Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase
Rising sophomore Evan Barratt and incoming freshman Aarne Talvitie represented Penn State men’s hockey at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Kamloops, BC from July 28 to August 4.
Both players competed for their countries in the four-day audition for the 2019 World Junior Championships, which will take place in Vancouver from December 26 to January 5. Barratt donned the stars and stripes of the United States, while Talvitie captained his native Finland and wrapped up an extremely strong summer.
At the start of the tournament, Barratt was a member of the United States’ Blue team. USA Hockey invited 42 players to participate in the tournament on two separate teams, but merged the rosters after making cuts ahead of the final three games of the tournament.
Barratt competed alongside some of the NHL’s top American prospects, including Michigan defenseman Quinn Hughes, his younger brother Jack, and Boston University forward Brady Tkachuk, among others. Tkachuk and the older Hughes were selected No. 4 and 7 overall, respectively, at the 2018 NHL Draft, and Jack is widely seen as the top overall prospect available in the 2019 draft.
Although the Chicago Blackhawks’ third-round draft pick in 2017 was held off the scoresheet in the tournament, he did make the cut for the final merged USA roster after playing two games for the blue team. Barratt making the cut helps his chances of making the United States’ roster for the World Junior Championships at the end of the calendar year.
While Barratt had a quieter showcase, Aarne Talvitie’s strong summer continued after he impressed at the New Jersey Devils’ development camp in mid-July. He scored four goals in five games as he wore the captain’s “C” for Finland, showcasing his deadly wrist shot as he prepares to begin his NCAA career in Hockey Valley.
Talvitie impressed TSN analyst Craig Button with his performance at the showcase, scoring against all three countries he played against. Additionally, NHL.com named the incoming freshman one of the top ten players of the entire showcase.
The Finn is all but guaranteed be the first player in Penn State hockey history to play at the World Junior Championships. Most of the tournament takes place during the Nittany Lions’ winter break beginning on December 15, but he could miss Penn State’s series at Minnesota on January 4 and 5.
Now that the World Junior Summer Showcase is over, Talvitie and Barratt will head to Hockey Valley to get the 2018-19 season started. Penn State opens its regular season at Pegula Ice Arena with a series against Clarkson on October 11 and 12.