Penn State men’s hockey announced its incoming 2021 class on Wednesday afternoon as the Nittany Lions slowly march towards offseason workouts and – hopefully – a far more normal 2021-22 season than the COVID-19 impacted 2020-21 campaign.
In total Guy Gadowsky will welcome five incoming freshmen in addition to one transfer portal acquisition. The Nittany Lions are looking to bounce back from a streaky 2020 with more consistent play on both ends of the ice. With goalscoring unusually limited in 2020 [2.95 goals per game] compared to year’s past, the group of six players includes just one defenseman. While this was not entirely by design, Gadowsky and his staff won’t be short on goal-scoring options heading into the year.
The following bios and general career accomplishments were collected by Penn State Athletics.
Daniyal Dzhaniyev // F // 5-4 // 145 // L // Brooklyn, N.Y. // Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
Dzhaniyev recently finished his first and only season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL ranking third on the team with 18 goals while adding 18 assists for 36 points in 49 games played. A product of the United States National Team Development Program, Dzhaniyev played on various teams throughout from 2018-2020 appearing in 154 total games and registering 37points on 20 goals and 17 assists. Was a member of the U17 team that captured the Five Nations Tournament crown in Sweden in 2019.
Ryan Kirwan // F // 6-2 // 195 // L // DeWitt, N.Y. // Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
Kirwan played the 2020-21 season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL ranking second on the team with 21 goals while adding 16 assists for 37 points in 50 games played. During the 2019-20 season, Kirwan played for the Madison Capitols leading the team with 25 goals and ranking second with 41 points in 50 games. Was named to the 2019-20 USHL All-Rookie Team. Spent the 2018-19 season with Little Caesars 16U team capturing the Michigan State Championship. Played 71 games during that 2018-19 season leading the team with 58 goals and 101 points.
Simon Mack // D // 5-10 // 180 // R // Brockville, Ontario // Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)
After sitting out the 2019-20 season due to an injury, Mack finished his first season with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL in 2020-21 after spending the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons with his hometown Brockville Braves of the CCHL. Mack scored four goals while adding seven assists for 11 points in 51 games for the Bucs. In 108 career games with Brockville, Mack collected 66 points on eight goals and 58 assists including a 44-point season (4G, 40A) during the 2018-19 campaign. Mack was named the Braves Rookie of the Year following the 2017-18 season and earned the team’s Top Defenseman Award and Don Wallace Memorial Award in 2018-19 while earning CCHL Second Team All-Star recognition. Mack was also selected for Team Canada East in the World Junior A Challenge and was nominated for the Brockville and Area Sports Person of the Year Award.
Ben Schoen // F // 5-8 // 150 // R // Toledo, Ohio // Tri-City Storm (USHL)
Schoen played the past three seasons in the USHL mostly for the Youngstown Phantoms but completed the 2020-21 campaign with the Tri-City Storm following a midseason trade. In 41 games combined between the two clubs, Schoen scored 17 goals while adding 13 assists for 30 points. Helped the Storm to the Western Conference regular-season championship. In 125 total USHL contests he registered 78 points on 29 goals and 49 assists. Prior to his time in the USHL, Schoen spent two seasons with Little Caesars (2016-18) scoring 42 goals with 50 assists for 92 points in 87 games.
Carson Dyck // F // 6-0 // 180 // R // Lethbridge, Alberta // Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)
Dyck played the past three seasons with the Okotoks Oilers skating in 121 games scoring 16 goals while adding 54 assists for 70 points. Served as team captain this past season leading his team to a 7-1 record in only eight games before the remainder of the season was canceled. Led the team in scoring with nine points on three goals and six assists. Led the Oilers to the South Division finals during his first season in 2018-19.
Ben Copeland // F // 6-1 // 185 // R // Edina, Minnesota // Colorado College (NCHC)
Copeland began his collegiate career at Colorado College where he amassed 17 goals and 33 assists for 50 points in 97 games over the past three seasons. In 22 games during the 2020-21 season, Copeland finished second on the team with 11 points on four goals and seven helpers. Prior to his time in Colorado Springs, he played two seasons in the USHL for the Waterloo Blackhawks racking up 26 goals and 57 assists in 130 games and was a teammate of former captain Alex Limoges during the second half of the 2016-17 season in Waterloo. Spent two seasons at Edina High School in Minnesota where he was a teammate of current Nittany Lion defenseman Clayton Phillips from 2014-16. Scored 15 goals while adding 26 assists for 41 points in 27 games during his final season at Edina.