Tuesday, May 31, 2011

E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120: Mario Lucia #43

By Eldon MacDonald

43. Mario Lucia - “The Crown Prince” - LW - USA

Vitals: Size - 6’2”, 183 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 25-Aug-93 - Fairbanks, AK
Team: Wayzata High School, HS MN
2010-11 Stats: 24-25-22-47-14-(+26)

26 - The Hockey News per TSN
37 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
39 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (34th North American skater)
40 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
41 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
43 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
45 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
46 - ISS per TSN
53 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
53 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
Draft result:
60 - Minnesota Wild
To get a feel for the premier high schooler coming out of the US this year, I think the best person to turn to would be his head coach, Carl Davis. Here is what Carl told NHL.com, "He's a dynamic playmaker. He protects the puck so well in traffic and uses that size to his advantage. He's a threat coming out of the corners. He works so hard in the weight room -- he's outworked everyone on my team. This young man has a passion to get better and he wants to get to the next level. He's gotten so much stronger this year." He has been compared favourably to the following former US high schoolers: Brock, Nelson, Scott Bjugstad and Derek Stepan so I think there is something there. After all he has the size and the skills - skating (first gear and top gears), shot, hands, hockey sense and what I like best of all - a goal scorer’s touch. The only real negatives are his strength which is being addressed and the fact that he doesn’t bring it every night or every shift.

In summary, there is a lot of potential upside to this guy who comes from a royal hockey family in Minnesota - his father, Don, is the coach of the University of Minnesota. He could push first round if a team becomes enamoured with his potential but mid-second is more likely. He is likely to play in the USHL next year (he suited up for the USA NDP U18 squad for a number of games this year to replace the injured Austin Wuthrich) and after that “Could it be the University of Minnesota?” - stay tuned for the answer.


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