Penn State Hockey Announces 2018-19 Recruiting Class
Penn State men’s hockey completed the 2018-19 recruiting cycle by announcing the additions of four players on Monday.
Max Sauvé, Evan Bell, Oskar Autio, and Ludvig Larsson were officially announced as the four newest players of Guy Gadowsky’s program. They join center Aarne Talvitie and defenseman Paul DeNaples, who officially signed their letters of intent in November.
Max Sauvé committed to Penn State just 26 days ago after spending three years committed to the University of Vermont. The right-shot forward scored 22 points in 23 games for Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut and will add plenty of speed to the Nittany Lions’ attack.
“Max is a great skater and will add to our team speed and tenacity on the fore-check,” head coach Guy Gadowsky said in a release. “He is a playmaker and can fill a lot of different roles for us.”
Oskar Autio is the younger brother of former Penn State defenseman Erik Autio, who was one of the best defensemen on the team during his career. The younger Autio is a goaltender who was named to the USHL’s All-Rookie team after winning 23 games for the Chicago Steel last season.
“He works really hard,” Erik Autio said of Penn State’s newest goalie, who will likely serve as the third-string goalie behind Peyton Jones and Chris Funkey next season. “He focuses on developing his game every day. He has very good technique as a goalie who’s a little bit smaller [5’11”]. I feel like he makes up for that with being in the right place in the right time.”
Evan Bell is one of two new recruits who does not have all four seasons of NCAA eligibility remaining. Bell began the 2017-18 season with Merrimack, but returned to the USHL’s Fargo Force after five NCAA games. He won the Clark Cup in his return to the USHL and will provide much-needed reinforcements to Penn State’s defense.
“Evan is an excellent skating defenseman who moves the puck well and is extremely intelligent,” Gadowsky said. “He is an experienced player who we will be able to count on as soon as he steps onto the ice.”
Ludvig Larsson is the first graduate transfer in Penn State hockey history. Larsson spent the first three seasons of his NCAA career with Merrimack, but will finish his college career in Hockey Valley. The Swede’s 58.3 percent win rate on faceoffs ranked No. 14 in the nation last year, and he will certainly help a center unit that struggled heavily in the faceoff dot last season.
“I chose Penn State because it offers me everything I ever wanted,” Larsson said. “It’s a great hockey program, the academics are amazing, and the university as a whole will be a great experience.”
Penn State’s newest players will make their Pegula Ice Arena debut on October 6 in an exhibition game against Brock University. The team opens its regular season on October 11 with a home series against Clarkson.