Luke Witkowski
Image: NHL

Luke Witkowski

Hometown:

Holland Michigan

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1990-04-14

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2008

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2008

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

6th round (160th overall), 2008

Weight:

200 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2007-08: Luke Witkowski spent the season with the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets in the USHL. He appeared in 58 games and scored 3 goals with 10 assists and was -10 with 139 PIM. Witkowski signed a letter of intent to play college hockey at Western Michigan University in 2009-10.

2008-09: Witkowski spent his second USHL season with the Fargo Force after Ohio left the league. As a captain for Coach Dean Blais' team, he scored 6 goals with 16 assists and was +30 with 118 PIM in 55 games. In 10 playoff games, Witkowski scored 2 goals, both on the power play, with 1 assist and was +1 with 29 PIM as Fargo defeated Lincoln in the first round before falling to Indiana.

2009-10: Witkowski played 32 games as a freshman for Western Michigan. He scored 2 goals, both power play goals, with 4 assists and 67 PIM and was -13 on a Broncos team that won just eight games all season and finished last in the CCHA.

2010-11: Witkowski skated in all 42 games for Western Michigan as a sophomore as the Broncos were one of the big turnaround stories in college hockey. He finished plus-13 with 56 penalty minutes and scored 1 goal with 8 assists. After finishing fourth in the CCHA, the Broncos reached the CCHA championship game and took WCHA power Denver to two overtimes in an NCAA regional game.

2011-12: Witkowski provided a key defensive presence and physical play while chipping in offensively for Western Michigan as a junior. He led the Broncos with 66 penalty minutes and was plus-eight while scoring 2 goals with 11 assists in 40 games. Under former NHL coach Andy Murray the Broncos won 21 games (the most since 1995-96) and defeated Michigan in the CCHA Championship game to earn their second straight NCAA tournament berth.

2012-13: Witkowski signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Lightning in April 2013 following his senior season at Western Michigan and made his pro hockey debut with Tampa Bay's AHL affiliate in Syracuse. In three AHL games he was an even plus/minus with no points and 4 penalty minutes. The Crunch finished first in the East Division and reached the AHL Finals against Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids. Witkowski did not appear in any playoff games. He played 38 games for Western Michigan in his final season and was -3 with 46 penalty minutes; scoring 2 goals (both on the power play) with 8 assists. The Broncos finished third in the CCHA but were swept by Michigan in a CCHA quarterfinal series and did not receive an NCAA tournament bid.

 

Talent Analysis

Witkowski is a big player who leads by example with hard work and physical play. He can handle a lot of ice time and relishes combative play - was one of the heavyweights in the USHL during his junior days. Witkowski is a play-maker on the power play and makes smart, quick passes. As is common with young defensive defenseman, his mobility and agility are areas that need more development.

 

Future

Long-range, Witkowski projects as a lower pair, stay-at-home defenseman who will drop the gloves and come to the aid of his teammates. His instincts on the power-play also give him value in that area.

 

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