While the Boston University-Boston College rivalry runs deep, the bond between brothers Alex and Luke Tuch runs deeper.
An alumnus of the United States National Team Development Program (NTDP), Luke Tuch will follow in his brother’s footsteps by beginning his NCAA journey in Boston. Unlike his brother however, Luke will spend his college hockey career on the opposite side of Commonwealth Avenue.
Alex spent two years playing for Boston College before signing a three-year, entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild in 2016. After one year in the Wild organization, primarily with AHL’s Iowa Wild, Tuch was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017.
“Alex was a great mentor for me and he still is. Throughout the season we talk about hockey quite a bit. We just talk about life in general too, but he definitely gives me some pointers and is a great mentor for me,” Luke said.
Despite his tie to the Eagles, Alex was neutral in his brother’s college selection. “[Alex] didn’t really have a preference for BC. He had a great time there, but I kind of wanted to pave my own path too. He was happy with wherever I would go,” Luke said.
Even though they are both power forwards, Luke thinks he and his brother have very different on-ice personalities. A more “in-your-face player,” Luke may have six to seven hits a game while his brother tends to have only two or three. “I think that’s always been me growing up and that’s always how I play,” said Tuch. “Maybe it’s just me being the younger brother, but Alex is obviously a great player too.”
While he gains inspiration from his brother, Tuch also models his game after Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars and Matthew Tkachuk, brother of Terrier alum Brady Tkachuk, from the Calgary Flames. Both are physical forwards “with an edge to their game and a front presence.”
With the NHL entry draft postponed due to the coronavirus, Tuch, along with many of his peers from the NTDP, has to wait to be selected by a potential future team. With the uncertainty of dates and times, Tuch is frustrated with the postponement but excited for the return of playoff hockey and the future of the draft.
Tuch’s two years in the program helped him to create a schedule and find balance with school, sleep, diet, and hockey. Waking up early, heading to school, and then practicing for five or six hours everyday fostered friendships that will last beyond the player’s time in the program. “The NTDP is unreal. It’s a grind, but it’s definitely worth it for sure.”
With eight current Terriers hailing from the NTDP, Tuch is already good friends with future teammates Alex Vlasic and Dom Fensore. Tuch has also seen some overlap with assistant captain David Farrance in upstate New York.
Tuch knew that BU was where he wanted to make his collegiate hockey debut even before his time in Plymouth. “Obviously I know that BU has a great program and that the NTDP has the best players in the country, so it was an easy choice for all of us I would say.”
In January, Tuch had the opportunity to play against his future team. After a scoreless first period, Tuch started the scoring for the U-18s with a 2-on-1 rush. “I was coming out of the winger when I shot the puck. I didn’t even look. It was kind of a blur but it was fun. Playing some of my friends and future teammates was special for sure.”
After spending time in Boston watching Alex play for the Eagles, Tuch visited BU and knew that he wanted to play in Agganis Arena. During his visit, he fell in love with the program, the facilities, and the coaching staff. Even though he visited other schools, BU was a “no-brainer.”
Another drawing point for Tuch was the history of BU hockey. With five national championships and over 80 players in the NHL, it was clear that BU knows how to “develop players and play hockey.”
As rinks begin to open in his hometown of Baldwinsville, New York, Tuch has been hitting the ice and talking with his teammates about the upcoming season. In the fall, he is “planning on bringing that scoring touch to BU and hopefully winning some national championships.”