March 27, 2016

By Dan Colleran

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior forward Mario Lucia has signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild, the National Hockey League (NHL) club announced today (March 27). Lucia’s contract will start with the 2016-17 season.

“I am excited and honored to be able to sign with the Minnesota Wild, something I have been working towards my whole life and it’s the next step in accomplishing my dream of one day playing in the NHL,” Lucia said.

Lucia will report to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL) on an Amateur Tryout Agreement (ATO) for the remainder of this season and could make his professional debut later this week.

“There is a lot of work left still to do, but I’m looking forward to the process,” Lucia added. “I would like to thank the coaching staff and support staff at Notre Dame for everything they have given me. I also want to thank my family and my friends for all the support throughout my life and I also want to thank my teammates for making my experience at this University and creating memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything.”

This past season, Lucia played in all 37 games and scored 12 goals and added 12 assists for 24 points. He finished the year with a team-high five power-play goals and added two game winners. He helped lead the Irish to three NCAA Tournament appearances in his four seasons.

“Mario has developed into a more complete player over his four years here,” Notre Dame Head Coach Jeff Jackson said. “He always had the gifts of a good offensive player and goal scorer. He worked hard to develop his body and become a better player without the puck offensively and defensively. He has now earned the opportunity to play at the next level and will graduate next month with a degree from Notre Dame. Mario was, and will always be, a great Notre Dame man.”

For his career, Lucia played in 151 games, while scoring 61 goals and adding 49 assists for 110 points. With a goal and an assist in Notre Dame’s 7-2 win over Merrimack (Jan. 15), Lucia hit the 100-career point milestone. He became the 49th Notre Dame player to reach 100-career points and the first since the 2012-13 season (Anders Lee and T.J. Tynan).

“In May I’ll be graduating with five of my best friends [and classmates] and receiving a degree from one of the best Universities in the world, that is something I’m very proud of,” Lucia added. “I’m looking forward to starting the next step of my life with the Minnesota wild organization.”

Lucia was selected by Minnesota in the second round (60th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota and played high school hockey at Wayzata High School before playing for Penticton (BCHL).

— ND —

Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and men’s golf programs. A native of Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Colleran also spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League and is a graduate of Providence College.