Mario Lucia Makes Team USA Preliminary Roster

USA Hockey released their preliminary list for the WJC this morning and it included Minnesota Wild prospect Mario Lucia. This comes a day after Canada invited Tyler Graovac and Mathew Dumba (but not Raphael Bussieres) as part of their 37 man roster.

The 2011 second round pick is one of 27 players on the roster (which must get down to 23) who will be a part of the December 16-18 camp in Lake Placid, NY.

Lucia's inclusion is more than anything a reward for him after a long and grueling recovery from a broken leg.  Before the injury, he had a hat trick against Finland in the August National Junior Evaluation Camp and was one of the more impressive players for Team USA (although he was inconsistent in other games). Mario was still a bubble player to play in the American top-six despite that and the injury suffered a couple weeks later did little to help things.

The incoming freshman returned three weeks ago and made a quick adjustment to college hockey. Lucia currently has four goals in six games for Notre Dame; including three last weekend against Lake Superior State. He was rewarded for the efforts by being named the CCHA Rookie of the Week and has been an offensive boost for the fifth-ranked Fighting Irish.

Although there is no guarantee he makes the roster, Lucia's skating and ability to find the back of the net gives him a leg up (pun sort of intended) on the competition for a top-six left winger.

The full preliminary roster can be found here and also includes a pair of Golden Gophers in Mike Reilly and Brady Skjei.

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