Another hockey player with prestigious bloodlines is likely to choose the Penticton Vees as the destination to shape his skills.
Lou Nanne, 17, is named after his grandfather, who is known for playing 635 games in the NHL all with the Minnesota North Stars and collecting 225 points. He also became the general manager of the North Stars. His grandson arrived in Penticton late Sunday and is a former teammate of current Vees rookie Steven Fogarty. Nanne is trying to decide where he will play in the fall of 2012.
After watching the Vees cruise to an easy 5-0 win against the Merritt Centennials on Tuesday, his early first impressions were good. The main factors that will help him make his decision are what will get Nanne the furthest quicker. Nanne will also base it on how the team will help his offensive game.
“They are making it pretty easy for me,” said Nanne. “At the same time, it’s the whole distance factor. I’m going to be close to home for college. It might not be a bad idea to get away for a year.”
The Edina Hornet has been impressed with the support the Vees are getting in the community as everywhere he went it was, “Go Vees Go.”
The support for the hockey team reminds Nanne of his hometown. Nanne’s grandfather grew up in Ontario and said he has always admired and respected the Canadian hockey tradition. Nanne said he even has dual citizenship “just for pride.”
“It’s all hockey up here,” said the forward, who helped the Hornets finish fifth in the Class AA Rankings.
Asked to describe himself, Nanne saw himself as a goal scorer. That is, until last summer when he made the U.S. under-18 national team. He saw his role switch to be a gritty player, who worked hard in the corners and penalty kill.
“I guess that kind of stuck with me,” said Nanne, a left winger who scored 12 goals and 20 points in 24 games. “I’m thankful for the hard work. At the same time, I have to get back to my offensive flair.”
Nanne said he will talk to his parents (father Marty played for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers) and the Golden Gophers coaching staff about where he should play.
“Mr. Don Lucia has his son (Mario) here. He’s loving it so I’m pretty sure they will be a strong advocate for it,” said Nanne, adding home has always been important to him. “I feel at home already out there.”