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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On Monday morning, Head Coach Guy Gadowsky and the Penn State men's ice hockey team announced the signing of two student-athletes for the class of 2022 during the fall early signing period.
The Nittany Lions have inked USHL defenseman Paul DeNaples and Finnish U-20 star forward Aarne Talvitie for early signing, both players will join the Nittany Lions next summer.
Paul DeNaples // D // 6-1 // 184 // Moscow, Pa. // Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
DeNaples is entering his second season with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League where he was named team captain. Last season he finished second on the team in defenseman scoring with 17 points on seven goals and 10 assists. His 17 points were only behind current Nittany Lion Alex Stevens who led Sioux Falls defensemen with 21 points during the 2016-17 season. DeNaples was named the Stampede's Rookie of the Year for his performance in his 55 games played last season. DeNaples appeared in 58 games with the Stampede during the 2017-18 season scoring three goals with three assists for six points.
DeNAPLES ON PENN STATE
"The opportunity to attend the Smeal College of Business, play for this coaching staff in the best facility and league in college hockey all while coming back to my home state was something I could not pass up."
GADOWSKY ON DeNAPLES
"Paul will be a great addition to our D-core. He is the captain in Sioux Falls (USHL) so he will provide a lot of leadership and he can play in all situations."
Aarne Talvitie // F // 5-11 // 202 // Espoo, Finland // Espoo Blues (Jr. A SM-liiga)/ Junior National Team of Finland
Talvitie was drafted in the sixth round (160th overall) in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and is currently in his fifth season with the Espoo Blues of Finland's Jr. A SM-liiga. Talvitie has also been a member of the Junior National Team of Finland for the past three seasons and captained his squad to a Silver Medal at last year's World Championships scoring four goals and adding three assists for seven points in seven games. In 2016-17, Talvitie played 25 games for the Finland U18 national team and registered 19 points on nine goals and 10 assists as well as appearing in 50 games for the Espoo Blues U20 team scoring 16 goals and adding 25 assists for 41 points. For the Blues in 2017-18, Talvitie served as team captain and registered 58 points on 34 goals and 24 assists in 41 games played and was a plus-31.
TALVITIE ON PENN STATE
"I chose Penn State because I`ve heard so many good things about it and it gives me an opportunity to combine high quality education and ice hockey in a formidable team."
GADOWSKY ON TALVITIE
"Aarne is an experienced player who has played in a lot of international competition. He is a very hardnosed player who's offensively talented, but also tough to play against. He plays a strong 200 foot game and will be effective in all three zones."