Cruz Lucius, the former Gentry Academy standout who decommitted from the Gophers men's hockey program in May, on Wednesday announced on Instagram that he will be joining Wisconsin for the upcoming season.
Lucius, then 13, and his brother, Chaz, then 14, verbally committed to the Gophers in 2017, but neither will be with the team in 2022-23. Chaz had nine goals and 10 assists in 24 games for Minnesota in 2021-22 before suffering a lower-leg injury that would end his season on Feb. 12, missing the Gophers' run to the NCAA Frozen Four. The first-round draft pick of the Winnipeg Jets in 2021 then decided to sign a three-year, entry-level contract with the NHL team in April.
Cruz Lucius spent the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Plymouth, Mich. He had 14 goals and 28 assists in 42 games with the under-17 team in 2020-21 and followed that up with nine goals and nine assists in 23 games in 2021-22. He committed shortly after his brother left the program to sign with the Jets.
Schedule taking shape
The 2022-23 for the Gophers hasn't been revealed yet, but schedule announcements from other schools give a picture of what coach Bob Motzko's team will face in nonconference play.
Lindenwood (Mo.) will make its Division I debut by facing the Gophers on Oct. 1 and 2 at 3M Arena at Mariucci. The entire schedule, including Big Ten play, will be announced later. Here's the nonconference schedule:
Oct. 1-2: vs. Lindenwood
Oct. 7: vs. Minnesota State Mankato
Oct. 8: at Minnesota State Mankato
Oct. 21-22: vs. North Dakota
Nov. 25-26: at Arizona State
Jan. 7: at St. Cloud State
Jan. 8: vs. St. Cloud State