By Emma Pascu and Ethan Carley
Luke Evangelista is a former STA student who currently plays hockey for the London Knights. As a highly skilled right-winger, Luke describes himself as a creative and hardworking playmaker. At the age of only 18, Luke is already a top fifty prospect for this year’s NHL draft.
Luke began his hockey career at the age of four, moving on to play for the Oakville Rangers. In 2018, Luke was drafted to the London Knights, a junior team in the Ontario Hockey League. Luke tells Raider Weekly that his rookie year in London was a “big challenge.”
“I didn’t play a lot and I didn’t have a lot of points,” he says. Nevertheless, his second year with the Knights has played out well, and Luke is now considered one of his league’s most dynamic and agile players. “I worked really hard over the summer and had a lot of support from my friends and coaches and fortunately, I had a good season this year,” he tells us.
“I worked really hard over the summer and had a lot of support from my friends and coaches and fortunately, I had a good season this year”
Aside from scoring goals and making nice plays, Luke’s favourite part of hockey is the amazing friends he has made along the way. “Most of my closest friends today are the guys that I grew up playing hockey with,” he mentions. Luke tells us that Mitch Marner of the Leafs is his favourite player, and when asked if he had any specific rituals before a game, he answered that he always eats the same pre-game meal: pasta and chicken. He also revealed a custom of his before hitting the ice: never allowing his stick to touch the ground after taping it.
After reaching out to his former teachers, we noticed one common characteristic they remember about Luke: he was humble. Mr. Michtics recalls that he didn’t even know Luke had been drafted to the London Knights until he was told Luke was leaving his class. Mrs. Bodnar describes Luke as a student “passionate” about hockey, with a “very humble talent.” Ms. Smith, who taught Luke in Grade 10, says she was “very upset” when he left the school, as she was hoping to teach him again. “He is very intelligent with a good sense of humour! We had a lot of laughs in that class,” she commented.
“He is very intelligent with a good sense of humour! We had a lot of laughs in that class,”
Due to his busy hockey schedule, Luke did not get a chance to play on the Raiders’ Hockey team before he left for the Knights in Grade 11. He does, however, have lots of other special memories from his time at STA. Like many Raiders, Luke enjoyed cheering along with the rest of the spirited Raiders at school buyouts. “I would say some of my favourite memories from STA were probably when there would be a sporting event and the students could buy out and we’d all spend the afternoon hanging as a school and watching sports,” he recalls.
The 2020 NHL Draft is on Friday, June 26. Luke says he would be thrilled to be drafted to any team in the NHL. His former teachers and the rest of the STA community wish Luke luck in this year’s draft and look forward to seeing him skate his way onto the NHL ice!