Tommy Vannelli

Darren Walker

Vannelli is a strong skating defender who while raw has some strong potential. He’s an effortless skater who just hovers around the ice. His explosion and acceleration have a different sound when he really digs in; the sound of his skates on the ice has a more powerful sound than his peers. He seamlessly inserts himself into the transition game and in the rush, though he cheats a bit on his positioning, presumably because he knows he has the ability to recover, typically with an active stick and is very adept at the poke check. Vannelli has a really high IQ — picks up blown coverage and reads the play well. His skating and his reach make him a very difficult player to beat defensively. He doesn’t have the heaviest of point shots, but keeps his wrist shots low and on net and has shown some velocity a few times stepped into a slap shot. He makes crisp passes and has a natural intuition of what to do on the ice. Incredible puck mover; can grab the puck in behind his net, make three strides and hit the open man with a crisp pass. He has a ‘wind him up and watch him go’ quality to his game. He has little to no edge to his game. He plays with this great sort of natural intuition, but there are moments when it’s clear he needs coaching up and he suffers through bouts of lackadaisical play. (May 2013)