skip navigation

Notre Dame senior Nicholas Lemke: ‘a role model on and off the ice’

By Ross Forman, 02/16/24, 1:45PM CST


Nicholas Lemke, a senior at Notre Dame College Prep and two-year varsity player for the Dons, is a near-perfect student-athlete. The 18-year-old Chicago resident has long been a straight-A student; the last time he received a “B” was in seventh-grade.

“I pride myself on my academics (at) Notre Dame,” said Lemke, who tagged AP Biology as his best and Honors World Religions as his easiest classes. “Time management is very important. I love to play hockey, but school comes first. I always do my best to get all my work done before practices or games, so I don’t have to worry about getting work done after I get off the ice. That doesn’t work 100 percent of the time so, when necessary, I have to tough out late nights and early mornings.

“It’s easy to do well in school when you don’t have anything to do after school, but being able to balance my work with hockey is something I pride myself on.”

Lemke, who formerly played for the Skokie Flyers, is a left-handed shooting wing who primarily skates with Michael Fattore and Kyle Keane.

Lemke has been skating and playing hockey since he was 5.

“I’ve always loved the sport and always remember being happiest while playing,” he said. “I try to play a simple game. I do my best to get the puck low in the offensive zone, move it up high and provide a screen in front of the net for the defensemen to shoot.”

Notre Dame went 11-9-4, good for seventh-place in the 11-team Champions League of the IHSHL North-Central Division. The Dons ended January with wins in 4 of their last 5 games and were undefeated in 6 of their last 7 games.

“We are doing very good this season,” Lemke said before the league playoffs started, where the Dons faced No. 2 Evanston, No. 3 IceCats, No. 6 PREP, No. 10 Chicago Central and No. 11 Kings.

With the No. 19 seed in the annual state tournament, the Dons faced No. 14 Carmel on Saturday, February 17 in Vernon Hills. The winner then likely would face No. 3-ranked Glenbrook South.

“We had a lot of new players this year, so I haven’t seen as much ice time as others, but I still think I’ve played well and filled my role,” said Lemke, who tagged the team’s senior night game January 20 against the co-op Yeti as his season highlight. “We played a good game and the whole event at the rink was a great time.”

Lemke said his parents have been the biggest influences on his hockey career “because they’ve always supported me and encouraged me to work as hard as I can to become as good a player as I can.”

Lemke said one of his favorite moments this season was winning the Grinder Goblin Tournament this past October in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Dons this season also won the Chicago Blackhawks MistleToeDrag Holiday Tournament, a 7-team event that also featured Providence Catholic, Benet Academy and Hinsdale Central. Notre Dame defeated Maine Township 3-2 in the finals.

“Nick is the ultimate team player who puts the team’s success over his own,” said Notre Dame co-head coach Ryan Davlantes. “He’s a well-rounded individual who serves as a role model on and off the ice. We are lucky to have a player like this on our team.”

Lemke plans to study biology in college and then go to medical school. He is undecided on his college choice.

Slapshots With … Notre Dame College Prep forward Nicholas Lemke

Off The Ice: “I love hunting, fishing and anything else that has to do with the outdoors. Being out in the woods or on the water is something that helps me to relax and get away from the regular stresses of everyday life.”

More Sports: Is on the school’s bass fishing team. “We do what tournaments we can throughout the year.”

Helping His Hockey: “I love to work out and take care of myself. I try to work out and get enough sleep so I can continue doing well in school and play well on the ice.”

Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks

Favorite NHL Player: Duncan Keith

Favorite Sports-themed Movie: Slapshot

Favorite TV Show: The Simpsons

Favorite Pre-game Meal: Grilled chicken and rice

Favorite app: YouTube

Celebrity You’d Like To Meet: Adam Sandler

Best Hockey Tip: “Just play your game and have fun.” – Coach Bob, bantam level

Hardest Slapshot on Notre Dame: Danny Mulac

Most Accurate Shot: Griffin Delfosse

Teammate Who You Could See As A Hockey Coach: Demetri Singto

Best High School Uniform (other than Notre Dame): Saint Ignatius