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Hockey welcomes 10 signees

The early signing period has ended and Penn State hockey will be welcoming 10 new players to their program from the 2012 class.

2012 forward Curtis Loik helped Canada West lift the World Junior A Challenge Cup this month.

2012 Commits

Forwards

Curtis Loik
North Vancouver, British Columbia.
Current Club: Penticton Vees (British Columbia Hockey League)

-Loik has had a whirlwind past couple of weeks. Selected to participate in the World Junior A Challenge for Canada West, Loik was instrumental in helping his team take home Gold. At 6-foot-1, the power forward scored two goals in Canada West’s win-or-go-home game. The 205-pounder had 26 points in 57 games last season for the Vees, but already has 12 points through 11 games this year.

Recruit Recap

Reed Linaker
Edmonton, Alberta
Current club: St. Albert Steel (Alberta Junior Hockey League)

-Linaker has been with the Steel for five seasons now, averaging 1.5 points per game before injuring his MCL after 34 games last year. The 5-foot-9 has recovered fully, and is on his way back at a point per game clip, already with 18 points in as many games.

Recruit Recap

Jonathan Milley
Ottawa, Ontario
Current club: Pembroke Lumber Kings (Central Canada Hockey League)

-Jonathan has had a tough past few months, tearing his groin from the bone very early in the season. Milley is just now getting back on the ice, it has been a tough recovery process for the 6-foot-4 forward. Last year, Milley was part of a Lumber Kings team who went on to win the RBC Cup in 2010-11, awarded to the best Junior A team in Canada. He finished fourth on the team in scoring, notching 58 points in 42 games.

Recruit Recap

Kenny Brooks
Las Vegas, Nv.
Current club: Tri-City Storm (United States Hockey League)

-Now in his third year with Tri-City, Brooks was named the captain of his team for the 2011-12 season. At 6-foot-2, Brooks has got 12 points through 15 games this year. Last season, the Vegas native netted 9 goals, and dished 17 assists for 26 points in 57 games.

Recruit Recap

David Glen
Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
Current club: Spruce Grove Saints (Alberta Junior Hockey League)

-Glen finished last season tied for third on his team with 26 goals and 27 assists for sole possession of third with 53 points in 56 games. The 6-foot forward has continued his successes this year, notching 25 points through 27 games, good for third on his team.

Recruit Recap

Casey Bailey
Anchorage, Ak.
Current Club: Omaha Lancers (United States Hockey League)

-Bailey is another big forward coming in next season, and one who can score. After playing two seasons in British Columbia – scoring 58 points in 60 games last year – Bailey made the jump to the USHL this season. Already with eight goals and 14 points in 16 games, the 6-foot-3 forward has transitioned nicely from Canada to the US style of play.

Defensemen

Mark Yanis
Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.
Current club: Muskegon Lumberjacks (United States Hockey League)

-While it is rare for a 16-year-old to play in a major junior hockey league, Yanis played in 54 games on the Lumberjack blue line during 2010-11. Now in his second season, the 6-foot-2 defenseman plays with an edge on the back end and it shows.

Recruit Recap

Luke Juha
Mississauga, Ontario
Currrent club: Vernon Vipers (Ontario Junior Hockey League)

-Juha put in nine goals, and added a whopping 39 assists for 48 points in 44 games during 2010-11, good for sixth overall on the team in points and first amongst defenseman. This year Juha only has two assists in 10 games, but that is mostly due to some lingering injuries. His play was good enough to land him on the Canada West Gold Medal team though, scoring a goal and adding an assist along the way.

Connor Varley
Lansdale, Pa.
Current club: Des Moines Buccaneers (United States Hockey League)

-The Pennsylvania native is getting a lot of playing time for the Buccaneers, scoring two goals and two assists in 11 games. Varley spent last season in British Columbia, netting nine goals in addition to 20 assists, finishing second on the team in defenseman with 29 points in 60 games. Was originally a 2013 recruit, but after playing well in all situations this season, both parties saw it best to come in this year.

