Minnetonka forward Vinni Lettieri, grandson of local hockey figure Lou Nanne, will forgo his senior year and play hockey next season for the Lincoln Stars in the U.S. Hockey League, Minnetonka coach Brian Urick confirmed Tuesday.
Lettieri, who has committed to attend the University of Minnesota, led the Skippers with 60 points last season, scoring 23 goals and adding 37 assists. He recently was named to the Under-18 U.S. National hockey team that will play in the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in August.
Lettieri, son of the former Kicks and Strikers soccer goalie Tino, joins at least seven other top hockey players in the state who have made similar decisions recently to leave their high school teams to play elsewhere next season.
Those seven are Blaine defenseman and future Gopher Michael Brodzinski, Hill-Murray defenseman and Minnesota Duluth recruit Blake Heinrich, Fergus Falls forward Jake Ahlgren, defenseman Jordan Gross of Maple Grove, forward Jake Guentzel of Hill-Murray, forward Connor Valesano of Duluth East and forward John Wiitala of Lakeville South.