Minnesota freshman forward Chaz Lucius has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Winnipeg Jets, forgoing his final three years of eligibility with the Gophers.

The 22nd Gophers product taken in the first round of the NHL Draft, Lucius was selected by Winnipeg in the 2021 draft with the 18th overall pick.

“Chaz is one of the most impressive offensive players I have coached in my career,” Gophers coach Bob Motzko said in a statement. “His ability to create offense at any moment on the ice is as high level as I’ve seen. He has a tremendous future ahead of him with the Winnipeg Jets organization, and we look forward to following what is sure to be a long and impressive pro career.

“We wish him the best as he takes the next step in his hockey career.”

A native of Grant, Minn., Lucius scored nine goals and recorded 19 points in 24 games with Minnesota this year as Minnesota claimed its fifth Big Ten regular-season title in the conference’s nine-year history and advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time since 2014.

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