Wisconsin Badgers recruit Luke Levandowski impresses his coaches with speed, smarts
When Luke Levandowski committed to the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team last Friday, he was five games into a high school hockey career that already looked promising.
Levandowski, a sophomore left wing for Rosemount High School in Minnesota, had four goals and three assists through that handful of games.
He has since added four goals and an assist in two more contests, including his first prep hat trick in Tuesday’s 7-1 victory over Shakopee.
There’s a long road from a good opening seven high school games to having a good career at high levels of hockey, but Levandowski’s coach said the 16-year-old has traits that will help him fit in with the Badgers when the time comes.
Rosemount coach Ricky Saintey said Levandowski’s speed and hockey intelligence have made an impact already at the high school level.
“Those are the two biggest things at play, especially if you’re going to be a Badger,” Saintey said. “You’ve got to play with some pace, and he does that. And he thinks the game really well.
“So he’s a kid who’s adjusted very nicely coming in as a sophomore and does some nice things for us. And he’s also answered the bell with scoring for us, too, and is putting some big points up for us already.”
Levandowski became the fourth forward to commit to the Badgers for the 2021 season or beyond, joining 15-year-olds Caden Brown and Ethan Mann and 14-year-old Nick Pierre.
Saintey said that Levandowski scored 189 points in about 70 games at the Bantam level last season, attracting attention that has expanded this season.
“He’s a kid who dominated that level, and coming right into high school, the pace he plays, he’s able to take over and elevate his game,” Saintey said. “And that’s what’s going to make him successful, the speed to his game.”
Levandowski played last April in the Minnesota High Performance program’s Final 54 Festival for the state’s top players born in 2001 or 2002.
He also skated in the fall with the Minnesota Blades under-16 team, impressing co-coach Lance Pitlick with his demeanor and body language on top of his skills with the puck.
“He’s sneaky good,” Pitlick said.
Saintey said that Levandowski’s growth in the game will come in the defensive zone, as it does with most young forwards.
“He’s only a sophomore, so you’ve got to look at the maturity thing with the game and understand that you’ve got to be patient,” Saintey said. “And that’s a big thing we’re asking him to do. It’s not going to come as it did in Bantams where you’re going to put up three or four points a game. He’s coming close to that already, which is scary. But he’s got to be patient, and he’s got to learn to play in his own end.”