Penn State hockey added four more names to its 2019 roster on Wednesday as a highly anticipated season inches closer and closer.
The newest Nittany Lions include Connor MacEachern, Kenny Johnson, Northeastern transfer Bobby Hampton as well as club goalie Will Holtforster. Hampton will be required to sit out the 2019-20 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
The quartet will join four freshmen, Tyler Gratton, Connor McMenamin, Kevin Wall and Mason Snell, who each signed their National Letters Of Intent back in November.
Minnesota Golden Gopher transfer Clayton Phillips has been linked to Penn State for a month or so now but was not included in Wednesday press release. A source indicated that Wednesday's news does not necessarily mark the final additions to the 2019 roster, meaning that Phillips [or others] may still be on his way yet.
Penn State provided basic biographical information for each the newest signees, each can be read below.
Connor MacEachern // F // 5-10 // 175 // L // Brooklin, Ontario // Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
In his first season in the USHL, MacEachern ranked inside the top-20 with 56 points and 26 goals in 62 games for the Phantoms finishing third and second on the team, respectively, in each category. Prior to his time in Youngstown, he played two seasons for the Cobourg Cougars of the OJHL scoring 26 goals while adding 40 assists for 66 points in 96 games with an additional seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 23 playoff games helping his team capture the 2017 RBC Cup Championship. MacEachern was named Cobourg's 2017 Rookie of the Year in the process.
Kenny Johnson // D // 6-4 // 230 // L // Ann Arbor, Mich. // Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)
Johnson, the younger brother of Pittsburgh Penguin defenseman Jack Johnson, finished the 2018-19 season with the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Hockey League after being traded from Penticton where he had spent parts of three seasons. Johnson played a total of 177 games, including playoffs, in the BCHL scoring 14 goals while adding 37 assists for 51 points. Johnson ended the season earning the Grizzlies Most Inspirational Player Award. In 2016-17, Johnson was part of a Penticton Vees squad that went 41-13-1-3 capturing the Interior Division crown and ultimately defeating the Chilliwack Chiefs four games to three to win the Fred Page Cup. The following season, Johnson was voted Penticton's Fan Favorite and Humanitarian Award Winner as the Vees secured another Interior Division Championship. Prior to his time in the BCHL, Johnson attending Shattuck St. Mary's from 2012-2016 scoring 10 goals while adding 43 assists for 53 points during his junior and senior seasons.
Bobby Hampton // F // 6-0 // 197 // R // Middletown, N.J. // Northeastern (Hockey East)
Hampton, who will redshirt the 2019-20 season due to the NCAA transfer rule, arrives in Hockey Valley after spending the previous two seasons at Northeastern University in Hockey East where he appeared in 47 games scoring five goals and adding a pair of assists for seven points. Prior to his time with the Huskies, Hampton spent parts of three seasons with three different teams in the USHL finishing his time with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders in 2016-17 with a team-best 23 points on 11 goals and 12 assists in 44 games played. Spent the 2015-16 season with the North Jersey Avalanche U18 team, notching 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists) to help the club to the T1EHL U18 Championship.
Will Holtforster // G // 5-11 // 185 // Mississauga, Ontario // Penn State Ice Lions
Holtforster spent the past three seasons with the Penn State Ice Lions compiling a 23-2-0 record while leading the team to back-to-back Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Championships during his sophomore and junior seasons. Holtforster was named to the ACHA First-Team following the 2017-18 campaign after going 13-2-0 with a 2.19 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. A 2018-19 ACHA Academic All-American, the senior went 10-2-0 last season with a 2.40 GAA and a .923 save percentage.