Tigers, Rampage alum Levkus hoping for impact role in 2021-22 with NAHL’s Wranglers
Originally from Toronto, David Levkus played the majority of his youth hockey for the Colorado Rampage and will begin his junior hockey career next season in Texas with the NAHL’s Amarillo Wranglers.
Needless to say, Levkus is stoked that he has earned the opportunity to stay on the ice after aging out of youth hockey.
“I was training during the summer and my mom saw this pre-draft camp online and we saw that it was 15 minutes away from my house and it was a brand-new team, so we thought it was a good opportunity for me to get in front of a new set of eyes and get some extra ice time during the summer,” Levkus said. “I had already been talking to a couple other teams in the NA, but it felt like a good opportunity to compete and train for next season. As the camp went on, I was playing pretty well, and the coaches began to talk to me about coming to play in Amarillo next season.”
Levkus also noted that he feels Amarillo will provide him opportunities for development and exposure to college teams.
“My goal is to play NCAA Division I hockey and during my talk with the coach (Harry Mahood), I felt he could help me to develop to that level of hockey,” said Levkus. “I also know a couple guys who played
in that city before and they’ve all said good things about it. What appealed to me the most about the NA is the league’s track record of committing their players to play D-I college hockey, which is one of my biggest goals in hockey.
“I think, at first, it will be a little tough getting used to playing at a faster pace with older players, but I hope that all my training in the offseason will help to make that transition easier. I would like to see myself as a key contributor to the team winning games next season.”
Levkus has also signed a tender with the USPHL NCDC’s Philadelphia Hockey Club.
Growing up in Canada is where Levkus first caught the hockey-playing bug.
“Everyone plays hockey in Canada, and what got me to play hockey was my older cousin,” said Levkus. “When I was little still living in Toronto, my older cousin played junior hockey in Bradford. My family lives in Slovakia so my cousin came to live with us in Toronto. Growing up when I was small, I always looked up to him, and that got me into this game. The other player that influenced my game is Sidney Crosby. Since I grew up in Canada, he was always a big thing. I started watching him and followed his game.”
Once Levkus moved to Colorado Springs, he played for the Colorado Springs Tigers organization, “which helped me to learn the fundamental basics about this game,” he said.
Then at the age of 13, Levkus jumped to the Rampage and played there through his first year of 18U AAA, when he moved to the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets this past season.
“During my five years at the Rampage, I was coached by Shawn Kurulak and Luke Fulghum, and coach Jon Eng helped with his off-ice training during my time there,” Levkus said. “There is also one other coach – David Labett – who continues to play a key role in my hockey development process. For the last two years, since I started to work with him, he has been great in helping me in my skating technique, which helps me with my overall game.”
The Jr. Blue Jackets finished the 2020-21 season ranked 17th in the country and qualified for the USA Hockey National Tournament, losing to Shattuck-St. Mary’s in the quarterfinals.
Now with junior hockey staring him down, Levkus can start to focus on the future.
“My short-term goal is to be an impact player for the Amarillo Wranglers and my long-term goal is to play D-I college hockey,” Levkus said. “I think outside of sports, my goal is to complete a college degree and grow up to a good and successful person.”
— Matt Mackinder
(July 14, 2021)