Fourth-year forward Luke Boka is the new captain of the Windsor Spitfires.
The 19-year-old native of Plymouth, Michigan has played all three of his previous seasons with the Spitfires, logging 190 career regular season and an additional 18 playoff games since the beginning of the 2015-16 season. Boka set new career highs in goals (15), assists (25), points (40) and penalty minutes (42) while playing in 64 games last year. But Letowski says it’s certainly not all about points with the club’s new leader.
“We feel like Luke has really grown each year he’s been here, both on and office the ice,” Letowski said. “We really trust him. I think the biggest thing is the way he works every day. As a staff, we think that the really good leaders in junior hockey are the ones that work hard and set that example for the rest of the team. Luke is our hardest working player, day in and day out.”
Joining Boka wearing letters will be Cole Purboo and Chris Playfair. Purboo, 19, enters his third season as a Spitfire, having never missed a regular season game (136 straight and counting) while putting up career highs in goals (21), assists (28), points (49) and penalty minutes (40) last season.
Letowski says Purboo does it all, and does it the right way.
“With Cole, it’s not only the production he showed in his breakout year last season, but it’s his habits and his durability,” Letowski said. “He’s a guy you want young players to look up to. He deserves to wear a letter for many reasons. And again, there’s the trust factor. We trust he is doing the right things.”
Letowski says although the choice of Playfair may surprise some, he and his staff feel like Chris is a player that is ready to make that next big step.
“He is a year younger than Luke and Cole, but we’re really impressed with how he handles himself,” Letowski notes. “From the Zamboni driver, to team staff, to his teammates, Chris treats everyone with respect and he loves the game. That’s the bottom line for him.”
Playfair set career highs in games played (66), goals (5), assists (12), points (17) and penalty minutes (27) last in 2017-18.
“We think we’ve got a great core of leaders and a real partnership brewing here with our players,” Letowski added. “We’re into something good and it’s just going to grow from here.”