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Penn State Hockey: Program Announces Seven New Signings For 2016-17 Season

by on December 23, 2015 2:00 PM
University Park, PA

Penn State men’s hockey head coach Guy Gadowsky officially announced on Tuesday afternoon that seven new Nittany Lions will join the squad for the 2016-17 season.

Penn State will add Liam Folkes (Scarborough, Ontario), Peyton Jones (Langhorne, Pa.), Sean Kohler (Oakville, Ontario), Kris Myllari (Kanata, Ontario), Nikita Pavlychev (South Abington Township, Pa.), Denis Smirnov (Dunmore, Pa.) and Nate Sucese (Fairport, N.Y.). 


F // 5-8 // 167 // Feb. 26, 1996 // Scarborough, Ontario // Brockville Braves (CCHL)

 Folkes has been one of the most explosive forwards in the Central Canadian Hockey League over the past two seasons, scoring 58 goals in 98 games through mid-December. Last season, Folkes had 37 goals and 35 assists in 60 regular-season games and this season he has 19 goals and 17 assists in 33 contests.

Gadowsky on Folkes: “Liam Folkes is a skilled forward with very good offensive instincts.  He has dynamic speed and he is more than willing to go to the dirty areas to score goals.” 

 Folkes on Penn State: “I chose Penn State because athletically and academically it has anything and everything anyone would want. Not only is Penn State nationally recognized, but the opportunities are endless with a degree with this university.” 



G // 6-4 // 210 // Feb. 14, 1996 // Langhorne, Pa. // Lincoln Stars (USHL)

 A Philadelphia area native, Jones is a goaltender for the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League. Jones has appeared in 13 games this season with a 2.29 GAA and .923 save percentage. Prior to Lincoln, Jones played for the Philadelphia Junior Flyers U18, New Jersey Rockets U16 and Holy Ghost Prep.

Gadowsky on Jones: “Peyton Jones has good size and is extremely athletic. He has paid his dues and has worked very hard to improve his game to become one of the top goaltenders in the USHL.”

Jones on Penn State: “I chose Penn State because of the outstanding classroom experiences, the rich traditions of success and to learn from the expertise of Coach Gadowsky and the rest of the coaching staff.”



F // 5-9 // 175 // June 27, 1997 // Oakville, Ontario // St. Michael’s Buzzers (OJHL)

 Kohler is playing his third year as a forward in the Ontario Junior Hockey League. Kohler spent the past two seasons with the Oakville Blades before joining the St. Michael’s Buzzers this season. Currently, Kohler is having a career season, posting 20 points (11g, 9a) through 32 games, exceeding his 17 points (8g, 9a) in last year’s 39 games in Oakville and matching the 20 points (11g, 9a) in 52 games in 2013-14. During the 2014-15 season, Kohler was named the OJHL’s Humanitarian of the Year.

Gadowsky on Kohler: “Sean Kohler is a character kid who last year was named OJHL Humanitarian of the Year.  He is a hard-working forward who can chip in offensively while being responsible in the defensive zone.”

Kohler on Penn State: “I fell in love with Penn State the first time I visited Happy Valley. The energy on campus is contagious, the hockey facilities are the best I’ve seen at the college level, and the Big Ten Conference is full of high-end talent. There is something very special about this school and this program. I feel extremely fortunate to be a Nittany Lion.” 



D // 6-2 // 190 // Feb. 5, 1997 // Kanata, Ontario // Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)

 A powerful defenseman, Myllari is playing his second season in the USHL for Youngstown following a one-year stop for the Kanata Stallions of the CCHL in 2013-14. This season, Myllari has already exceeded his offensive numbers from last year by scoring three goals and 11 assists in 24 games. Last year, Myllari had 11 points in 59 contests following his 23-point campaign in Kanata.

Gadowsky on Myllari: “Kris Myllari is an exceptionally smart hockey player. He is solid defensively, he sees the ice well and distributes the puck both efficiently and effectively, and his offensive game continues to evolve. His defensive recognition is extremely high and his ability to transition pucks quickly will fit great into our program.”

Myllari on Penn State: “I chose Penn State for the tremendous athletic, as well as academic opportunity, it will provide me. The facilities and coaches are some of the best the country has to offer.” 



F // 6-7 // 212 // March 23, 1997 // South Abington Township, Pa. // Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) // Pittsburgh Penguins (2015 Draft Pick)

 The tallest player in the USHL, Pavlychev will be the fifth NHL draft pick to play for the Nittany Lions, having been selected in the seventh round by the Pittsburgh Penguins this past spring. Pavlychev currently plays for Des Moines and is on pace to match his offensive output from 2014-15. The Yaroslavl, Russia native has played 70 games in the USHL through mid-December, tallying nine goals and 16 assists. Before Des Moines, Pavlychev played three years in the Wilkes-Barre Knights system after moving from Russia to Northeast Pennsylvania.

Gadowsky on Pavylchev: “The first thing you notice about Nikita is his size, but he is also very smart at both ends of the rink, is a tough competitor, and possesses very good hands for a big body.

Pavlychev on Penn State: “I chose Penn State because it will provide me the best education and hockey experience to reach my goals in life.”



F // 5-10 // 185 // Aug. 12, 1997 // Dunmore, Pa. // Fargo Force (USHL)

 Smirnov is a quick forward out of Dunmore, Pennsylvania, by way of Moscow, Russia. Smirnov has tallied 22 points through 23 games this year. In 2014-15, Smirnov scored 18 goals and 22 assists in 53 contests following a championship season for the Indiana Ice in 2013-14. With Indiana, Smirnov had a 41-point campaign on 15 goals and 26 assists. Smirnov also played in Wilkes-Barre with Pavlychev.

Gadowsky on Smirnov: “Denis is an extremely intelligent hockey player who plays with a lot of instinct: His offensive IQ is elite but he also uses his talents to be reliable on the defensive side of the puck as well. He will be a very entertaining player to watch.”

Smirnov on Penn State: “Penn State is an excellent school with great history and an awesome coaching staff, which I think will help me develop not only as a player, but as a person, too.”



F // 5-8 // 174 // July 12, 1996 // Fairport, N.Y. // Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)

 Sucese (Soo-SEESE) will join the Nittany Lions after playing for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL where he currently serves as an alternate captain. Through 23 games this year, Sucese has 19 points on seven goals and 12 assists after a 27-point campaign last year (12g, 15a) in 51 games. Previously, Sucese featured for The Gunnery Prep in Connecticut and in the Buffalo Junior Sabres program.

Gadowsky on Sucese: “Nate Sucese is another forward with very good offensive instincts but takes pride in his play all over the ice and has become an excellent leader. Nate is a great competitor but also demonstrates skill at a very high rate of speed.”

Sucese on Penn State: “I chose Penn State because the minute I stepped on campus and into the Pegula Ice Area I knew I wanted to call this place home for the next four years.”

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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