Top 25 Minnesota Wild players 25-years-old or younger; No. 15 Mario Lucia


The Minnesota Wild did not have a second round draft pick in the 2011. When Mario Lucia was still available late in that round, the Wild moved up to get the local high school star.

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Mario Lucia

, a second round draft pick of the

Minnesota Wild

, is a well-known name in the State of Hockey. His dad is the all-time winningest coach in history of the

University of Minnesota

. His older brother played for the Gophers.

Mario, however, is taking a different approach. The soon-to-be-23-year-old is a natural goal scorer with good size and a high hockey-IQ.

He averaged more than a goal per game (25 in 24) in his last season at Wayzata High School. The following season, he went to the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League and scored 42 goals and 93 points in 56 games.

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Despite being recruited by his father and the Gophers, he wanted to get out of his comfort zone and committed to Notre Dame. He just kept scoring, including 21 goals as a junior in 2014-15. As a senior, he got off to slow start, but finished tied for second on the team with 12 goals.

The Wild signed the 6-feet-3-inch, 200-pound left wing to an entry-level contract, but included an ATO, which allowed Lucia to start his professional career at the end of last season without using a year of the contract.

Lucia continued to put up points with two assists in his first game. He finished with two goals and two assists in nine games, including a tally in the final game of the season.

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While the physical talent is definitely there for Lucia, there are concerns about his game-to-game consistency. Edric Joseph of Dobber Prospects says that “the change of pace couldn’t come at a better time as his interest in applying himself seemed to wane as his college hockey career progressed” and that “no longer being a big fish in a smaller pond he’ll have incentive to apply himself consistently once again.”

Hockey’s Future lists Lucia as a future second-line player, but are not overly convinced he can reach that potential. They like his “strong desire to score goals” and believes “he is capable of being a scorer at the pro level.”