Luke House is shown in this undated photo.
— Star file photo
Luke House won’t be lounging around on the beach this summer working on a tan because he’s all business when it comes to stopping pucks.
The 15-year-old southpaw puckstopper with the Colemans Western Kings is anxious to see how he stacks up against some of the best junior players around when he attends the training camp of the Charlottetown Islanders in August. House became the property of the Islanders when his name was called at the 2014 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft held recently in Sherbrooke, Que. The Islanders traded goaltender Eric Brassard to the Rimouski Oceanic in exchange for the rights to the 55th pick overall.
“I was pretty nervous for sure,” House said of the anxious moments waiting to hear his name on draft day. “I was thinking about going at the earliest the fourth round so it was surprising to go in the third.”
Being an Islander is what he had hoped for when he realized he was a prospect for this year’s entry draft so it all worked out for him in the end.
“It’s not far away from home and I have family in Charlottetown,” he said of his selection.
House has already taken steps to ensure he’s in tip-top shape for training camp in August. He’s committed to working under the guidance of personal trainer Ben Fitzgerald four nights a week to improve his strength and conditioning, and he will also be running every chance he gets and will kick around the soccer ball around at Wellington as a member of the BMO Western Under-16s in the provincial Under-16 boys soccer league.
The six-foot-three puckstopper, who was politely prodded to strap on the pads when he was nine years by his parents Michelle and Don, knows he will have to be bigger and stronger to keep up the hectic pace of Q hockey where the opposition will feature players a couple of years older than him.
“I’m going to be playing against 20-year-olds so strength is definitely a big factor,” he said.
He has realistic expectations when he looks at his age so he would be fine with playing next season at home with the Kings again. But, this guy knows there is a chance to take his game to another level with the Islanders showing confidence so he plans on embracing it so he has no regrets.
“Go to tryout camp in August and hopefully the coaches like me and I can stick it out up there next year,” he said. “I’m hoping to impress the coaches and make it as a rookie for sure.”
So many young goalies with aspirations of playing pro have come and gone over the years so House is aware of the odds being somewhat stacked against a kid from a small province separated from the rest of the mainland. However, his positive attitude shone through when he realized one important thing about being drafted.
“I guess it doesn’t really matter if you go first or dead last it’s just what you do at training camp,” he said.