Kevin Wall Has Been the Lone Bright Spot for Penn State's Offense

By Jacob Cheris on November 30, 2020 at 1:28 pm
Jul 14, 2020; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; A view of a St. Louis Blues players hockey stick and puck during a NHL workout at Centene Community Ice Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Despite being 0-4 on the season, sophomore forward Kevin Wall has emerged as a legitimate top-six player for Penn State. Wall was drafted in the sixth round by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2019, and currently leads Penn State in points with four in as many games. He has been playing on  a line with Aarne Talvitie and Connor McMenamin.

As a freshman, he was very quiet tallying just seven points in 26 games. Sometimes, the right-winger was the extra skater or a healthy scratch, but Guy Gadowsky would occasionally give him time on the first line. Wall is known among Penn State fans as the player who scored the game-winning, and conference title clinching goal against the Minnesota in March prior to the season being shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With plenty of firepower from last season's squad, Wall is going to be leaned up much more to provide a scoring punch. The need for his contribution is magnified with Alex Limoges and Talvitie struggling through the early part of the season.

Wall is starting to become an effective player because he is playing a 200-foot game, playing well on both ends of the rink. He has been very aggressive on the forecheck and caused several turnovers in the season-opening series against Wisconsin. He was expected to have an increased role moving up the lineup, and he has exceeded expectations so far.

Wall has been a fixture on the second power, but a bump up to the first could get a struggling Penn State power play going. The Lions are just 1-for-13 in the early going. Bumping Wall up to the top unit could provide the needed spark, with his net-front game meshing well with Gadowsky's system of getting pucks to the net. Someone has to be crashing the net finding second and third chance opportunities. Wall would be the perfect fit as a big body, especially in this upcoming series against Michigan. The Wolverines have the best goalie in the Big Ten, Strauss Mann, and anything to make his job more challenging should be an option.