According to a Finnish report from Yle Sports (yes, that link is in another language), Penn State’s electric freshman forward Aarne Talvitie will undergo season-ending knee surgery and is projected to be out for the next six to nine months.
Talvitie suffered the injury during the 2019 World Junior Championship gold medal game against the United States. He chased a loose puck near the blue line in the first period and got smashed into the boards by an American player, appearing to get his left leg caught in an awkward position. The fall looked ugly, and the Finnish captain immediately floundered to the bench.
He attempted to return to the ice in a couple shifts during the second period but played sparingly. Even with their captain sidelined, the Finns went on to win the title, their third since 2014. This is a big blow to the Nittany Lions’ offense, as the New Jersey Devils’ prospect is one of Penn State’s best and most dynamic two-way forwards.
“Yes, this is a tough blow," Talvitie told Yle Sports. "It is a pity that such a thing came in the middle of time. It's great that I got the World Championship pulled out and got a gold medal. That makes it much easier."
Before the WJC call, Talvitie put up 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 17 games for the Lions, solidifying all the hype that surrounded him coming into the season. He isn’t scheduled to travel back to the United States until this coming Saturday, so until Penn State’s own medical staff can evaluate his injury, it cannot confirm the report.