While the Wisconsin Badgers men’s hockey team didn’t have much success on the ice against Minnesota last season, UW did score a victory on the recruiting trail recently. Forward Cruz Lucius (Grant, Minn.) decommitted from the Gophers two months ago and was officially announced as a Badger on Tuesday.
Cruz Lucius is an excellent name. The newest Badgers men’s hockey commit also decommitted from Minnesota, so he’s just knocking em out of the park! pic.twitter.com/ReM08jRq30— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) June 16, 2022
“We are excited to add Cruz to our lineup,” UW head coach Tony Granato said. ”He’s an extremely skilled and smart playmaker who can score. He will be a fun player to work with because he has a huge desire to get better and be pushed.”
According to a release from UW:
Lucius joins the Badgers from the U.S. Under-18 Team in the U.S. National Team Development Program, where he scored nine goals and 18 points in an injury-shortened, 23-game campaign during the 2021-22 season. Playing alongside fellow incoming freshman Charlie Stramel, he helped Team USA win silver at the 2022 IIHF Under-18 World Championship with two goals and eight points in six games.
He also recorded 14 goals and 42 points in 42 contests with the U.S. Under-17 Team during the 2020-21 campaign.
Lucius was going to join his older brother, Chaz, in the Twin Cities, but after an injury-filled freshman season the 2021 NHL first round pick signed with the Winnipeg Jets and younger brother Cruz reopened his recruitment.
With the NHL Draft happening in Montreal on Thursday and Friday, and Lucius projected to go somewhere in the third round (The Athletic ($) pegs him as joining his brother in Winnipeg at pick No. 77), it should continue to be a big week for the talented winger.