This morning, Penn State men’s hockey head coach Guy Gadowsky officially announced the signing of two players who will join the team next season.
— Penn State Men’s Hockey (@PennStateMHKY) November 20, 2017
Center Aarne Talvitie and defenseman Paul DeNaples officially signed their letters of intent this morning, according to a release. DeNaples verbally committed to play for Penn State in September 2016, while Talvitie did the same this past May.
In his final season before joining Penn State, Aarne Talvitie currently plays for the Espoo Blues, a junior A team in his home country of Finland. This is his fifth season within the Espoo Blues organization; so far, the Finnish center has 14 goals and ten assists in 19 games played.
Talvitie was drafted in the sixth round by the New Jersey Devils in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft back in June. In early July, he attended New Jersey’s development camp alongside one of the better prospect pools in the NHL, including former top-ten draft picks Pavel Zacha and Nico Hischier.
“Aarne is an experienced player who has played in a lot of international competition,” Guy Gadowsky said. “He is a very hard-nosed player who’s offensively talented, but also tough to play against. He plays a strong 200 foot game and will be effective in all three zones.”
Paul DeNaples is currently playing for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL, the same team that current Penn State freshman Alex Stevens played for during his junior career. He is currently the team’s captain after being named as the team’s rookie of the year last season.
The Moscow, PA native will return to his home state when he joins Guy Gadowsky’s program next season after two seasons in North Dakota; before joining Sioux Falls, DeNaples played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights (NAHL).
“Paul will be a great addition to our D-core,” Gadowsky said. “He is the captain in Sioux Falls, so he will provide a lot of leadership and he can play in all situations.”
As for the current cast of Nittany Lions, they return to Pegula Ice Arena this weekend for a Big Ten series against Michigan State. The series begins on Friday night at 7 p.m.