Thornton native, DU grad Salazar enjoying return home with Eagles
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It’s come full circle for Luke Salazar, who grew up in Thornton and later played NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Denver.
After graduation in 2012, Salazar played four years of pro hockey overseas before returning home this season to play for the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles.
“I came to the decision that I wanted to stay in the States pretty early on in the summer,” said Salazar. “The first few weeks have been great and I’m having a blast playing in the States again. Europe is a little different with language barriers and foreign places, foods, etcetera, so being back home and playing has been awesome. Having a blast skating with the Eagles. Playing with Jesse Mychan and Casey Pierro-Zabotel on a line has been great.”
A 2007 graduate of Legacy High School in Broomfield, Salazar rang up 88 points in 140 games with the Pioneers and was also named to the WCHA All-Academic Team on three different occasions.
In his youth days, he played for the Hyland Hills Hockey Association.
He said making the decision to play overseas the past four years was truly memorable. Salazar lived in Sweden, Austria, England and Norway and traveled to and vacationed in Italy, Greece, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Netherlands, Ireland and Scotland.
“I recommend it to any player,” beamed Salazar. “You get to see different parts of the world that a lot of people would never get the opportunity to do. You get the chance to travel and vacation while you’re over there as well. Experiencing all the different cultures, foods, people and way of life is something everyone should try and do. There are times when you miss home and family for sure, but when I look back on it, it was an amazing experience I’ll never forget.”
These days, Salazar is pursuing a Kelly Cup with the Eagles.
“The depth of our team is very good and we have plenty of guys who can jump in and fill any position,” Salazar said. “We want to win as much as possible and expect nothing less.”
— Matt Mackinder