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Fourteen Current, Former Penn State Hockey Players Will Feature At NHL Development Camps

Penn State men’s hockey will have plenty of representatives scattered across NHL development camps throughout the league in the coming weeks.

Five of the team’s six NHL Draft picks — Evan Barratt (Chicago Blackhawks), Cole Hults (Los Angeles Kings), Denis Smirnov (Colorado Avalanche), Aarne Talvitie (New Jersey Devils), and incoming freshman Kevin Wall (Carolina Hurricanes) — will feature at their respective organization’s development camps. It’s unclear whether or not Talvitie will skate at New Jersey’s development camp approximately seven months after tearing his ACL, but Devils assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald said he was “ahead of schedule” in his recovery.

Nikita Pavlychev (Pittsburgh Penguins) was not invited to the development camps of the NHL squads that drafted them. Pavlychev didn’t attend the Penguins’ camp last year, either.

In addition to the draftees, seven current Nittany Lions received invitations to skate with NHL teams’ prospect pools this summer. Rising junior Alex Limoges, who led the nation with 50 points last season, was invited to the Detroit Red Wings’ camp, and Big Ten defensive player of the year finalist Paul DeNaples will head to Vancouver for the Canucks’ development camp.

Newly-appointed team captain Brandon Biro will attend the Pittsburgh Penguins’ development camp along with 2018-19 captain Chase Berger, who signed a contract with the Pens’ AHL affiliate after wrapping up his college career with 118 points in 154 games played.

Goaltender Peyton Jones, alternate captain Liam Folkes, and rising junior Sam Sternschein are all currently at the New York Islanders’ development camp, and Nate Sucese will skate with the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins this week.

Here’s a full list of the Nittany Lions who are attending or will attend development camps this summer:

  • Evan Barratt, Chicago Blackhawks (July 13-19)
  • Chase Berger, Pittsburgh Penguins (June 26-28)*
  • Brandon Biro, Pittsburgh Penguins (June 26-28)
  • Paul DeNaples, Vancouver Canucks (June 24-28)
  • Liam Folkes, New York Islanders (June 24-29)
  • Cole Hults, Los Angeles Kings (June 24-28)
  • Peyton Jones, New York Islanders (June 24-29)
  • Alex Limoges, Detroit Red Wings (June 25-29)
  • Denis Smirnov, Colorado Avalanche (June 25-29)
  • Sam Sternschein, New York Islanders (June 24-29)
  • Andrew Sturtz, Ottawa Senators (June 24-28)*
  • Nate Sucese, Boston Bruins (June 25-29)
  • Aarne Talvitie, New Jersey Devils (July 8-13)
  • Kevin Wall, Carolina Hurricanes (June 25-29)

indicates player drafted by their NHL organization
*indicates player signed by their NHL organization

An earlier version of this post said Denis Smirnov would not attend the Colorado Avalanche’s development camp, but this has been corrected now. We apologize for the error.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]


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