As the 2018 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup wrapped up over the weekend, Team USA fell just short of taking home a medal, falling 5-4 to Team Russia in the third place game on Saturday.
Team USA benefited greatly from the contributions of Spokane Chiefs 17-year-old forward Luke Toporowski, highlighted by his 3PT (2G, A) effort last Tuesday against Team Sweden. Toporowski finished Team USA’s six-game Hlinka-Gretzky slate tied for the team lead with four goals and tied for third in points with five.
The Bettendorf, Iowa native took to Twitter to comment on his experience:
“Obviously not the outcome we wanted or deserved but with that being said, I want to thank USA Hockey for the unbelievable experience these past 2 weeks. The feeling of throwing on that jersey is like none other. USA proud🇺🇸”
As a rookie during the 2017-18 season, Toporowski recorded 23PT (10G, 13A) and ranked first among Chiefs rookie forwards with a +/- of 5. He should factor heavily into the Chiefs’ offense throughout the 2018-19 season following the departures of Kailer Yamamoto and Hudson Elynuik.
Toporowski will be eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft following the 2018-19 WHL season, which opens up for Spokane on September 22 at Tri-City. Training camp takes place for the Chiefs from August 23 -26 with all ice sessions, including the Red-White game on Sunday, August 26, free and open to the public.