Although he grew up in Terrace, moving to Kamloops was like coming home for Luke Gordon.
The Kamloops Storm winger followed his family to Kamloops this summer, his family having made the move from Terrace in the summer of 2012. Gordon had spent the previous two seasons in the B.C. Hockey League, where he split time between the Nanaimo Clippers and the Cowichan Valley Capitals. He had originally planned to head back to Duncan to join the Capitals for his third year of junior A eligibility but, at the end of the summer, he had a change of heart.
Instead, he chose to make the move to the junior B KIJHL and become a part of the Kamloops Storm.
"I haven't lived at home for the last four years," Gordon said following the Storm's practice on Thursday. "I kind of wanted to stay home, go to school . . . I knew (the Storm) were going to have a good team here so, to come here and win would be real nice."
The 6-foot-1 Gordon had 42 points, including 23 goals, in 101 games in the BCHL. He has only played two regular-season games for the Storm (2-0-0) but has two points, including the overtime winner in Saturday's 3-2 victory against the Sicamous Eagles.
The season is young, but head coach Ed Patterson has been impressed by what Gordon has brought to the team.
"He's obviously one of our top forwards," he said. "He plays hard, he's a leader, he's got great work ethic, good hands . . . he's pretty much a coach's dream at this level."
Storm will hit the road for three games in three nights this weekend. It is scheduled to play the Posse in Princeton tonight, before playing the host Osoyoos Coyotes on Saturday and the Kelowna Chiefs on Sunday.
Patterson described Gordon as the type of player who pushes those around him to be better. The head coach of the Storm believes that a full season playing and practising with Gordon will improve everyone on the team.
It's that sort of leadership, both on the ice and in the dressing room, that makes him captain material, despite being new to the team and the KIJHL. The Storm hasn't selected its leadership group yet but it's hard to imagine Gordon won't be named one of the team's captains.
"We're waiting to make our mind up on all the letters after these three road games, to see how the boys play, but he's definitely in the mix," Patterson said. "I would be shocked if he doesn't wear one."
In his time away from the rink, Gordon will be studying business at Thompson Rivers University. Despite his commitment to the university and his academics, he said playing for the WolfPack wasn't something he ever really considered. His good friend Austin Braid, another Terrace native, has played for the Storm the past two seasons and sold him on the junior B squad.
There's also the possibility he could one day play with his 16-year-old brother, Keaton. Keaton tried out for the Storm this season but elected to join the Thompson Blazers of the B.C. Major Midget League. Still, it's a possibility that the brothers may get the chance to play on the same team for the first time, here in Kamloops.
Luke said the opportunity to play with Keaton would be "unbelievable", but he isn't looking that far ahead yet. He's simply focused on helping the Storm and brining a KIJHL championship to Kamloops.
"Right now I'm enjoying the game and that's all that matters, really, as long as you're having fun playing hockey," he said. "My motives haven't changed at all, I still want to win."