Vinny Saponari
Image: Boston Univ.

Vinny Saponari


Powder Springs Georgia

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4th round (94th overall), 2008


179 lbs.

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2005-06: Vinny Saponari, attended Culver Military Academy in Indiana and led all scorers with 16 goals with 37 assists .

2006-07: Saponari spent the season in Ann Arbor at the USNTDP where he was a member of the U-17 squad and also competed for Team USA at the WJC Under-18 tournament. In 39 games with the U-17 he finished with 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) and 33 PIM. In seven games for Team USA at the U-18 WJC tournament, he scored 2 goals with 2 assists.

2007-08: Saponari played in 49 games for the U-18 team, finishing with 13 goals and 20 assists. At the U-18 WJC tournament in Russia, he had three assists in seven games and also got into a tussle with Russia's Andrey Loktionov. Saponari was rated 135th among North American skaters by Central Scouting heading into the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Saponari also decided to follow older brother Victor to Boston University.

2008-09: Saponari made a significant impact as a freshman for the Terriers, appearing in 44 games and scoring 8 goals with 9 assists.Led by sophomores Colin Wilson and Nick Bonino, the Terriers finished 35-6-4 and defeated Miami, 4-3 in overtime to win the national championship.

2009-10: Statistically, Saponari had a strong sophomore season. Despite a mid-season slump, he seemed to thrive playing with top forwards Bonino and sophomore Chris Connolly, scoring 12 goals with 18 assists and getting increased ice time. The season team-wise was a disappointment for the Terriers as they barely topped the .500 mark and failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament. In May, both Vinny and Victor were dismissed from the Terriers by BU Coach Jack Parker for what he described in a press release as "cumulative instances in which (they) have displayed conduct unbecoming of a Boston University hockey player".

2010-11: Making the most of his enforced sabbatical from the NCAA, Saponari had a productive season in the USHL with the Dubuque Fighting Saints.  Playing on the top line with USHL top scorer John Gaudreau, Saponari laid out 46 assists in 56 games and tallied 18 goals of his own.

2011-12: Saponari returned to Hockey East after a year in the USHL, skating for Northeastern University as a junior. He was the Huskies' fourth-leading scorer, finishing with 7 goals and 16 assists in 34 games, and was plus-four with 14 penalty minutes. Northeastern tied Massachusetts-Amherst for eighth place in Hockey East with 22 points but lost out on the last playoff spot due to tie-breaker criteria.

2012-13: Saponari made his pro hockey debut with Winnipeg AHL affiliate St. John's following his senior season at Northeastern. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and had an even plus/minus in seven games. The IceCaps missed the AHL playoffs after finishing last in the Atlantic Division. In 34 games for Northeastern he was the Huskies second-leading scorer, finishing with 7 goals and a team-high 22 assists and was -10 with 24 penalty minutes. Northeastern finished last in Hockey East. Saponari was not tendered a contract by the Jets by the August 2013 deadline; becoming an unrestricted free agent.


Talent Analysis

Saponari has demonstrated creativity with the puck, good scoring ability, and the desire to continue to improve. He has adequate skating speed. Consistency in terms of productivity is a question mark and the situation at BU would appear to raise some character issues. The Thrashers appear to be standing by him for at least the near future.



Saponari took part in the Nashville Predators 2013 rookie camp, and is no longer a part of the Winnipeg Jets organization.




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