Tommy Vannelli
Image: Chapin Landvogt/HF

Tommy Vannelli

Hometown:

Minnetonka Minnesota

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1995-01-26

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2013

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2013

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

2nd round (47th overall), 2013

Weight:

180 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream
History

2009-10: Tommy Vannelli played in 27 games as a ninth grader at Holy Family Catholic High School in Minnesota. He scored 2 goals with 8 assists and had 16 penalty minutes.

2010-11: Vannelli skated for the junior varsity team at Minnetonka High School after transferring from Holy Family Catholic for his sophomore year.

2011-12: Vannelli was the leading scorer amongst defensemen for Minnetonka as a junior and open the eyes of scouts with his play at the USA Hockey Select 17 Festival in June. He scored 7 goals with 18 assists in 28 games and was plus-21 with 8 penalty minutes. The Skippers finished first in the Lake Conference and reached the Section 6AA championship game against eventual AA state champion Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Vannelli was selected by the Tri-City Storm in the 16th round (230th overall) of the 2012 USHL Entry Draft.

2012-13: Vannelli skated for the USA in the 2012 U18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament in August and played for Team Northwest in the Upper Midwest Elite League before returning to Minnetonka for his senior season. Vannelli was the only player not in the National Team Development Program to skate for the USA at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship. He scored 10 goals with 25 assists in 27 high school games for the Skippers and was plus-23 with 14 penalty minutes. Minnetonka lost in the Section 6AA semifinals. Vannelli skated in 11 USHL games with the NTDP team and was plus-7 with 1 goal and 1 assist. He scored 2 goals with 1 assist and was an even plus/minus in seven games at the WJC tournament in Sochi as the USA won a bronze medal. In December he committed to playing college hockey at the University of Minnesota. Vannelli was ranked 44th in the Central Scouting  final rankings (after being 77th in mid-season) and was selected by St. Louis in the second round (47th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.
 
 2013-14: Vannelli joined the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers at the end of September rather than playing college hockey at Minnesota, In 60 regular season games with the Tigers he scored 14 goals with 27 assists and was +4 with 34 penalty minutes. Nine of his 14 goals were scored on the power play. Medicine Hat finished third in the Central Division and reached the Eastern Conference finals against eventual Memorial Cup champion Edmonton. Vannelli scored 2 goals with 6 assists and was minus-7 with 10 penalty minutes in 18 playoff games. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with St. Louis in March 2014. 

2014-15: Vannelli attended training camp with the Blues before returning to Medicine Hat for his second WHL season. One of 15 players released from USA Hockey’s Lake Placid Evaluation Camp in August, he was the third-leading scorer for the Tigers before suffering an upper-body injury in January. In 44 regular season games he scored 12 goals with 23 assists and was +19 with 52 penalty minutes. Medicine Hat finished second to Calgary in the Central Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. After returning late in the year Vannelli skated in all 10 playoff games. He had an even plus/minus with 4 assists and 2 penalty minutes. 

2015-16: Tommy Vannelli skated in seven games for St. Louis AHL affiliate Chicago in his first pro season — missing most of the year after suffering an injury. He had 1 assist and was +4 with 8 penalty minutes with the Wolves.  

 
 
Talent Analysis

Vannelli is a gifted offensive defenseman with great puck skills and passing ability. A tall player he must continue to fill into his frame and add strength to be successful in the pros. He will continue to hone his skills and become a more complete player in the WHL.

Future

Vannelli will look to get his career back on track after missing most of the 2015-16 due to injury. He skated in seven games with the AHL's Chicago Wolves before missing the rest of the season. Vannelli's offensive game and willingness to attack are the strength of his game. To do so at the professional level — and to remain healthy — he must add some strength and bulk. His skill set suggests he can be an offensive defenseman with the reach and skating ability to be adequate in his own end.

Plenty of players making a jump in St. Louis Blues Top 20 rankings

by Suraj Sukumar
on
Ivan Barbashev - St. Louis Blues

Photo: St. Louis Blues prospect Ivan Barbashev had just one point in February as part of the tough apprenticeship of becoming a pro (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

The St. Louis Blues prospect pool has seen some ups and downs over the past season but the positives have certainly made a difference for the NHL club. Robby Fabbri and Colton Parayko have been welcomed additions to the franchise and do not seem to be moving anytime soon. With their NHL careers taking off in style, both players have hit graduation, which has opened the door for other Blues prospects to move up the list. Read more»

St. Louis Blues have positions of strength on display in the minors

by Suraj Sukumar
on
Ivan Barbashev - St. Louis Blues

Photo: St. Louis Blues prospect Ivan Barbashev scored 58 goals and 119 points last season in all his QMJHL action, and has been good and reasonably prolific as a rookie pro (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

The St. Louis Blues have a plethora of talented prospects and many of them play in the AHL. While a few have received NHL opportunities over the last year, others are still finding their footing at the ripe age of 21 or 22. The goaltending prospects are incredibly talented and the defensive group looks very promising. At forward, the Blues have plenty of big names on the prospect front but will be patient with their development. Several of these young players will benefit from larger opportunities which will likely happen at the minor league level.

Read more»

St. Louis Blues have intriguing mix of prospects and projects in the system

by Suraj Sukumar
on
Austin Poganski - St. Louis Blues

Photo: Although it is early in the season, St. Louis Blues prospect Austin Poganski risks taking a step back from his impressive freshman season at the University of North Dakota (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire)

The St. Louis Blues have plenty of young talents in their pipeline and several of their prospects opened the 2015-16 campaign at the pro level. In terms of positional depth, the Blues possess a deep group of goaltenders and continue to find ways to replenish their defensive prospects. While a few positions boast high-end talent, overall depth on the wings needs to be addressed – especially after several players already made the jump to the NHL over the last few seasons.

Read more»

Numerous St. Louis Blues prospects ready to prove themselves in 2015-16

by Suraj Sukumar
on
Jake Walman - St. Louis Blues

Photo: St. Louis Blues prospect Jake Walman and the Providence College Friars may not repeat as NCAA National Champions, but individual improvement is always expected (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire)

With several players making their jumps to the AHL level, the St. Louis Blues have plenty of prospects moving forward in their hockey careers. The Chicago Wolves will be stacked with Blues prospects, many who are considered their very best, and there is a good chance a few of them will see NHL action by season’s end. Read more»

Plenty of talent showcased in St. Louis Blues Top 20 Prospects

by Suraj Sukumar
on
Robby Fabbri - St. Louis Blues

Photo: St. Louis Blues prospect Robby Fabbri was one of the OHL’s best players for most of last season (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

While the top three prospects have shifted positions over the past few seasons, the St. Louis Blues have added tremendous depth to their pipeline over the past two years. Despite a somewhat quiet outing at the 2015 Draft the team is poised to reap the benefits of its pipeline soon. 2014 first-round pick Robby Fabbri is showing signs of being an NHL-ready player while 2014 second-rounder Ivan Barbashev also looks like a future Blue. Apart from those two, the amount of goaltending talent in the system is simply phenomenal – with a good talent like Luke Opilka not even making the cut – and that could one day stabilize a position that has been a weak point in otherwise excellent teams.

Read more»

Related Articles