“For me to play in the World Championship, one of the highest levels with USA Hockey, it’s obviously a dream come true and it was a great experience for me coming off my first year as a pro and playing with a lot of good guys,” Vatrano said. “USA Hockey is awesome and I love the way they compete for a gold medal in every tournament they’re in.”
Vatrano said it was difficult to move away from his family and friends at a young age, but he learned the defensive side of the game with the NTDP. Growing up, Vatrano had a goal-scoring niche, but he had to carve out his own path, surrounded by goal-scorers with the NTDP. That has helped him find his way with the Panthers.
“I learned that you had to adapt to different roles,” Vatrano said. “Every player on that team was the best coming out, so you had to find a role that you’re good at and when I was there, I did that. If I wasn’t scoring goals or around the puck I had to make sure I was being physical and good defensively, and that’s something I still take in the NHL.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.