Chandler native Yubeta spreads wings, leaves desert for junior hockey opportunity in Boston
Luke Yubeta has excelled on the ice and on the roller hockey floor in his home state of Arizona.
He’s hoping that success travels with him as the 2002-born Chandler native will play junior hockey during the 2021-22 season with the Eastern Hockey League’s Boston Jr. Rangers.
“Towards the end of last season, I was starting to look at potential places to play,” Yubeta said. “I reached out to several teams, including the Jr. Rangers. Shortly after reaching out, Coach (Rich) DeCaprio contacted me, and we spoke about potential opportunities. I then went out to Boston to play for the team in a summer tournament and signed with the team shortly after.
“The EHL has a good history of moving players on to college hockey, which is where I ultimately aspire to be. The Jr. Rangers stood out to me particularly because of the culture surrounding the program. The coaches really care about the players and strive to develop and move them on to the next level.”
As a rookie, Yubeta said he’s unsure of where he will fit on the club but noted that, “I’ll be happy to play wherever I’m needed.”
“Leaving home has been the hardest part for me,” said Yubeta. “My friends and family have been so supportive of me and it’s extremely hard to leave that all behind. I was born and raised in Chandler and started going to the rink from a very young age. My cousin played for the Tucson Stampede at the time, and we would go to his games whenever he was in town. This sparked my love for the game, and I began playing not too long after.”
Once he laced up his skates, Yubeta played for the Arizona Heat, Arizona Hockey Union, Jr. Coyotes and the Basha/Perry high school program.
“My coach for the AHU Knights, Jason Evahnenko, has been the coach that has had the biggest influence on me as a player,” Yubeta said. “I played for Jason from Squirts all the way through 18s and would not be the player or person I am today without him. He transformed me into an all-around player and taught me great values of character that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Dave Ellett of the Jr. Coyotes also helped to develop my skill to allow me to play at the next level.
“Right now, I’m focused on developing as a player to allow myself to play at the collegiate level. In that time, I hope to discover a major that uniquely piques my interest so I choose the right school for me.”
As a roller hockey goalie, Yubeta spent time with the Arizona Outcasts and Tour Roadrunners for NARCh events, and the Royals, Yetis, Knighthawks and the independent Dayhawks team he made with some Mission Arizona players this past season in IHAAZ play.
— Matt Mackinder
(August 27, 2021)