By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com
Luke Evers loves his home city, what can he say? From playing for the Worcester-Leicester Regional High School to venturing just down I-290 to Marlboro for two seasons with the Boston Junior Bruins, being a homebody has worked out well for the ‘03 forward.
Why change a good thing? So it’s not very surprising to see Evers having committed to NCAA Division II Assumption University. The Greyhounds play in the nation’s only Division II conference, the Northeast-10, where they reached the 2023 Semifinals.
“I’m from Worcester and I realized that I wanted to stay local and not go too far for school. I always watched Assumption play growing up, since the rink was only a few miles from my house. I also know that they have a great hockey program and the school is really good academically with a great campus as well,” said Evers, who had 15 goals and 21 assists for 36 points in 43 games this year, in addition to two assists in four playoff games.
“I first started talking to Assumption as a possible commitment in around January of this year when I heard they were at one of my games and were interested in me,” he said. “Then Coach Looney reached out to me to talk to him after one of his games. I think the coaches liked my speed and the effort I give during the game showing that I want to win and be there.”
Evers had originally joined the Junior Bruins as a member of their USPHL 18U team while also playing his senior year at Worcester-Leicester. He was a full-time Premier player for Coach Nevin Hamilton and the Junior Bruins this year.
“I really loved playing for the Boston Junior Bruins because the coaching staff was amazing. They were all great people and know so much about the game. I really learned a lot and improved as a player so much,” said Evers. “Also our team was super connected and we were like a family by a few months into the season. Such a great group of guys and such good players too.”
He speaks more specifically about how Coaches Blake Bellefeuille (18U) and Hamilton crafted him into an NCAA Division II-worthy player.
“The Junior Bruins development was great. Playing for the 18U team for the half of season I did, I learned so much in that time from Coach Bellefeuille. He really helped me see the game in a way I hadn’t yet until I got coached by him, and it helped me improve so much. That team was also an amazing group and we were a very good team,” he said.
“Then playing this year for the premier team it’s obviously a little different from the 18U team, playing against older and bigger kids I really improved the most this year. Coach Hamilton was really good at showing me ways that I can be a better player and once I really worked on them it helped a lot,” Evers added. “He didn’t just do this for me, but our whole team improved dramatically from the beginning of the season to the end under his coaching. Also the workouts we would do with our trainer Garrett helped us build the strength and speed we needed to be better on the ice.”
The Junior Bruins had great battles in the USPHL Premier’s New England Division, including against the eventual National Champion Northern Cyclones and longtime Nationals staples the Islanders Hockey Club. The high tempo of these matchups drew a lot of eyes, especially with so many NCAA Division II and III schools close to the New England Division teams’ home rinks.
“I think the USPHL Premier league was great at attracting a lot of schools attention. There are so many skilled players in this league that brought schools from everywhere to look at players,” Evers said. “I think it helped me get ready for the next level a good amount after playing different skill levels of players around the league, but obviously college hockey is still a big step up and I’m going to have to develop even more this off-season and get ready for that level because it is of course a big jump once your out there.”
So don’t be surprised to see Evers out at Worcester-area rinks this spring and summer getting ready to be the best Greyhound he can be.
“This off-season I’m going to work a lot on my defensive zone play and helping out my defense by winning more puck battles and getting pucks out of the zone,” he said. “I’m also going to put on more size to get stronger and faster to improve my speed and shot so I can be a threat offensively at all times.”
He’ll certainly be ready for his big move “a few miles” from his doorstep to the Assumption campus and the Worcester Ice Center, home of the ‘Hounds.
“I’ve been to the campus a few times and it’s really nice. Everything looks super taken care of and new. The school atmosphere seems like everyone is connected and a family just from going to some of the hockey games,” Evers added.
The USPHL congratulates Luke Evers, his family, the Boston Junior Bruins and Assumption University for his commitment.