This past Monday, a couple of preliminary lists of players named to World Junior Championship camps came out, and Penn State freshman forward Aarne Talvitie made the cut for Team Finland.
He’ll join Finland’s U-20 club in Western Canada on December 15 as they start their preparations, make the next round of cuts, and continue finalizing their roster. Talvitie’s addition makes him one of 12 Finnish forwards competing to make the official team before the tournament kicks off December 26.
Last year, when the WJC took place in Buffalo, the New Jersey Devils’ prospect was ultimately left off the final roster. It’s likely that Talvitie’s name sticks this time around, as he represented his country at each of the last two World Junior Summer Showcases, scoring a combined six goals in 10 games.
Talvitie’s Penn State debut marked his first time playing for a team outside his home country. He has collected 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 15 games played, and is already proving that he’ll be a huge asset for the Nittany Lions throughout his collegiate career. Making the Finnish camp sets a Penn State hockey record, as Talvitie is officially the first European player to do so.
If he makes the final roster, Talvitie will miss Penn State’s first series back from winter break vs. Minnesota, as the WJC semifinals and finals are scheduled for the same weekend.
Talvitie might not be the only Nittany Lion making preliminary lists. Leading NCAA points scorer Evan Barratt and fellow sophomore Cole Hults (who got cut last year) have a very good chance of being named to the United States’ camp, which comes out any day now.