Mike Vecchione was a teammate of Shayne Gostisbehere when they both won the Frozen Four, in Philly, back in 2014. It was the school’s first championship and Vecchione was a freshman. Getting invited to Flyers camp can help him get signed as a free-agent over next summer.
“It was a real learning experience on how to be a pro. It was a lot of fun overall, I took a lot out of it,” said Vecchione. “The little things are going to make me better.”
The Massachusetts native looks like a bottom-six NHLer if he can get a little bit better. He has the overall game and the mentality to play that kind of role.
“I think anywhere. Hexy is a 200-foot guy. Same back at home, Union, Rick Bennett, they believe your offense comes from your defense. For me to be a center I have to be responsible in the d-zone,” Vecchione stated.
In 2014-15 he had 19 goals. That dipped to 9 last season. This year he’s looking for some improvement. He still won the team’s MVP award (29 points in 34 games) showing that the team’s scoring was down as a whole.
“A lot of goals I score and a lot of the points I get are a direct result of strong defense. I just try and apply that to my games at all times and it’s been working out pretty well for me.”
This center is a plus player. He’s a very coachable player.
“If somebody comes up the ice and try to dangle me I’m going to stay square. I’ll try and get a turnover and head the other way with it. You have to be opportunistic in the chances you get. That’s the kind of game I play,” he divulged. “I sit back a little bit and let them come to me.”
At 5-10, 195 pounds he has a pro body.
“I’m going to take this information and apply this to my training regimen and next year at Union,” he added. “I’m a small but stocky guy. I have to be strong on my skates to handle the bigger guys. To play in the NCAA game you’re playing against top competition. With just the weekend games I think it’s helped me develop a lot in the last three years. That’s another reason why I’m going back to my fourth.”
Next year I think a few more teams besides the Philadelphia Flyers will be looking to sign him to an ELC. There’s a lot of time between now and then but you have to like this players’ determination and loyalty to the program.
photo by Drew King