Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Will Not Skate At New Jersey Devils’ Development Camp
Penn State men’s hockey wing Aarne Talvitie will be limited to off-ice activities at the New Jersey Devils’ development camp this week, according to NJ.com’s Chris Ryan.
Talvitie is still on the mend from a torn ACL suffered in the gold medal game of the 2019 U-20 World Junior Championship in Vancouver. While playing for Finland, the Devils’ sixth-round pick in 2017 awkwardly collided with Team USA defenseman Mikey Anderson towards the end of the first period and hobbled off the ice. He returned to action later and appeared to aggravate the injury while pivoting in the third period of the contest, which his team won 3-2.
It’s been a little more than six months since Talvitie picked up the injury and underwent surgery that ended his freshman season of college hockey. Initial reports out of Finland indicated the forward’s recovery would take six-to-nine months, and Penn State’s regular season opener against Sacred Heart on October 11 falls right at the end of that timetable. Tom Fitzgerald — New Jersey’s assistant general manager — said Talvitie was “ahead of schedule” in his recovery earlier this year.
Before suffering his injury, Talvitie was having an excellent season as Penn State went 11-5-1 with him in the lineup. He kicked off his college hockey career with 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 17 games played and quickly established himself as a regular fixture in the lineup. Talvitie’s line with Nikita Pavlychev and Sam Sternschein was producing offensively, and it was also one of Guy Gadowsky’s best shutdown units thanks to the size and strength of all three players. The team went 11-10-1 without the Finn in the lineup and missed out on the NCAA tournament by the slimmest of margins.
The 5’10”, 198-pound wing’s strong performance for Penn State helped him earn a spot on Finland’s national U-20 squad for the World Junior Championship. Talvitie scored four goals and three assists throughout the tournament while captaining his country to gold.
When Talvitie returns to the lineup, he probably won’t be placed on the Nittany Lions’ top forward line — especially if Gadowsky elects to keep the dynamic trio of Alex Limoges, Evan Barratt, and Liam Folkes together after all three players scored more than 40 points in 2018-19. That said, he’s still one of Penn State’s most intriguing forwards thanks to his heavy wrist shot and unique style of play.
“I think the educated hockey fans in the Centre County region are going to love this guy,” Gadowsky said prior to the start of last season. “He’s a throwback. He’s extremely powerful, he loves the defensive part of the game, he’s a goal scorer, he loves to play on the wall. For a guy that scores as much as he does, it’s amazing how excited he gets to play in the dirty areas and penalty killing.”
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