The Winnipeg Jets have signed 18-year-old forward Chaz Lucius to a three-year, entry-level deal which will begin with the 2022-23 season. The deal features a yearly cap hit of $925K, while carrying an annual average value of $1.325 million. If spending time in the minors, Lucius would make $80K annually.
The #NHLJets have just announced that 18-year-old forward Chaz Lucius has left college and signed with Winnipeg on a three-year, entry-level deal.
He put up 19 points (9G, 10A) and 23 penalty minutes in 24 games with the Minnesota Golden Gophers last season.
— Carter Brooks (@CBrooksie84) April 27, 2022
“I’m proud and excited t sign with such an amazing organization,” Lucius posted on his social media on Wednesday evening. “Thank you to everyone that has helped and supported me through the years!”
Opting to leave college and turn pro very early, the Jets’ 2021 first round draft pick (18th overall) will look to stick with the Jets come training camp next fall, but the likely route would see the Lawrence, KS. product join the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose when the dust settles.
Another interesting option would see Lucius dress for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks on loan – the team that owns his rights after drafting him in the fourth round of the 2018 WHL Draft.
Signed, sealed, and delivered 🖊 https://t.co/ffMtSkSNPo pic.twitter.com/pfCS2H0iVF
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) April 28, 2022
The first-year University of Minnesota Golden Gophers forward had nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 24 games as a freshman. He was unable to play out the full season due to injury, but would be eligible to sign an amateur tryout deal with Manitoba for the remainder of the spring, as the Moose begin the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Prior to joining the Big-10 for one season, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound forward played two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program Juniors of the USHL, putting up 21 goals and 40 points in 44 games. Lucius also skated in 13 games with the United States National U-18 Team, scoring 13 goals and 20 points in 2020-21.
Lucius skated in one game with the United States during the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship prior to the tournament’s postponement to this coming summer.
Interestingly, Chaz’s younger brother Cruz – who is a high-ranked, 2022 draft eligible prospect – had previously committed to Minnesota to play with his brother. This news may change that narrative.