The Penticton Vees had more recruiting news late this afternoon, as the team announced 18 year-old Matt Serratore has committed to the team for this upcoming season. Serratore just finished his senior season of high school hockey in his hometown of Bemidji, Minnesota.
Serratore was at the Vees Spring Camp over the May Long Weekend and did impress. What caught my eye and what the scouting and coaching staff reiterated, was his tenacious attitude on the ice; relentless work ethic. Every time I watched him during the camp, he was always moving his feet but more importantly was always in the right spot. He has good foot speed and that was evident on the fore-check but what was the most impressive was his hockey IQ. Like I said, he always knew where to go or where the puck was going to end up. He was a problem for defenders as he was always hunting down the puck.
He’s not just a meat & potatoes type of player, as he did lead the Bemidji Lumberjacks in scoring with 21 goals and 31 points in 25 games in his senior season of varsity hockey. In 80 regular season games in his varsity career, Serratore had over 40 goals and 90 points. I was reading a few articles on the Vees recruit, some dated but one thing that was common: hockey sense. I will come back to it but he himself was quoted in an interview as saying his opportunities come from where he puts himself; thinking instead of just reacting. I’m not saying he’s stepping in to be a 35-40 goal scorer, but looks to be a guy with lots of offensive potential. I can see him working on a checking/energy line, and get some work in on the penalty-kill as he gets acclimatized to the BCHL. Teams need “role” players to be successful, as you usually can’t build teams just on goal-scorers. Now I’m not labeling him as an energy guy for his entire tenure but maybe it’s a launching pad in his BCHL career.
Good hockey blood lines too with Serratore, as his dad Tom is the Head Coach of Bemidji State University in the WCHA and his Uncle Frank is the bench boss at Air Force; both NCAA Division l programs.It certainly doesn’t hurt to have your Dad and Uncle as NCAA Head Coaches; two people that can lend some helpful advice. I look forward to seeing his high-energy game in a Vees sweater in the fall.