Heart and soul type players don’t come easily. They are the ones who stick up for your teammates and are willing to change their roles for the team to make them better. You look at the Allen Americans and see players like Trevor and Tyler Ludwig all the way to newcomers like Darryl Bootland and Kip Brennan.
But one forward who has stuck with the team since 2009 has been center Jarret Lukin, who came to the team after playing with the Dayton Bombers of the ECHL. “I caught a break. Bill McDonald was my coach in Dayton and that team was full and he said ‘I got something for you, Luky after the year’” Lukin said about why he decided to come to Allen. “They flew me down with two other guys in June or July to come check it out and just fell in love with the place and the whole idea.”
Over the three seasons being with the Americans, he has racked up 118 points (54 goals, 68 assists) in the 158 games he has played. Right now he has 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) as he is helping his team try to win the franchises’ first ever Ray Miron President’s Cup Championship.
The soft spoken center, 5’11”, 185lb from Fort McMurray, Alberta, is considered a tenacious, energetic veteran who uses his speed and puts pressure on the puck but sees his role being the same as last year. “A second line center with the penalty kill and power play with other stuff they want me to do,” Lukin replied. “But also to bring it every night, lead by example and contribute offensively. Do all the jobs that I am required to do.”
This is his fourth season with the Allen Americans. He said he loves being able to walk around in shorts during the summers all the way to the winters but he gives the Americans credit for what they did for him and his teammates. “I love it so far. That’s the extra stuff on the side (golf and wearing shorts) but the first thing first is the organization, the fans and arena. It’s a great place to play here and live here.”
He also told me that his improvements from last year to this year have been getting better every day. “Physically I came in a lot stronger and a little heavier. So now it’s starting to get better every year.”
The Allen Americans are off to a great start thanks to the coaching by head coach Steve Martinson and Richard Matvichuk being brought over this summer. Lukin said that having those coaches with them has helped for the start they are having. “It’s good. I mean they played at the level we’d like to get to and always dream of so to have that experience behind the benches that hard to find and top of that they want to win more than anything and they helps get better by the day.”
With the NHL experienced coaches like Martinson and Matvichuk aboard, we wonder if Lukin was ever consider going back to the NHL. “It is tough now getting older now. But I was up in the American League last year,” Lukin replied. After Last season with the Americans ended, he went to play with the Lake Eerie Monsters, Colorado Avalanche’s minor team. “I feel like I can play at the next level but it’s just with all the things that factor into. It’s pretty tough.”
Right now Lukin is doing what he can do the best and that is to help the Americans. After all, he is one of the Allen Americans’ heart and soul members.
FACTS ABOUT LUKIN:
Born: January 24, 1984 in Fort McMurray, Alberta
Were you a Flames Fan growing up? No, my dad’s a huge Flames fan.
Did you have a favorite player? Wayne Gretzky. Pavel Bure.
Besides hockey, what other sports do you like? I like to golf. I like to play Tennis. I really like volleyball too but I don’t play that much and I like to work out.
What have you been doing in the summer besides preparing yourself for this season? Besides training, I actually work with the gym that I train at and they have a few national sports involvement and I taught kids and did some coaching.