Forward a 'big-time' get for Lions

For all of the recruits who have committed to the up and coming Penn State hockey team, none of them will arrive with more team accolades than 2012 commit Jonathan Milley, whose team won Canada’s Junior A National Championship last season.

Milley helped Pembroke win a Junior A National Championship last season.

As a part of the Pembroke Lumber Kings, Milley helped his team to Ontario’s Central Canada Hockey League regular season title. From there, the Lumber Kings took home the Eastern Division title, advancing to the Royal Bank Cup, featuring the five best Junior A hockey teams in all of Canada.

This is where Milley did his best work, tallying a Royal Bank Cup high seven points, including the only two goals in the final to defeat the two-time defending champions, as well as being named to the tournament’s all-star team.

“I believe that I am a big game player,” Milley firmly stated. “In the season we play so many games, its sometimes hard to go out every night and give it your all. When it comes playoff time and it is that do or die mentality, that’s when I try and shine.

“It was amazing, winning the national championship, it was the most amazing feeling of my life.”

Milley finished the season 17th in the league in scoring with 58 points, and second on his team notching 29 goals. Despite receiving all the accolades last season, the 20-year-old center isn’t content on sitting back.

“Everything can be improved upon, nobody’s perfect, so I'm just evolving my game,” said Milley of his summer plans. “I'm working everyday with my coaches I'm trying to improve my skating, I feel like I've got good vision, I can make good plays on the ice, so improving my speed and physicality this year so I can make a big impact at Penn State right off the bat.”

Physicality is a large part of the 6-foot-4, self-proclaimed ‘power forward,’ who likes to use his big frame all around the ice.

“Yes, I pride myself on getting the crowd into the game by throwing big hits, I'm usually one to finish my checks each game,” chuckled the 215-pound center. “I always classify myself as a power forward, I like to crash and bang, get good speed and tempo towards the net. I don’t like to miss opportunities in front of the net on the offensive end, and also playing good defensive hockey is what its all about.”

After seeing serious consideration from known hockey programs such as Providence and Maine, Milley got back in touch with Coach Gadowsky after his run to the RBC Cup title.

“When coach Gadowsky was at Princeton they liked me as a player, but it just wasn’t the right fit. After hearing of his move to Penn State we started talking again, and I was asked to come down for a visit.”

Milley took and unofficial visit to Penn State in mid-June – saying he wanted to save an official visit for the school year to see the school when all of the students were there – and came away very impressed, cementing his college plans while in State College.

“I was amazed right off the start, all of my other visits were small campus visits, so when I got to Penn State I saw the huge campus and athletic facilities. The plan for the new hockey rink also really intrigued me, so when they offered me a spot on the team I took it right away.”

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