-five in this draft class; his shooting mechanics are refined, and he shows the ability to vary his shot based on the circumstances. If he is using a one-timer from the half-wall, he’ll push his top hand out and transfer his weight from back to forth; if he is closer to the net, he will use a downforce shot to elevate the puck quickly. His wrist shot is mechanically sound, and he shows strong kinetic understanding to use his entire body to his advantage. His shot in-stride does leave something to be desired, but he should have no problem working on his shot, as it is something he loves to do. He hits the net two-thirds of the time and seems to know when to shoot rather than slinging every puck on net.

Lucius is currently committed to playing at the University of Minnesota in 2021-22 – the University in his home state.

The numbers

Lucius’ goal scoring ability started young, and only got better and better as he progressed through his Minnesota AAA career. Between his aged 13 to 15 seasons Lucius played in 37 games and potted 74 goals. This got him an invite to try out for the U17 USNDT program team.

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Lucius fit right in – was able to score 31 goals in 46 games playing for the program. He had 7 goals and 10 points in 6 games at the U17 World Championships as well. He even got to spend some time playing with the U18 team (6 games – 2 assists) as a preview for his draft year.

This past year saw Lucius score 13 goals in 13 games, albeit in a COVID and injury shortened campaign. In his limited appearances he did show his ability to improve on what he had accomplished the year before. For that reason he’s most certainly one of the higher profile shooters in this years draft.

According to Byron Bader’s NHLe Model (HockeyProspecting.com) the above comparison is a best case scenario for how Lucius could turn out. The comparison is a little off, being Tanguay is a playmaker and Lucius is more of a sniper, but if he were to turn out like Tanguay I wouldn’t complain. NHLe is based purely on point production from other leagues and converting the production to how they would produce in an NHL season. Due to this years COVID hurdles it’s not as a reliable source as it normally would be, but still a useful tool in helping to evaluate nonetheless.

Availability and fit

Elite Prospects list Lucius as a centre, but in my personal opinion he projects more as a complimentary goal scoring winger – something Calgary desperately does need. Some of the esteemed rankings below have him going before Calgary gets to pick, but it certainly wouldn’t be an out to lunch choice for the Flames

There’s certainly a hole in Calgary on the RW side, specifically with players that shoot right. Elias Lindholm going forward as a centre further dilutes the right-shooting talent of the Flames. Now they shouldn’t draft based on handedness – especially in the upper sections of the first round – but it is an active area of weakness for the squad.

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In a draft with this many wild cards, taking a flyer on a proven goal-scorer from a development program we’ve seen work time and time again would not be a terrible decision.

Rankings:

McKeen’s Hockey — 6th

Future Considerations — 12th

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Sportsnet (Sam Cosentino) — 10th

Dobber Prospects — 16th

TSN (Bob McKenzie) — 9th

Draft Prospects Hockey — 13th

NHL Central Scouting (North American Skaters) — 12th

Recruit Scouting — 14th

EliteProspects.com — 18th

Smaht Scouting — 25th

2021 First Round Targets

Matthew Coronato | Aatu Räty | Mason McTavish | Kent Johnson