Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | July 7, 2011

Man of the Day 7/7: Luca Caputi

Gianluca Caputi

Born October 1, 1988 (age 22) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Left winger for the Toronto Maple Leafs

Luca is a great example of  the “local boy makes good” cliche. He grew up in Maple, Ontario, which is a suburb of Toronto, and played with the Mississauga (now Niagara) IceDogs in the Ontario Hockey League from 200. He was picked as the 111th overall draft pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2007 NHL Draft, even though many thought he would be picked in the second round at the latest. The reason? He was really lacking in defensive abilities and had shaky offensive skills.

He showed everyone in his last year in the OHL, racking up 111 points in 66 games and leading the IceDogs to the OHL playoffs. By the time he was ready to hit the big time, he signed an entry-level contract with the Pens and led the Baby Pens of Wilkes-Barre to the Calder Cup finals in the 2007-08 season.

Catch him if you can, Matt Carle.

He made his NHL debut with the Pens in February 2009 and made his first goal after being on the ice for only two minutes! But a month later, he was sent to the Wheeling Nailers (the Pens’ ECHL affiliate) for what was deemed “a violation of team rules” (naughty boy, what did you do). The next season, he was called up from Wilkes-Barre to fill the gap left by an injured Chris Kunitz.

Two months later, he was traded to the Maple Leafs and headed back home, where he scored his first goal against the Boston Bruins in front of 40 friends and family members! This past season, he was sent to the Toronto Marlies but was called up to the Leafs.

And now, he’s been signed to a one year two-way contract for the next season. Whether he plays for the AHL or the NHL, Luca will be playing for a hometown crowd!

Fun facts: Like many NHL players, Luca has a presence on Twitter (yep, we both follow him). He also has a rap song in his honor, and it has to be one of the most addictive little songs out there. We think you’d have to agree that his name is the greatest name in hockey.

How do you say "Congratulations on your face" in Italian?


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