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Forward Xander Lamppa Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State hockey secured a verbal commitment from Xander Lamppa — a forward who currently plays for the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League — on Thursday afternoon.

Lamppa currently ranks among the USHL’s top 20 scorers with 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 44 games played with Waterloo this season.

At 6’1″ and 203 pounds, the left-shot forward has great size for a player currently competing in a junior league. This season has been a bit of a breakout year for Lamppa, who scored seven goals and 19 assists in 58 games during his debut season with Waterloo in 2018-19. His 42-point output is the best on the Black Hawks so far this season, and Lamppa tore up Minnesota’s high school hockey scene with 80 points (32 goals, 48 assists) in just 46 appearances for Rochester John Marshall High School in his hometown of Rochester, Minnesota.

“He’s approached his training and practices and games with a professional mindset,” Waterloo head coach PK O’Handley said to the Post-Bulletin — a newspaper based in Lamppa’s hometown. “He has the intelligence and hockey IQ of a pro. He’s a student of the game, and it’s slowed down for him this year.”

“We’ve seen growth from Xander in several parts of his game, but particularly as a playmaker,” Waterloo general manager Shane Fukushima added. “His strong season drew a lot of attention, but Xander was very patient and didn’t rush the process. I know [committing to Penn State] is something he looked forward to for some time.”

Guy Gadowsky’s most recent verbal commitment has one more season of eligibility left in the USHL, but it’s currently unclear whether he’ll join the Nittany Lions for the 2020-21 season or the 2021-22 campaign. Penn State is set to lose 10 seniors — six forwards, two defensemen, and two goaltenders — and it has a handful of current commitments who are currently wrapping up their third season of USHL action.

Among Penn State’s other commitments currently set to join the team next year are blue-chip goaltender Liam Souliere, defenseman Christian Berger — the younger brother of former Penn State captain Chase Berger — and forward Jared Westcott, according to College Hockey Inc. Souliere is a perfect example of college hockey’s much more fluid recruiting process, as the Nittany Lions delayed his enrollment to next season because Peyton Jones was set to assume starting goalie duties for the fourth consecutive season.

Alas, Lamppa has made his verbal pledge to play college hockey at Penn State — and he’s already penciled in with one of the truly elite names in all of hockey.

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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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