(Photo: Tom Stretar)
By JACK LeGWIN
Josh Luedtke has been a key cog on the blue line for Minnetonka this year on its way to a 13-1-2 record to start the season, as well as the #1 ranking in the state of Minnesota.
When he was asked about what makes playing defense for Minnetonka a driving force in his development, Luedtke said it was how hard the coaching staff pushes the defensemen to be their best.
“Our defensive coach now tells us that we have to take pride in not being scored on,” Luedtke told BTS Sports on Monday. “Every time we get scored on, he tells us to not take that lightly. We need to take some pride in being D-Men, and not letting them score. At the same time, I do like to get up and contribute some offensively.”
With Minnetonka losing their first game of the season recently, 4-2 to Duluth East, Luedtke said that he believes the loss brought extra motivation for the team moving forward this season.
“I think it was a wake-up call for us for sure,” Luedtke said. “We knew it was going to be very hard to finish the season undefeated. We took it to heart, we got away from our habits, as well as the nature of how we play, we really have to keep working in practice, move forward and use it as motivation for the rest of the season.”
A Northern Michigan commit, Luedtke says his experience on his visits really convinced him that it was the right choice.
“I visited there twice and I really connected with the coaching staff,” Luedtke said. “They prioritized me first. I had a great bond with them right away. They’re changing to becoming a more fast-paced game and utilizing their hockey sense throughout the game, so that’s a big reason why I decided to commit there.”
Luedtke said that where the Northern Michigan staff really made an impression was how they saw him fitting into their game plan moving forward.
“I think they’re trying to get a lot of fast moving defensemen in that can move the puck,” Luedtke said. “That’s really where I feel like I fit in. They spoke with me about getting the puck out fast, and that’s really where I feel comfortable.”
While Luedtke will be heading to Northern Michigan in the next couple years, he said he is focused on one thing: winning a State Championship.
“It comes down to down to out-competing the teams that we play,” Luedtke said. “It comes down to hard work, and how bad we want it.”
Thanks in part to Luedtke, the Skippers are headed in the right direction to achieve that goal.