Prospects News & Rumors: Coronato, Lucius & Noel

Chicago Steel forward and 2021 NHL Draft Prospect Matthew Coronato extends his goal-scoring streak to nine games. United States National Team Development Program forward and a top prospect for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft Chaz Lucius has continued his hot start after recording six goals in his first six games. Florida Panthers prospect Serron Noel recorded his first career AHL goal on the weekend.

Coronato Extends Goal-Scoring Streak to Nine Games

Steel forward and 2021 NHL Draft Prospect Coronato just can’t stop scoring. The New York native has at least one goal in each of his last nine games and has failed to register a goal in only nine of his 36 games played this season. Over this nine-game streak, he has recorded 11 goals and two assists for 13 points. He broke the USHL point-streak record earlier this year after recording a 28-game point streak where he amassed a staggering 54 points.

He sits second in the entire USHL in scoring and is one of four Steel players who hold the top four spots in league scoring along with Sean Farrel, Erik Middendorf and Josh Doan. He leads the league with 34 goals, which is 10 more than the next highest skater and is third in assists with 29. Coronato has easily surpassed his point totals from last season with 23 more points in nine fewer games. Talk about year-to-year progression — he is shooting up many people’s draft rankings for good reason.

He is committed to Harvard University for the 2021-22 season, and his transition from the USHL to the NCAA will be one to watch next year. With the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and Western Hockey League yet to fully resume play, a lot of eyes have been on the USHL, and Coronato is sneaking his way into first-round consideration for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

Lucius Hot Start Continues

Speaking of goal scorers in the USHL, Lucius has been on fire since returning to the United States National Team Development Program. The 17-year old is a gifted goal scorer who had been sidelined all year with a lower-body injury. He returned to action in February in the best way possible, recording two goals in the USNTDP’s 5-4 victory over the Chicago Steel. Through his first six games of the season, he now has six goals and one assist for seven points. He has goals in five of his first six games of the season. He’s got a lot of ground to make up to get back into the discussion as a top 10 pick for the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, but with a few more performances like these, it won’t be long before he’s back in the picture.

Former THW writer Josh Bell broke down Lucius’ goal-scoring ability in his 5 USNTDP Players to Watch’ article from earlier this year.

While the 2020 NHL Draft has a few players who enter the conversation of best shot (sidebar: it’s Alexander Holtz), Lucius should have that in the bag for the 2021 edition. He has a nose for the back of the net and his shot has the speed and strength to force its way through. Not that it needs to, as he can pick corners with relative ease. Lucius used this goalscoring ability to put on a show at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, leading the tournament in goals (seven) and points (10), while winning the silver medal and earning a spot on the All-Star Team. In 2020-21, look for Lucius to put up Cole Caufield-like numbers.

– Josh Bell

It won’t take long for Lucius to shoot back up the draft rankings if he continues to produce like this. The USNTDP has four games on their schedule for the rest of the week, so there will be plenty of opportunities for him to extend his hot start. Premier goal scorers are always in high demand, and Lucius could be the very best in this year’s draft. That alone will see him rise in the rankings as he gets more reps this season.

Noel Records First AHL Goal

Panthers prospect Serron Noel has gotten off the mark in his professional career after recording his first AHL goal in his fifth game of the season. He recorded one of the Syracuse Crunch’s two goals in their 4-2 loss to the Rochester Americans on the weekend. The goal came on the powerplay and was his first point of the season. Drafted 34th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season in the OHL with the Oshawa Generals and Kitchener Rangers. He recorded 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points in 28 games played with the Generals and five goals and 13 assists for 18 points in 20 games played with the Rangers.

The one thing that Noel doesn’t lack is size coming in at 6-foot-5 and 216-pounds. It’s been a slow adjustment to the pro game for the Guelph, Ontario native, but he’s only five games into his professional career and has plenty of time to develop his offensive game.

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