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Left Wing, 6'2" 187 Pounds
Penticton Vees (BCHL) 42-51=93 (56 Games)
It was a Hallmark moment in June 2011, as Minnesota traded their 3rd and 4th round picks to Vancouver to jump up to the 60th pick overall, amble up to the microphone, and call out Mario Lucia's name. The Wayzata Trojan, The son of the University of Minnesota Head Hockey Coach, The hometown kid...well, he went west to Penticton. And now he's become one hell of a player.
During the course of the season last year FRB touched base with Fraser Rodgers, who does radio for the Vees, and he had this to say about Lucia's development, and his role on what would become a memorable championship run for Penticton:
"As I stated earlier, Mario did have to adjust to the physicality of the BCHL and the size of the competition that’s in the league. Since then, the forward has come a long way, he is an aggressive player who wants the puck and continually makes things happen when he is on the ice. Mario to me isn’t labeling himself as just one dimensional either, he obviously can score and his shot is up there with the best of him but his vision and ability to create plays is something special.He wasn't able to make it to this Summer's Development Camp because he had enrolled in Summer classes at Notre Dame, where he'll play his college hockey, and looked to be a strong contender for a spot on the U.S.World Junior Team in December...
I would compare him to Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry; a lanky player who can score off the rush but also can be distributor. Lucia has a similar makeup as Perry, in that both are tall, slender built forwards but can be physical and are good down low with the puck.
In regards to what he needs to work on it would be his size; 195 lbs. he is playing at right now. He has a big frame and still has room to fill-out and get some muscle put on. Like most teenagers, his body is still growing, maturing and once he starts to get that size to complement his skill he can be a handful for other teams."
...until this happened.
So for now we'll sit and hope for a speedy recovery- maybe in time for when Notre Dame comes to Mariucci January 8th to face his Dad's team.
Previous 2012 Minnesota Wild Top 20 Articles:
#11 - Johan Gustafsson
#12 - Darcy Kuemper
#13 - Erik Haula
#14 - Daniel Gunnarsson
#15 - Raphael Bussieres
#16 - Kris Foucault
#17 - Nick Seeler
#18 - Tyler Cuma
#19 - Chay Genoway
#20 - Tyler Graovac