At Look At: Vipers’ Defenseman Nathan Veres – by C. Scott Holland

One of the most difficult aspects of being a hockey player is being injured. Especially if the injury is a serious one and takes an exceptional amount of time to overcome.

Such is the case for LaSalle Vipers’ defenseman and captain Nathan Veres.

The 20 year-old is in his fourth season with the Vipers and suffered an injury in only the second game of the 2015/16 season – he has been sidelined ever since.

For the gifted Windsor resident, who is studying environmental engineering at the University of Windsor, working to get back in the lineup on top of his studies is a matter of “good time management and a little bit of will power.”

The 5’10” defenseman has shown his skills throughout his GOJHL career and is among the leaders for current defensemen in career games played (144) and assists (46).

He says, “Doug Gilmour is my NHL role model. He’s tough and a hard-working player.”

Among his favourite places to play hockey, besides LaSalle’s Vollmer Complex, he cites Sarnia’s Brock Street Barn. “I love the physicality in the smaller rinks and they always have a good crowd.”

One of the top highlights in his hockey career was “making it to the Sutherland Cup finals (against Caledonia) last season.” Not only did Nathan enjoy that experience but his playoff stats reflected just how well he played in the playoffs.

With his vast amount of experience, he was expected to be a big part of the Vipers’ drive this season but even without him, the Vipers have managed to stay close to the top as they sit in fifth place (at this writing) and only six points out of second. Hopefully he is cleared to resume action because he feels he brings “a hard-working attitude plus solid leadership to the team” and while he hasn’t been able to contribute greatly on the ice, his leadership off the ice has had an impact.

As for improvements, the 170 lbs. Windsor Jr. Spitfires AAA grad says, “My puck handling and offensiveness. Both are things I’m currently working on.”

Even Veres’ attitude towards life is well-groomed. During the next decadeS he says, “I want to make the world a better place by working hard and having fun along the way.”

Once the Vipers have Veres back in the lineup, the world of GOJHL hockey will certainly be much better – and who knows maybe he can steer the Vipers towards another Sutherland Cup appearance.

(photo credit – Nick Brancaccio, The Windsor Star.  Nathan in Sutherland Cup action vs the Elmira Sugar Kings.)

Scott Holland is an accomplished author, a former Western Jr. B Hockey League statistician and is recognized as the West Conference’s and GOJHL’s historian. A lifelong resident of Leamington Scott was a journalist for the now defunct Leamington Post for 26 years and currently writes for the Southpoint Sun. Among the books he has authored are: 75 Years: A History of the Leamington and Erie Shores Golf Course; A Century In The Making – History of Heinz Canada 1909-2009; Leamington Flyers 1992/93-2011/12 Platinum Anniversary Special Program; the Western Jr. B Record Book 2003/04 and 2005/05 editions; as well as updates of both the West Conference and GOJHL Record Books. He was been a member of he Leamington Jr. Flyers hockey club for the last 27 years and served many years as a board member, statistician, press box announcer, and scorekeeper among other duties. He has been named the West Conference Volunteer of Year and a Windsor-Essex Sportsperson of Year award. He resides in Leamington with his wife Susan. He can be reached at cttocsh1@yahoo.ca

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