Lucas Ciona’s rookie year with the Wranglers showed spurts of his potential

Photo credit:Angela Burger/Calgary Wranglers
Paige Siewert
28 days ago
Former Seattle Thunderbirds captain Lucas Ciona came off an Ed Chynoweth Cup championship in 2022-23 and made his professional debut with the Calgary Wranglers in 2023-24. While he did not play in every game last season, he still got most of the season to get his feet wet in the league. Where his production fell short, he made up for it with his physical game.

The past

Lucas Ciona was born in Edmonton, Alberta and bounced around three different teams in 2018-19 with the Northern Alberta X-Treme Prep for most of the year then two games with the Saint Grove Saints of the AJHL and a three-game debut with the Seattle Thunderbirds. 
In 2019-20, he played 53 games with the Thunderbirds and put up 13 points. He was then loaned to the Spruce Grove Saints briefly the next season and played another 23 games with the Thunderbirds matching his previous season production of 13 points. Ciona was drafted in the 2021 NHL draft by the Calgary Flames in the sixth round, 173rd overall. He finished developing at the WHL level before going to any Flames-affiliated team.
In 2021-22, Ciona was named the alternate captain of the Thunderbirds and had his best season to date with 35 points. In 2022-23, Lucas Ciona was named the Captain of the Thunderbirds and his production exploded. He played in 63 games putting up 75 points consisting of 28 goals and 47 assists. He was a very large factor in the team’s success and has the hardware to show for it.

The present 

Lucas Ciona cracked the Wranglers lineup right out of the jump in October 2023. He took a few games to settle in then scored his first goal in the league on Oct. 21 against the Abbotsford Canucks. 
After this goal, he just put up an assist in the next month of games and his production slowed. Points were few and far between. He was usually at the bottom of the lineup on the third or fourth line so the opportunities weren’t always plentiful. He had an 18-game scoring drought between November and January and broke this scoreless streak against the Ontario Reign on Jan. 11. 
His best performance of the year was on Mar. 1 when he had a two-goal game against the Colorado Eagles. His first goal was set up by Alex Gallant and Cole Schwindt and his second was set up by Jonathan Aspirot. 
As injured players got healthy again and players got sent down from the Flames, Ciona’s opportunities started to decline. For the whole season, he played in 55 games and put up four goals, two assists and 82 PIMs in his rookie year. Ciona did not play in any of the Wranglers’ post-season games against the Tucson Roadrunners or Coachella Valley Firebirds.

The future

Lucas Ciona enters the second year of his entry-level contract in 2024-25 and has shown historically, he gets better as time goes on. He hopefully got the nerves out in his first season with the Wranglers and knows where his efforts need to be focused in training this summer. What he would benefit most in for season number two with Calgary is a consistent line pairing and a more defined role with the team. He has the potential to move up Calgary’s lineup and the sky is the limit in his sophomore season. 

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