Testa ready for new adventure
Grimsby native and former St. Catharines Falcon Luca Testa was recently traded from the London Knights to the Hamilton Bulldogs. Photo by: OHL IMAGES.
It didn’t take Luca Testa long to discover the business side of the Ontario Hockey League.
The 16-year-old Grimsby native was the London Knights first-round selection in the 2022 Ontario Hockey League draft but after just 15 games with the Knights was dealt to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
“As a 16-year-old, you never want to get traded,” Testa said. “I was getting used to the team and becoming close to the players and the coaching staff.
“If they think this trade is going to help them improve, so be it. You live and you learn. They were a good team and they’re going to keep getting better.”
Testa, who had a goal and three points with the Knights, was traded to the rebuilding Bulldogs in a package that sent veteran forwards Ryan Winterton and Ryan Humphrey to London.
Testa has high hopes the trade will benefit him.
“I wasn’t getting a lot of ice time and I didn’t ask out or anything but Hamilton is going to develop me into a player where I can play my game and be playing a lot and hopefully go back to my normal self,” Testa said. “Not that London was bad or anything — they’re a great organization and building for a top team — but it’s an honour to see the guys they got for me and (Carson Lloyd).
“I think Hamilton is a really good fit. They’re really good to me. They’ve welcomed me really nicely and I’m excited to start the next four years in Hamilton. I’m going to take it as a compliment that they think highly of me and we’re going to run with it see where we go.”
Testa found ice time hard to come by in London as a rookie on a team loaded with talent.
“It’s hard. You’re playing in the league because you want to be here and help support the team but we were winning and I’m a team first kind of guy and whatever the team has to do to win, I’m all for it,” he said.
Testa made his Hamilton debut last week versus Peterborough and is still looking for his first point in gold and black after four games.
“(From) getting not a lot of minutes to playing 15 minutes is a lot,” he said. “I’m finally starting to get used to the pace of the game.”
The trade also has the benefit of bringing Testa closer to his Grimsby home.
“It’s been really nice being back in my hometown, a lot of family are coming to my games and a lot of friends. It makes it a lot easier on me. I get to see my family more,” he said.
Testa plans to live with a billet family closer to the rink — he doesn’t have his driver’s license yet and is hesitant to inconvenience mom and dad for constant rides.
“I could live at home but I think it’s important to get used to living on my own and it’s still 30 minutes to downtown,” he said.
Testa was the 2021-2022 Ontario Minor Hockey Association South Central AAA player of the year for the Niagara North Stars last year leading the team with 25 goals and 59 points.
He also suited up for the St. Catharines Falcons and was a key contributor in their run to a Sutherland Cup with six goals and 17 points in 18 playoff games.
Testa has fond memories of his time with the Falcons — St. Catharines captain Jonah Boria was in the stands when Testa made his Bulldogs debut last week.
“They really welcomed me,” Testa said. “I still keep in touch with every single player on that team. They were all good to me and great guys. It really helped because it’s a big physical league. The OHL is a little bit faster but there’s OHL-calibre players in junior B so that really helped me.”
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