Head coach Guy Gadowsky and the Penn State men’s ice hockey team completed their 2018-19 recruiting efforts by signing four additional players to national letters of intent earlier this month, bringing the class total to six.
Last November the Nittany Lions inked forward Aarne Talvitie and defenseman Paul DeNaples during the early signing period and earlier Monday morning announced the addition of four more members to this year’s recruiting class. DeNaples and Talvitie will be joined by fellow freshman Oskar Autio and Max Sauve as well as Merrimack College transfers Evan Bell and Ludvig Larsson.
Oskar Autio // Freshman // G // 6-0 // 183 // L // Espoo, Finland // Chicago Steel (USHL)
Autio, the younger brother of recent graduate Erik Autio, spent the 2017-18 season with the Chicago Steel of the USHL making 46 total appearances throughout the regular season and postseason compiling a combined 23-18 record with a 2.93 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. Following the season, Autio was named to the USHL All-Rookie First-Team.
AUTIO ON PENN STATE
“Ever since I first visited Penn State to see my brother (Erik) it has been a dream of mine to play here. The class A hockey program and outstanding academics are hard to beat.”
“Oskar is a very poised goalie who controls his rebounds really well and doesn’t get himself out of position. We believe he has a similar work ethic to his brother Erik who was one of the team captains in 2017-18, and will give us added depth at the goaltender position.”
Evan Bell // Sophomore // D // 5-11 // 191 // L // Livonia, Mich. // Fargo Force (USHL)/Merrimack
Bell began the 2017-18 season with Merrimack College (Hockey East), but only saw time in five games during his first semester of play registering a pair of assists before opting to return to the USHL where he rejoined the Fargo Force for the remainder of the season. Bell registered 11 goals and 23 assists in 49 total games with a plus-18 rating during his time in Fargo helping the Force capture their first-ever Clark Cup Championship. Bell had the primary assist on the game-winning goal in the championship clinching game against Youngstown. With Bell leaving Merrimack early he will have to sit out the first semester of 2018-19, but will then have two and a half years of eligibility remaining and can take the ice once the second semester hits.
BELL ON PENN STATE
“I choose Penn State because of its rich history and how beautiful the campus is. The hockey facilities are top notch and having the best fans in college hockey makes the decision even easier.”
“Evan is an excellent skating defenseman who moves the puck well and is extremely intelligent. He is an experienced player who we will be able to count on as soon as he steps onto the ice.”
Ludvig Larsson // Graduate // F // 6-0 // 190 // L // Malmo, Sweden // Merrimack (NCAA)
Larsson, the program’s first swede, is using the graduate transfer rule to enroll at Penn State and be eligible to play right away after spending the past three seasons at Merrimack College (Hockey East). During his time with the Warriors, Larsson appeared in 91 games scoring 24 goals and adding 21 assists for 45 points including a career-high 13 goals and 21 points this past season. Along with scoring, Larsson also adds depth at the faceoff dot after ranking second in Hockey East and 14th in the nation last season winning 58.3 percent of his draws.
Prior to his time with the Warriors, Larsson spent the 2014-15 season with the Lone Star Brahmas of the North American Hockey League scoring 21 goals while adding 34 assists for 55 points in 51 games played. Larsson becomes Penn State’s first-ever grad transfer and will only be eligible to play during the 2018-19 season.
LARSSON ON PENN STATE
“I chose Penn State because it offers me everything I ever wanted, it’s a great hockey program, the academics are amazing and the university as a whole will be a great experience.”
“Ludvig has three years of playing experience at Merrimack in Hockey East and as an older player will bring added leadership on and off the ice. He is great on face-offs and will be able to play in a lot of different situations for us.”
Max Sauvé // Freshman // F // 5-9 // 165 // R // Acushnet, Mass. // Avon Old Farms School
Sauvé comes to Penn State after spending a prep year at Avon Old Farms in Connecticut last season. In 23 games with Avon, Sauvé registered eight goals while adding 14 assists for 22 points. During the 2016-17 season, Sauvé played for the South Shore Kings of the USPHL registering 35 points on 13 goals and 22 assists in 44 games played. Before his time in the USPHL Sauvé spent two years at Tabor Academy scoring 28 goals with 35 assists for 63 points in 59 total games including a 20 goal 22 assists season in 2015-16.
SAUVÉ ON PENN STATE
“I chose Penn State because of its high-standard for athletics and academics and because they have the best fans in the country.”
“Max is a great skater and will add to our team speed and tenacity on the fore-check. He is a playmaker and can fill a lot of different roles for us.”
Penn State begins its 2018-19 campaign with the annual International Game on Saturday, October 6 against Brock before opening the regular season with a pair of games against Clarkson on October 11-12.