Former Leaf Campese wins Stanley Cup

Former Nelson Leafs player and coach Bruno Campese won the Stanley Cup with the Vegas Golden Knights as an amateur scout. Submitted photo


By The Nelson Daily Sports

There’s a Nelson connection to the 2023 Stanley Cup Champion Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Nelson native Bruno Campese, who played his minor hockey in the Heritage City, was on the ice to raise Lord Stanley’s Mug over his shoulders during Tuesday’s on-ice celebrations at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas defeated the Florida Panthers 9-3 to capture the best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final 4-1.

Campese is an amateur scout for the Golden Knights based out of the Okanagan. Campese, who worked at the Okanagan Hockey Academy prior to the Vegas position, took the job in 2016 after being asked by GM Kelly McCrimmon.

During his playing days, Campese was selected in the 12th round, 249th overall, by the Boston Bruins at the 1982 NHL Draft. He played goal for the Nelson Leafs in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League from 1977-79 and then spent two seasons as a goaltender with the Penticton Knights (BCHL) before playing one season with Northern Michigan University (NCAA).

Campese also played two seasons in the Western Hockey League, ultimately winning the Memorial Cup in 1983 with the Portland Winterhawks.

After his junior career, he spent 14 years playing professionally in Europe, including eight seasons with the Italian National Team, where he represented his country on multiple occasions at the World Championships and also at the 1994 Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

Campese, who coached the Nelson Leafs from 2000-01, also spent eight seasons in the WHL with the Prince Albert Raiders before settling back into BC with the OHA.

There’s another local connection to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Former Nelson Leafs netminder Robb Tallas is the goalie coach for the Florida Panthers. Tallas played goal for Nelson Leafs from 1989-90.