UPDATED — Vees rookie has learned retired NHL father

Ty Amonte learned a lot about hockey from his dad Tony, who played in the NHL and amassed 900 points.

Ty Amonte credits his father Tony for shaping him into the player he is now.

“He’s been there every step. This is the first year I can remember that I haven’t played for him,” said Ty, adding his father is his top mentor. “He’s always been my coach. He’s always been the hand that’s guided me.”

Like his father, Ty played at Thayer Academy in Braintree, Mass. Ty will also follow in his father’s footsteps playing at Boston University next fall. After college, Tony amassed 416 goals and 900 points in 1,174 games with NHL teams. Ty said his decision to go to BU has nothing to do with his father, but the program being the perfect fit for him.

Amonte senior had many bits of advice to pass along to his son.

“The way to play the game the right way,” said Ty. “I think just having him as a guide in being able to know how to play the game the right way as some of the pros do and playing the right systems and be getting the opportunity to score.”

In his senior season with the Tigers, Ty put up 17 goals and 70 points in 30 games, which helped him earn the Boston Bruins’ John Carlton Memorial Trophy as the top male high school player in eastern Massachusetts.

Ty’s favourite memory with his father is skating together during the summer. They would hit the ice two to three times a week.

“He would always just come up with these little drills,” said Ty. “Little things to get me better. Being able to shoot while keeping your feet moving.”

His father’s favorite memory was watching him play for the South Shore Kings Tier 3 junior A hockey in the U.S. Premier Hockey League. He played with several players moving on to Division 1 in the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

“Seeing him was pretty special. They won the league championship every year they were together,” said Tony. “Winning just seemed to follow him around.”

Ty, who will wear No. 12 with the Vees, was born while his dad starred for the Blackhawks and got to experience the NHL environment during his two-year Flames tenure.

“It was really fun. Meeting the guys, going into the locker room. Meeting Dion Phaneuf,  (Mikka) Kiprusoff, seeing what they are like,” said Ty, who has seen replays of his dad in action for U.S.A. in the World Cup. “How they operate. Where hockey is their life. It’s just a really fun experience to see how they do it. So you can model what you are doing. Get a better example of what you want to be. I want to be the stand up guy like my dad was both on and off the ice. Be able to produce on the ice for the fans and everyone. Be a good role model to younger kids.”

Ty is determined to create offence and make plays, finding open teammates. He thrives on playing with pace and making plays off the rush.  Playing a different style from his father.

“He’s pretty unselfish. Whereas, I always wanted the puck on my stick. Wanted to be the shooter at all times,” said Tony. “He’s really not that kind of kid. He’s great with his teammates. Loves to set guys up. I think he’s probably a lot better skater than I was too at that age.”

Tony has shown him the best way to play and Ty said he’s become a great player because of it. Tony said he hopes he’s made his son into a well-rounded player.

“A kid that can go out and play in any situation. Someone that can definitely help out offensively,” he said. “I kind of prided myself on Ty being a player that you can rely on.”

The style of play Amonte likes was a factor in coming to the Vees. He also said playing in the BCHL is better suited to him compared to the United States Hockey League, which he said is a bigger, stronger, physical league. That side of the game he can handle. The five-foot-11, 175-pounder said he needs to work on his offensive side and develop a finesse game. He wants to improve his ability to move the puck and line up with skilled players.

Amonte brings winning experience to the Vees as he helped his high school win the New England championship, which had not been done since his father played there in the late 1980s.

“It was a fun experience,” said Ty. “It was just really awesome the fact we finally get there and just get it done.”

Vees notes: The season ticket pickup party is set for Sept.28 at the South Okanagan Events Centre Plaza from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., presented by IGA Penticton and Boyd Autobody. Along with picking up their tickets, fans get the chance to talk with the players. Fans unable to attend will be able to pick up their tickets at the SOEC Box Office the following day, Sept. 29, after 10 a.m. Contact the box office (250-276-2144) or the Vees office (250-493-8337), if you have any questions. Single game tickets are also on sale, adults are $13, seniors $11 and students and children (18 and under) are free courtesy of Peter’s Bros. Construction*. The Vees home opener is Oct. 1 against the Trail Smoke Eaters. *Student and children pricing are not applicable for premium seating at the SOEC.

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