The Melville Millionaires are presently on the outside looking in for a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff spot, but the play of 19-year-old Luke Nkwama certainly has them optimistic for the second half of the season.
The 5-foot-8, 170-pound sophomore forward has shattered his totals put up last year as a freshman as Nkwama leads the team in goals scored with 16 and is second in points with 27 after 34 games. Last year in 47 games Nkwama scored 11 times and set up six others.
What’s even more impressive is the Outlook, Sask., product has contributed in every situation this year scoring three game-winning markers, six power-play goals and one shorthanded effort. He has even had a shootout attempt and while unsuccessful in that opportunity it shows that the coaching staff has confidence to use him at any point in a game.
Prior to joining the Millionaires last year, Nkwama spent two seasons playing Bantam AA in Melville and two more at the Midget AA level, also in Melville, before heading to Prince Albert for a season with the Midget AAA Mintos.
His last two years of midget hockey were hugely successful as he had 46 points in 34 games with the Midget AA Millionaires as a 16-year-old and followed that up with a 27-point campaign in Prince Albert. Since making the move to the Junior “A” level he has added some grit to his game as evidenced by the 79 minutes of penalties he has accumulated in just over a year and a half.
Melville has some ground to make up heading down the stretch, but with the continued improved play of Nkwama they certainly should make a run at a post-season berth. His breakout season could even get them higher in the standings, but the first rung on that ladder is within reach and Nkwama will be a big part of them grabbing onto it.