Working the Knight shift

Randy Russon
October 9, 2020
Luke Evangelista

If you don’t like, appreciate, or respect the London Knights, you might want to skip this story.

That is, Luke Evangelista is just the latest example of how the Knights develop their hockey players the London way.

The 2002 birth year forward went from a whitewash of an Ontario Hockey League rookie season with the Knights in 2018-2019 to becoming a second round National Hockey League draft pick of the Nashville Predators in 2020.

A first round pick by London at the 2018 OHL priority selections draft, Evangelista paid the price, learned the ropes, and developed under legendary Knights coach Dale Hunter in his rookie season.

Evangelista dressed for just 27 of London’s 68 regular season games in 2018-2019 and did not score a single goal, while managing a meager two assists.

But the 5-foot-11, 165 pound youngster gradually learned what it takes to be an all-round player under the guidance of Hunter and the London coaching staff.

Evangelista worked at what he need to improve at and it paid off with a major improvement on his point totals in 2019-2020.

After going 0-2-2 in 27 games as a little used rookie in 2018-2019, Evangelista improved in a huge way in 2019-2020 and totaled 23 goals, 38 assists, 61 points in 62 outings on the Knight shift.

Nashville took note at the recent NHL draft — which was loaded with high end prospects from around the world — and made Evangelista its second round pick, 42nd overall.

Just another kid from a lengthy list who has done well by coach Hunter and the London hockey factory.

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