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.
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.
Vannelli attended training camp with the Blues before being returned to Medicine Hat for his second WHL season in 2014-15. One of 15 players released from USA Hockey's Lake Placid Evaluation Camp in August when the roster was pared from 42 to 27 players, he was the third-leading goal scorer for the Central Division-leading Tigers but did not receive an invitation to USA Hockey's U20 final camp in December for the 2015 World Juniors. Vannelli's offensive game and willingness to attack cannot be questioned. To succeed at the pro level he will need to add strength and be more aware defensively. He projects to being a first-rate offensive defenseman at the NHL level with the size and skating ability to be adequate in his own end.