Nicky Leivermann is joining the Penticton Vees defence for next fall. The University of Notre Dame commit is ranked 119th among North American Skaters by Central Scouting. Submitted photo

Vees add piece to blueline

University of Notre Dame commit to join Penticton Vees next fall

The Penticton Vees have added another key piece to their blueline for 2017-18.

The club announced on Tuesday that U.S. defenceman Nicky Leivermann will join their defence core. Leivermann is ranked 119th among North American Skaters by Central Scouting for the upcoming NHL Draft.

“We’re thrilled that Nicky has chosen to further his hockey development here in Penticton. Nicky continues the long list of Minnesota players who’ve helped create a winning culture within our organization,” said Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson in a team statement. “Once again, our defence core should play a significant role in our quest to win another championship.”

Leivermann, who will turn 19 on Sept. 14 is from Eden Prairie, Minn. He captained the Eden Prairie High School team where he notched 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 points in 21 games. He also suited up in eight games for the Bloomington Thunder of the U.S. Hockey League to close out the season.

Leivermann, who is committed to the University of Notre Dame for the 2018-2019 season, was a finalist for the 33rd annual Mr. Hockey award in Minnesota. The award is given to the most outstanding senior high school boys player.

Leivermann said the history and the organization was tough to turn down.

“I’m excited to come to Penticton because of the style of play, the coaching staff, and just how professional the entire organization is,” he said. “I can’t wait to get up there and get started.”

Leivermann and the rest of the Vees will report to Penticton for mid-August for the start of main camp.