Hip injuries lead to Blues goalie Luke Opilka's retirement
ST. LOUIS – A hip condition has forced goaltender Luke Opilka, a local product in the St. Louis Blues organization, to retire from professional hockey, the team announced Monday.
Opilka, a fifth-round draft pick by the Blues in 2015, was diagnosed with hip dysplasia while playing for Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League. Opilka has had two major hip surgeries – one on each hip – over the past two seasons. He is now recovering from the second of those operations.
“I want to thank the St. Louis Blues, my hometown team, for drafting me and giving me an opportunity to pursue my dream,” said Opilka, who grew up in Effingham, Illinois, and played for the St. Louis AAA Blues. “Unfortunately, my career ended sooner than I hoped, but I’m excited to continue my education and begin a new chapter in my life.”
Opilka, 21, played two seasons with the U.S. National Development Team in the United States Hockey League before being drafted and joining Kitchener in 2015. He posted a 40-24-6 record in 75 games with the Rangers.