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Getting to Know Nico Sacchetti

by Staff Writer / Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars had to wait until the 50th pick in last weekend's NHL Entry Draft in Columbus to make their first selection, but the club was thrilled to have the opportunity to draft center Nico Sacchetti of Virginia, Minnesota.

A 5-11, 189-pounder, Sacchetti collected 38 goals and 52 assists for 90 points in 25 games for Virginia-Mountain Iron-Buhl High School, and was ranked by the Central Scouting Service as the No. 56 North American skater for the 2007 Draft.

Central Scouting described Sacchetti as: "a skilled forward that sees the ice well and plays with grit, good puck skills and a nose for the net." He was a high school teammate of Matt Niskanen, Dallas' first round pick (No. 28 overall) in the 2005 Entry Draft, and has already committed to the University of Minnesota for the 2008 season.

"We only got to play together one year (in high school), but I have some really special memories from that season," Niskanen told Minnesota's Mesabi Daily News about the 2004-05 season where the duo helped lead their club to the state tournament. "If things work out, hopefully we'll be in the same lineup again someday. Good for him, he really deserves it."

Sacchetti, who doesn't turn 18 until August 21, will spend the 2007-08 season with the Omaha Lancers in the United States Hockey League in preparation for his college career with the Gophers. He will participate in the Dallas Stars' 2007 Summer Development Camp for draft picks and top prospects the end of July in Frisco. visited with Sacchetti to discuss his emotions on being drafted by Dallas, his style of play, and his future as an Omaha Lancer, a Minnesota Golden Gopher and hopefully a Dallas Star. What are your emotions now that a week has passed since you were selcted by Dallas in the Entry Draft?

Sacchetti: "It still hasn't really sunken in yet that I was drafted by the Stars. It's sort of been a whirlwind couple of days and I'm still just really excited. I know that this is a major step in my career, but I also know that it's just the beginning and I have a lot more hard work ahead of me so that I can reach my ultimate goals. I'm really glad that Dallas was the team that selected me and I'm anxious to show them they made a good decision."

Brett Hull, Nico Sacchetti and Doug Armstrong What was it like to slip on the Dallas sweater for the first time, and then meet Doug Armstrong, Brett Hull and the Stars' front office staff at the draft table?

Sacchetti: "It was an experience above and beyond anything I could have expected, so you can't really prepare yourself for something like that. I was trying to meet all the scouts and I was so excited, so it all happened kind of fast. Meeting Brett Hull was a really good treat and then going to meet my family in the Stars jersey was something I won't forget." What did Matt Niskanen tell you about the Dallas Stars organization leading up to the draft?

Sacchetti: "Matt told me quite a bit about the organization in terms of the people that he has dealt with. He said everything is done in a first-class manner and they take good care of their players. Some teams treat you like a piece of meat, but Matt has told me that he's always well looked-after and everything he could ask for has been provided. It's a dream come true for two kids from the same high school to be drafted by the same team, so hopefully we'll be teammates again in the near future." How did you reach your decision to commit to the University of Minnesota?

Sacchetti: "I was being recruited by just about all of the teams in the WCHA, but I just felt like Minnesota was the best place for me. Growing up in the state of Minnesota, there has always been a mystique about the Gophers and they obviously have an outstanding program with a long track record of success of winning and developing players. I'm looking forward to being a part of it." What kind of experience are you expecting with the Omaha Lancers in the USHL next season?

Sacchetti: "Playing for Omaha next season will be a big step up from high school, and a good transition to make the jump to college the year after. That will keep my progression going in stride -- high school to juniors to college -- so I'm excited about it. Hopefully I'll have a solid year of preparation so I can contribute right away at Minnesota." How would describe your style of play and to whom in the NHL would you compare your game?

Sacchetti: "I think I'm more of a Scott Gomez type of player. My game is really based on intelligence, vision and passing. I'm versatile and can score goals, but I know I need to work on my defensive game, which is another reason I'm going to Omaha this season. I know they require their forwards to be solid defensively, so I'm going to improve in that area." What will your summer plans be leading up to the Stars' development camp in July?

Sacchetti: "I've been working out hard since our season ended and I'll continue that up until the development camp in Dallas. I'll come home for a couple weeks after that and then report to Omaha the end of August, so I'm going to be working hard throughout the summer to get myself into top shape."

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