A former 100 Mile House Wranglers player may find himself getting a sniff at the big time this upcoming season.
Now playing at Bentley University in the NCAA, Luke Santerno was invited to the Winnipeg Jets development training camp.
“I was very excited going into it. It was a great learning experience for me and I was able to see what the pace would be like at the next level and what it would take both on and off the ice to make it there,” said Santerno, who described himself as a power forward.
Jimmy Roy, director of player development for the Jets, said that Santerno was identified by the franchise’s college free agent scout as a player who could be a good professional down the road and that they heard a lot of good things about him.
“He’s good sized, plays a smart, responsible two-way game and he had a really good freshman season. Those are things to improve on,” said Roy.
He added that Santerno was good at the game, but the development camp focuses more on creating relationships with prospects instead of the player’s conditions.
Santerno played one season with the Wranglers before becoming a fixture in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), where he played for three seasons with the Cowichan Valley Capitals and the Trail Smoke Eaters from 2014-17.
He was with the Wranglers for the 2013-14 season, where he played in 47 regular season games and scoring 45 points and eight playoff games, where he scored five goals and two assists.
“When he joined our team he was an immediate impact and was well-liked by both teammates and fans,” said Tom Bachynski, president of the 100 Mile House Wranglers.
Also that season, Santerno had a five-game stint with the Merritt Centennials, also of the BCHL.
It didn’t take long for the Smithers-native to get back into Junior A though, moving to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for two seasons, lacing up for 109 games and scoring 50 points.
It wasn’t until he moved to the Trail Smoke Eaters where he found his stride, scoring 64 points in 57 games and achieved career bests in goals (33) and assists (31).
Last season, Santerno played with Bentley University Falcons in the NCAA Division I, based out of Waltham, Mass. In his first season with the team, he was second in team scoring (30) and was named to the NCAA (AHA) All-Rookie Team.
“Luke has worked hard to keep his hockey career going and when you push through some of the adversity he has overcome, the character person he has become really shines through. We wish Luke well as he continues to evolve as a fine hockey player,” said Bachynski.