Penn State picked up two solid players in college hockey's early signing period: Paul DeNaples, a Pa. native currently playing in the USHL, and Aarne Talvitie, a Finn who was drafted by the Devils earlier this year.
DeNaples is a defenseman from Moscow, Pa., who currently captains the Sioux Falls Stampede in his second year with the team. He was in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights system before going to the USHL, and he committed to Penn State early last August (in fact, his commitment was the first-ever hockey article on this website). He'll turn 20 at the start of next season and will join a defensive corps that will lose at least two players after this season.
Talvitie will be the second Finn to come to Penn State, after Erik Autio. Like Autio, he hails from Espoo and has played his whole career in the Blues' system. He also captained the Finnish U18 National Team last year at World Juniors, where he competed against many of the players he'll face in college (as well as one teammate, Evan Barratt). Talvitie is a two-way forward who has scored at every level he's played, including 24 points in 19 games this season (seventh in points-per-game in the Finnish junior-A league). His well-rounded game earned him a sixth-round selection by the New Jersey Devils in June. For more reading on him, here's our pre-draft profile.
There are a couple more players who have verbally committed to the program but have yet to sign. For now, Penn State signed two great young players whom Hockey Valley should be excited to meet next season.