Chaz Lucius can potentially be a mid-first round steal. The electric forward missed a significant amount of time due to multiple injuries — whether it was recovering from surgery or getting sick before the Under-18 Worlds — but when he was healthy, he put on a clinic on how to score heaps and piles and heaps of goals.
A mid-sized center that just gets to the front of his opponent’s net and makes their goaltender have a miserable time, he is able to get his shots off in that dangerous area and just simply produces from that spot on the ice. Every team needs to have a pigeon and Lucius can potentially be one of the best at the top level at shoveling pucks into the back of the net.
He’s a unique player and one that will surely get all the hype built up whichever fan base adopts him.
BSH 2021 Community Draft Board, No. 13: Chaz Lucius
Team: USNTDP Juniors (USHL)
Statistics: 13 G, 5 A in 12 GP
Team: U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
Statistics: 13 G, 7 A in 13 GP
No. 12 (NA Skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
No. 12 by FCHockey
No. 9 by TSN
No. 16 by Dobber Prospects
What’s there to like?
A lot of goals. So many goals.
Just taking a glimpse at his basic stats and you tilt your head like a dog begging for a treat. Curious but so damn excited because you know it’s a freakish stat line. For the National Development Program, after recovering from summer surgery to repair a bone lesion in his knee (ouch), Lucius scored more goals than he played games. The only other player to do this since 2009, is one Cole Caufield.
It’s somewhat arbitrary considering Lucius only played 12 games, but it’s still an incredible feat and only more enticing to wonder what could have happened if he played more.
Other than being in the right area to get the dirty and nasty and gritty goal, the center committed to University of Minnesota next year, can also shoot the dang thing.
His one-timer accuracy is amongst the top of the class and he just absolutely loves doing it. On a line with fellow top prospect Sasha Pastjujov, basically any shift of theirs would end with the puck either behind the goalie in the net, or in the goalie’s glove, after a rifled one-timer that was set up by the other forward. Just two twins tweaking their twigs to take towering tallies.
It’s honestly all offensive coming from Lucius. Whether it is his awareness in the zone to set up his teammates or to take the shot himself, he excels at the one half of the ice so well that it’s really the only reason he’s projected to go as high as he is on July 23.
If the power he brings to that side of the game can outweigh any defensive deficiencies, making him a net-positive player on the ice, then he’s certainly worth the gamble because of just how many damn goals he scores.
What’s not to like?
The one thing that most prospect analysts agree on is that Lucius needs work on his skating. So much so that some scouts apparently have issues with drafting him so high, wondering whether or not his offensive ability can even translate into the professional level due to his lack of easy mobility.
He doesn’t possess any explosive speed or acceleration that you want to see from some high-level scorers, but considering that Lucius gets most of his shots off with established zone play and closer to the net, straight north-south speed isn’t necessarily required. Especially considering that so many top-tier offensive talents like Kirill Kaprizov don’t have the prettiest of strides, but instead use a skating technique that allows them to be slippery forecheckers and can evade defenders with ease. Lucius isn’t quite on that level, but he certainly uses his lack of explosiveness to his advantage and relies on the steadiness of his skating instead.
Considering that the skating is an issue, there’s also the lack of defensive awareness that is present in his game. But truly, what teenage goal-scoring phenom had a full and complete game that wasn’t a generational talent? Hell, even the greatest prospects were one-dimensional offensive freaks that needed years of development surrounded by professional coaches to round out the other side of the ice for them.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
For the player that Lucius is now, I have a general feeling that it would be like trying to fit a square peg inside a round hole that’s completely sealed up because Alain Vigneault told it to.
For a player to be so into offensive that it kind of hurts the rest of his teammates on the other end of the ice, I feel that just wouldn’t jive with what the Flyers are right now. A growing desire to be this balanced team from top to bottom, every skater being responsible on both ends of the ice, there just isn’t room for a powerplay specialist to exist.
But that’s what Lucius is right now and surely he will grow into someone that is capable of bringing much more. Who doesn’t want more goals scored for their team?
Could the Flyers actually get him?
With the 13th overall pick — due to the Arizona Coyotes forfeiting their first lol — the Flyers can conceivably draft Lucius right around where he’s projected. Not everyone loves him at that stage of the round, but some also have him nestled in the top-10 due to his extraordinary offense.
With the recent picks of Tyson Foerster, Bobby Brink, Jay O’Brien — the list goes on — it appears that the Flyers really are trying to find some sort of offensive scorer that can add to the already-potent punch that they already have in their aging top-six forward group. So, they might just target Lucius as someone to really take a swing at and try to sail their draft balls over the moon.
So yeah, they can get him.
We’ll also make on addition to the poll:
Matthew Coronato — LW, Chicago Steel (USHL)
“He does an adequate job of finding space to make a play, whether it is feeding a teammate a pass or finishing a shot. Defensively, his game is still a growing field, but he does a solid job of moving his feet, bringing a high motor, and being tenacious on pucks along the boards.” — Clare McManus, Dobber Prospects
Who should be 13th on the draft board?
This poll is closed
2021 BSH Community Draft Board
- Owen Power — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Matthew Beniers — C, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Brandt Clarke — D, Nove Zamky (Slovakia)
- Dylan Guenther — LW/RW, Edmonton (WHL)
- William Eklund — C/LW, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
- Luke Hughes — D, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Simon Edvinsson — D, Frölunda HC J20 / J20 Nationell - 21/22
- Kent Johnson — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Aatu Räty — C, Kärpät U20 and Kärpät (Liiga)
- Jesper Wallstedt — G, Luleå (SHL)
- Mason McTavish — C, EHC Olten (SL)
- Cole Sillinger — C/LW, Sioux (USHL)