Recruit Recap

Goalie

Matt Skoff
McKees Rocks, Pa.
Current Club: Sioux City Musketeers (United State Hockey League)

-The former Ohio State commit lead the USHL last year in shutouts with six, amassing a 2.55 goals against average and a .904 save percentage. Skoff won 23 games last year with the Musketeers. Stuck on a meddling Sioux City squad, Skoff has been peppered this year, ranking ninth in saves with 261 while still managing a .913 save percentage.

Recruit Recap

  • Lions247

    Andrew Dzurita

    Some extra news, notes, and observations I didn't put in the article:

    -For all the talk about Gadowsky going with smaller faster players, all but two of the 2012 commits are under 6-feet tall. There are forwards checking in at 6'4", 6'3" and 6'2". Interesting to see, but all of those guys can put the puck in the net. Lots of power forwards in the group to offset the smaller 2011 guys who were brought in (Olczyk, Kirchhevel, Holstrom, Johnson).

    -Finally got in touch with the two 2012 commits I hadn't spoken with, so expect to see Juha and Bailey stories in the future.

    -I tweeted this earlier, but there was another confirmed commitment from 6-foot-5 forward Zach Saar. Still unsure if he will be coming in 2012 or '13 though, I'm in the process of getting a hold of him. (Heres a clip of what he can do: http://youtu.be/0fT4TqanNhs?t=29s)

    -By my count, there are 18 players Gadowsky has brought in with the 10 LOIs just signed, in addition to eight 2011 guys (four transfers and four recruits).

    -Going to be interesting what happens with the goalie situation. There are three goalies on the roster right now (Madrazo, Musico, and Carr) who have eligibility left to return, so with the addition of Skoff there looks to be an odd man out. We will see.

  • For those of us new to the college Hockey scene, are there any star rankings or class rankings to help us get and idea of what kind of recruits we're getting?

    And please excuse my ignorance, but what's the difference between the "Canadian" & "American" style of play?

    I can't WAIT for PSU hockey! I have to get to know the team like I do for football!

    Thanks!

  • Lions247

    Andrew Dzurita

    rck127 said... (original post)

    For those of us new to the college Hockey scene, are there any star rankings or class rankings to help us get and idea of what kind of recruits we're getting?

    And please excuse my ignorance, but what's the difference between the "Canadian" & "American" style of play?

    I can't WAIT for PSU hockey! I have to get to know the team like I do for football!

    Thanks!

    Unfortunately not, which kind of makes it harder to track. A good indicator is the league the players are competing in, and how they are producing in the league. All of the 2012 PSU recruits play in the highest level of amateur junior competition - the United States Hockey League in the States, the British Columbia Hockey League, Alberta Junior Hockey League or the Ontario Junior Hockey League in Canada.

    For forwards, if they are scoring around a point per game or better, it is a good indication they will play well at the next level. The highest recruited prospects are well above that, but it is a good bench mark to see where they are at. While defensemen can have high point totals, they are more likely not going to score as much. That doesn't mean they are not solid players. There is a saying that goes "If no one notices you on defense, you are doing your job."

    Most of these Penn State recruits are legitimate, all of whom had offers to play at other decent to solid Division I programs. A lot have bought in to what Gadowsky has been selling and cited his presence as one of the main reasons they chose Penn State. This is a very good foundation of recruits to build this program. There is talent across the board and at all three positions, with players who do multiple things very well.

  • How many scholarship players can be on the team? And do we have 18 on scholarship now? (Between last year and this years class)

  • Lions247

    Andrew Dzurita

    basebrad8 said... (original post)

    How many scholarship players can be on the team? And do we have 18 on scholarship now? (Between last year and this years class)

    There were four transfers in the 2011 class who will be getting scholarships, and four other players who were recruited by Gadowsky under the premise they would be getting scholarships. Followed by the 10 in the 2012 class, the number is 18 at the moment. Last I heard (and I'm trying to get an update on this) there would be 18-20 scholarships available. When I get more info I'll disclose it here.

  • Thanks for the summary, Andrew. Glad to see we have a little bit of size coming in though. Those guys could be quite the intimidating enforcers in a few years, I would hope.

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