Hockey Commit Nikita Pavlychev Drafted By The Pittsburgh Penguins
Look out, Sidney Crosby.
Class of 2016 commit Nikita Pavlychev was taken in the seventh round of the NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins at No. 197 overall.
The 6-foot-6 center will join Penn State’s team in two years trying to replace some of the offense lost by the departures of top-line center Taylor Holstrom and center/winger Scott Conway this past year, and centers David Glen and Curtis Loik the next. Elite Prospects‘ Curtis Joe describes Pavlychev as:
“A tall, lanky center with an acute understanding of the game. A deceptively strong skater with good balance. Relies on using his size to shield the puck in the neutral zone and is usually the one to start plays in the offensive end. Defensively reliable; exhibits very well-rounded habits in his own end. All-in-all, an intelligent defensive player whose instincts at both ends of the ice will aid his maturation into a versatile, complete two-way forward.”
Pavlychev most recently played for the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers, but played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights program before that. The Penguins’ AHL affiliate also plays in Wilkes-Barre Scranton. With the Penguins’ selection, Pavlychev becomes one of five recent Nittany Lions who have been drafted to the NHL.
After an immensely improved season last year, Penn State still fell short of its goals in the Big Ten Tournament. Despite the departure of some key players, coach Guy Gadowsky has rounded up his best recruiting class to date — starting with the newest Pittsburgh Penguin draft pick, Nikita Pavlychev.