The career of former Lac St. Louis midget AAA Lions Anthony De Luca has taken a new turn. After having led the midget AAA hockey league in scoring in 2011-2012, he had decided to go play in the United States Hockey League (USHL) after the midget AAA season had ended.
Despite having been selected in the first round (22nd overall) by the Rimouski Océanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), De Luca had opted to go and play for Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the USHL. Sometime after the QMJHL draft however, the former Lions superstar changed his mind and decided to go to Rimouski to continue his hockey career.
"Right after the draft, I was weighing my options. I was talking to a lot of people. The two leagues are extremely good leagues. I want to excel at hockey and try to be at my best. For my NHL draft eligibility year, it was best for me to go into a league that I could be compared to the best players in the world," he said.
So far, De Luca's decision seems to have paid off. He has scored 10 points in six pre-season games including five goals. The regular season started over the weekend and he picked up two assists in two Océanic wins against Sherbrooke and Shawinigan.
The former Lac St. Louis Lions dons the Océanic jersey with pride considering the greats that have worn it before including Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Richards and Sidney Crosby. However, he does not like the comparison with these great players who he sees as the elite.
"I'm not trying to fill in those shoes. These players did their job. They're always going to be praised here. I'll never be able to fill those shoes. They were extremely good players and I don't compare myself to them. I try to do as much as I can and I can't compare myself to them. They're in an elite group. For me, I just try to do my job and do it as best as I can," he said.
De Luca who considers himself a shooter first says he is working on the defensive aspect of his play right now to be as complete a player as possible by the end of the season.
"I'm just trying to get better every day," he said.