By Fred Liggett

A newcomer with a funny last name is making his presence known in his rookie season with the Missouri Mavericks. Defenseman Luke Juha is in his first season as a pro hockey player following a standout four-year career at Penn State University.

His last name is spelled Juha but it is pronounced “you-ha”. This is why his team given nickname is shark bait Yu Ha as a reference from the movie “Finding Nemo”. The right-handed defender is also known as Lukee.

Lukee’s favorite sports team is the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. This is due to Luke growing up in the area.

Lukee hails from Ontario where his entire family still resides except for a sister who now lives in Montreal. His favorite hockey memory so far was an overtime win against Minnesota while he was at Penn State. This Big 10 conference hockey game was “energetic, had a great crowd and was an awesome experience to play in.” He first put on a pair of skates at the age of three. This was largely due to having an older brother playing hockey and growing up in Canada, this is no surprise.

If not in pro hockey today Luke feels he would be working in finance somewhere maybe even New York thanks to his degree in Economics. While on the Mavs team bus making all those road trips he enjoys playing cards with his teammates. “K-Tan,” a board game that the players have downloaded to their iPods, is the usual game of choice. He loves to cook when at home, when he does he cook it’s for his family. BBQ, chicken, and steaks are the main menu. Following his playing days, he wishes to be remembered as a “good guy” who has the respect of his teammates.

Luke was a college teammate Eamon McAdam, current Mavs Goaltender who left college a year early. Ryan said he knew he would see him at some point after signing a contract with AHL’s Bridgeport Sounds who are a part of the New York Islanders organization. “Awesome to have a familiar face around,” he says. Having McAdam around to share in this experience is also “awesome.”

Check out this new addition to the Mavericks when the team hosts the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday, January 28. The fun begins inside the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena when the puck drops at 7:05 p.m.

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