Yorba Linda’s Nieto commits to Lake Superior State
Yorba Linda native Garrett Nieto has committed to play Division I college hockey at Lake Superior State University (WCHA) beginning in the fall of 2017.
Nieto played the 2015-16 season with the Wenatchee Wild of the British Columbia Hockey League.
After two solid seasons with Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ 16U AAA team, he moved on to his rookie season with the Wild, where he posted a solid 11-4-0-2 record with a 2.09 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. Nieto was also named to the BCHL All-Rookie Team.
Nieto also played for the California Wave as a youth.
“(Lake Superior State) came to a game midway through the season against the Surrey Eagles,” said Nieto. “We won the game 2-1, and they talked to me after the game. They kept watching me throughout the year and kept in contact. Then about a week after the season, they called me and offered me a scholarship. I was happy to accept their offer.”
Citing a long time desire to be a firefighter, he envisions his post-hockey career to head in that direction.
Nieto has a long list of people he credits with helping him reach his goals.
“My family is probably the biggest one I would like to thank,” said Nieto. “My mom and dad sacrificed so much to help put my brother and me through the game (Gavin Nieto has also committed to Brown University). It cost a lot of money and time and I can’t thank them enough for it. Obviously, coach Bliss (Littler) is an amazing coach and I love to play for him. He helped me get this scholarship and I can’t thank him enough for it. I want to thank (assistant) coach (Chris) Clark and (associate head) coach (Tom) Rudrud for an amazing season and I can’t wait to play for them again.”
Nieto even reflected further back in his career.
“My former coaches Louis Pacella, Patrik Stefan and Mike Lewis – I can’t thank them enough for pushing me and coaching me through the years,” said Nieto. “The coach I would like to thank the most is my goalie coach George Catalono. He’s coached me for over 10 years and he turned me from a little guy that was always causing a mess to a guy who is going to college and achieving his dream.”
Photo/Garrett James Photography