The Hershey Bears announced today that the club has signed defenseman Tyler Nanne to an American Hockey League contract for the 2020-21 season. The signing was originally announced by Nanne’s agent, Neil Sheehy, back on March 17.
Congratulations to client, Tyler Nanne, this year’s University of Minnesota’s Golden Gopher hockey captain, for signing a contract to play for the Washington Capitals AHL team , the Hershey Bears for the 2020-21 season.
— I-C-E Hockey Agency (@ICEHockeyAgent) March 17, 2020
FROM BEARS PRESS RELEASE
Nanne, 24, completed his collegiate career at the University of Minnesota, serving as the captain of the Gophers in 2019-20 during his senior year. The native of Edina, Minnesota posted career-bests with 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 35 games this past season. He led the club with 68 blocked shots, and finished with a +7 rating. He was named the recipient of Minnesota’s Elwin “Doc” Romnes Leadership & Sportsmanship Award. In three years at the University of Minnesota, Nanne played in 110 games, tallying 37 points (13 goals, 24 assists).
Nanne was the first third-generation Gopher in program history. His father, Marty, played for the Gophers, and his grandfather, Lou, is a former Gopher All-American, as well as a former player, coach, and general manager of the Minnesota North Stars. Additionally, Tyler Nanne is the cousin of Gophers alum Vinni Lettieri, who currently plays for the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack.
Nanne was selected in the 5th Round, 142nd overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers. Prior to his time with Minnesota, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound defender played USHL games with the Lincoln Stars, Sioux Falls Stampede, and Madison Capitols. He won a pair of Class AA Minnesota State Championships with Edina High School in 2013 and 2014, serving as team captain of the Hornets.
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Though his rights will still technically be owned by the Rangers until the middle of August, it appears as though he will not be signing an entry-level deal with them. Instead, he’ll try to show he has what it takes to compete at the AHL level first. Nanne is already 24, but just getting to this level is impressive after such a long layoff in his prime development years.
Whether he was rocking No. 2 or No. 29, Tyler Nanne always made an impact. Man will we miss those wicked wrist shots. pic.twitter.com/hn42hkMoBS
— Minnesota Men’s Hockey (@GopherHockey) March 18, 2020
Nanne first went to the USHL where he played for the Sioux Falls Stampede and Madison Capitols, before heading to Ohio State University. Even though he tried to carve his own path at another powerhouse NCAA program, Nanne wouldn’t ever actually play a single game as a Buckeye.
During the summer of 2015 Nanne would suffer multiple incidents including what he told Randy Johnson of the Star-Tribune was “essentially a heart attack” before being diagnosed with myocarditis. His season would come to an end before it even started, which led to a decision to transfer Ohio State following his freshman year. He would transfer back to the University of Minnesota.
“We were lucky because in June  he went to the Rangers camp and fainted and didn’t tell anybody,’’ Lou Nanne recalled. “They thought he was dehydrated. And then a few weeks later, he was playing golf at Spring Hill, and I saw him lying down on the practice green. I thought he wasn’t feeling good.’’
During a trip to western Wisconsin for a reunion at the family’s cabin, Tyler was staying in Amery and fainted while showering. He was rushed to the town’s hospital, which fortunately was only a couple of minutes away. “His heart [rate] was at 252, so they had to put the clappers on to save him,’’ Lou said. “I essentially had a heart attack,’’ Tyler said.
Cleared by doctors at the U of M and the Mayo Clinic, he sat out the 2016-17 season under NCAA transfer rules, then hit the ice on defense for the Gophers with three years of eligibility remaining.
Tyler’s father, Marty Nanne, also played at the University of Minnesota, and played several seasons in the IHL.
Tyler’s grandfather, Lou Nanne, played 10 seasons with the Minnesota North Stars and was a fixture in broadcasting games in the ‘State of Hockey’ for 50 years.
By Jon Sorensen