Former state, national championship hockey player makes progress

Saugu native Mike Vecchione has been playing professional hockey since April 2017 after leading Union College as captain of the Division 1 NCAA Championship. But after staying in Philadelphia, St. The Louis and Colorado organizations have Vecchione opened his eyes to the powers that be with the Washington Capitals while he has played for their top minor league affiliation in Hershey.

Saugus native Mike Vecchione, who was shown skating for the AHL's Hershey Bears, was called up to the Washington Capitals, the Bears' NHL parent club on Tuesday, March 15 to fill in for Lars Eller, who was out with COVID.  Five days later, Eller returned, sending Vecchione back to Hershey.  But the Capitals have been impressed with his game this season, and they told him so, giving the former high school and college hockey state and national champion hope that he will return to NHL games soon.

Vecchione is in second place in the offense for Hershey this season with 36 points (12 goals, 24 assists – team leader in assists). The 5-10, 193-pound striker is just four points left compared to tying his AHL career high in points in one season (2017-18: 40 points).

The Caps acknowledged his explosiveness, and called him up two weeks ago to replace Lars Eller, who was out after being diagnosed with COVID. Vecchione knew it would be a short stay at the big club until Eller cleared the minutes. But he liked what Caps coach Peter Laviolette had to say to him before being sent down after only about five days at the parent club. It gave him hope that he could return soon.

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