ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has signed defenseman Thomas Vannelli to an entry-level contract.
Vannelli, 19, has dressed in 59 games for the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Medicine Hat Tigers this season, posting 41 points (14 goals, 27 assists) and 34 penalty minutes, while ranking second on the club with nine power-play goals.
Last season, the 6-foot-2, 165-pound defenseman recorded two points (one goal, one assist) and four penalty minutes in 11 games with the U.S. National Development Team of the United States Hockey League (USHL).
The Minnetonka, Minnesota native was originally drafted by the Blues in the second round, 47th overall, of the 2013 NHL Draft.
Because Vanelli was drafted out of the US, it is possible that he plays in the AHL next year. (even though next year he is only 19)
The Blues have a lot of defensive depth in their minor league system so he could still very well return to the Tigers next year.