With his selection at No. 18 by Winnipeg, Chaz Lucius (center) is the first Minnesotan to be drafted in the first round since 2018.
After back-to-back years of zero Minnesotans hearing their name called during the NHL Draft’s first round, the State of Hockey returned to the draft’s primetime broadcast slot.
Chaz Lucius, a Grant, Minn. native, was selected with the eighteenth overall pick by the Winnipeg Jets, making him the first Minnesotan first-rounder since K’Andre Miller went No. 22 overall to the New York Rangers in 2018.
Both Lucius and Miller were selected from the National Team Development Program’s Under-18 squad.
Prior to the Lucius selection, the night belonged to the University of Michigan, which placed three current players and one incoming recruit among the first five selections.
Owen Power led off, picked No. 1 overall by Buffalo, then came the Matty Beniers selection by the expansion Seattle Kraken. Wolverine commit Luke Hughes, younger brother of Jack Hughes and Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes, will join former No. 1 overall pick Jack in New Jersey. Kent Johnson rounded out the maize and blue’s spotlight run by going No. 5 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Round two included a storybook beginning of sorts, as the Minnesota Wild selected Grand Rapids product and 2021 Mr. Hockey Award winner Jack Peart with the 54th overall pick. Peart’s hockey-IQ has been described as “elite” by multiple draft sources, and he adds hometown depth to the Wild’s stockpile of blueliners.
A late surge in the sixth and seventh rounds helped the 2021 class eclipse the 2020 crop with 10 overall selections.
In the span of 42 picks, four Maple Grove players came off the board, starting with Kyle Kukkonen at No. 162 to Anaheim. Next came Cal Thomas at No. 171 to Arizona, Justin Janicke at No. 195 to Seattle, and Connor Kelley at No. 204 to Chicago.
Including Brock Faber (Round 2, Pick 45 to LAK in 2020) and Ethan Haider (Round 5, Pick 148 to NSH in 2019), a total of six members of the 2014 Osseo-Maple Grove Peewee AA team. As one parent wryly pointed out, that 2014 Leafbirds squad had six future NHL Draft picks on it, but didn’t make the 2015 Peewee AA State Tournament after being eliminated in the Regional.
Continue reading for a complete list of Minnesotans drafted over the weekend.
Kyle Kukkonen's selection at No. 162 started a run of four Osseo-Maple Grove Youth Hockey Association products being drafted on Saturday.
|Player||Round/Pick||Pick||Team||'20-'21 Team||College Commitment|
|Chaz Lucius||1||18||Winnipeg||NTDP U18||Minnesota|
|Jack Peart||2||54||Minnesota||Grand Rapids High School||Minnesota Duluth|
|Tristan Broz||2||58||Pittsburgh||Fargo (USHL)||Minnesota|
|Brody Lamb||4||104||New York Rangers||Dodge County High School||Minnesota|
|Jackson Blake||4||109||Carolina||Eden Prairie High School||North Dakota|
|Cameron Berg||4||124||New York Islanders||Muskegon (USHL)||Nebraska Omaha|
|Kyle Kukkonen||6||162||Anaheim||Maple Grove High School||Michigan Tech|
|Cal Thomas||6||171||Arizona||Maple Grove High School||Vermont|
|Justin Janicke||7||195||Seattle||NTDP U18||Notre Dame|
|Connor Kelley||7||204||Chicago||Minnesota Duluth (NCHC)||N/A|
After leading all Minnesota high school players in scoring with 52 goals and 87 points, Dodge County's Brody Lamb was selected by the New York Rangers in the fourth round.