The Windsor Spitfires put forth another well-rounded season with commendable performances from an accomplished leadership group.
Now, they say goodbye to OHL graduates Luke Boka, Cole Purboo, and Thomas Stevenson.
Luke Boka (Windsor – 2015-2020)
Luke Boka’s time on the team and surpassed that of any other player to ever don the Spitfires jersey. The 20-year-old product of Plymouth, Mich. set a new franchise record when he played in his 307th match in late February, surpassing the tally previously set by John Scott Dickson (2000-05). Boka won a Memorial Cup championship with the squad in 2017 and totaled 313 regular season appearances spanning his five-year OHL career over which he amassed 140 points (60-80—140). His growth and work ethic earned him the captaincy ahead of his fourth season and following the conclusion of his overage year, he was voted the Western Conference’s Best Shot Blocker for the third year in a row. Boka was Windsor’s fifth round pick at the 2015 OHL Priority Selection, and while he earned bouts of NHL experience with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes training camps, he skates away from the league a free agent.
Cole Purboo (Windsor 2016-2020)
Oakville, Ont. native Cole Purboo emerged a Memorial Cup champion in his rookie season and grew into a valuable piece of the Spitfires roster for four straight seasons, posting a total of 165 points (81-84—165) in 263 games. The 6-foot-3 winger put forth a career high 29 goals and 55 points in his third year with the squad, and rounded out his overage season with 44 points (20-24–44). He was picked up in the ninth round of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection and spent a year with the OJHL’s Toronto Patriots before suiting up for the Spits in 2016. Purboo also graduates as a free agent, having participated in the 2019 NHL Prospects Tournament with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Thomas Stevenson (Windsor 2017-2020)
A two-way defender with good puck moving skills, Thomas Stevenson brought another element of leadership to the Spitfires’ blueline. After seasons with the Cumberland Grads and the Ottawa Jr. Senators, the Orleans, Ont. native signed with the Spitfires ahead of the 2017-2018 season and went on to total 32 points (7-25—32) over 178 matchups. He, too, skates away as a free agent and was a 10th round pick of the Spitfires at the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.
The Spitfires sport five 2000-born skaters in Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Tyler Angle, Chris Playfair, Dallas Stars pick Curtis Douglas, Joseph Rupoli, and Vegas Golden Knights prospect Connor Corcoran.
The 2019-20 OHL season came to a sudden end on Thursday, March 12th, with play suspended and the remainder of the playing season cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, many of the League’s overage and graduating players never had the chance to enjoy a proper send-off from their home fans. The 2020 Graduating Class series takes a look at the OHL tenure of each team’s overage players while also recognizing other potential graduates.