Gopher Hockey: Louie Nanne decommits from Minnesota, citing pressures associated with the family name

The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers lost hockey recruit Louie Nanne on Saturday. Louie, The grandson of Minnesota hockey legend Lou Nanne, wants to carve out his own identity and play away from his family’s alma mater according to multiple posts he made on Twitter.

Three generations of the Nanne last name would have played for the Gophers if Louie had joined his grandfather and his father, Marty, as members of the Maroon and Gold.

His grandfather Lou is a member of both the International and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and was the longtime general manager and coach of the old Minnesota North Stars. His father Marty was also drafted in the NHL by the Chicago Blackhawks before playing three seasons with the Gophers in the mid-1980s.

Louie was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the seventh round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

The 19-year old decided to forgo his final season of high school hockey with the Edina Hornets last year to play with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League.

“I loved getting away [because] I felt I didn’t have to play up to anything besides my potential,” said Nanne to Jason Gonzalez of the Star Tribune. “High school was hard for me [because] I felt like I had to live up to the name. When I got to Canada, I could play without the ‘filling in those shoes’ dilemma.”

Nanne will play in the USHL this winter with the Sioux Falls Stampede after he recovers from double shoulder surgery he had performed over the summer. At some point in the recovery process, it is expected that he will decide where he will play college hockey. Several D-I schools showed interest in Nanne before his Minnesota commitment, including Boston College and Harvard.

“I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I didn’t say [negative comments] hindered my confidence,” Nanne said. The same platform in which he made his decommitment public, helped lead to his decision to play elsewhere. Comments on Twitter and other social media sites brought Nanne’s confidence level down and it will force him to regain his confidence elsewhere.

“The U claimed they took me because of my hockey ability and not my name, so if that’s true then I will be playing college hockey somewhere else down the road,” he said on Twitter. Wherever that may be, hopefully he gets the opportunity to let the college hockey world see his hockey ability and not the name on the back of his sweater.

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