Evan Barratt won’t be the only Nittany Lion at the 2019 U-20 World Junior Championship in western Canada.
Penn State men’s hockey freshman Aarne Talvitie made the final cut for Finland’s roster at the World Junior Championship. He’ll play in the tournament for the first time after beginning his NCAA career with 16 points in 17 games played.
Talvitie was expected to play at last year’s World Junior Championship, but he was cut during Finland’s pre-tournament camp. The freshman was a virtual lock to make Finland’s roster this year — he captained Finland’s national U-20 team at the World Junior Summer Showcase. He’ll wear the “C” for Finland once again at this tournament, becoming the first Nittany Lion to captain his country at the World Junior Championship.
— Leijonat (@leijonat) December 25, 2018
The New Jersey Devils’ prospect will play with some of the best amateur hockey players in the world. Forward Kaapo Kakko is projected to be the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft — he and Talvitie will be teammates in Western Canada. Defenseman Henri Jokiharju and forward Urho Vaakanainen are both former first-round picks of the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, respectively, and they’ll serve as Finland’s alternate captains at the tournament.
Talvitie was a healthy scratch for Finland’s first of two exhibition games before the tournament, but he did feature in his team’s 5-2 victory over Canada on December 23. Although Talvitie was held off the scoresheet against the Canadians, his team did make a big statement against this year’s host nation, even if it was just an exhibition game.
Finland will begin the tournament with a matchup against Sweden. The puck will drop on the action at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and you can watch the game on the NHL Network.