Craig Houtz

Men's Hockey Announces Roster Additions for 2019-20 Season

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Earlier this week head coach Guy Gadowsky and the Penn State men's ice hockey team announced some additions to their 2019-20 roster introducing four new faces to Hockey Valley.

The Nittany Lions added freshmen Connor MacEachern and Kenny Johnson along with transfer Bobby Hampton while also inviting Will Holtforster to join the team for the 2019-20 campaign. The quartet join already committed freshmen Tyler Gratton, Connor McMenamin, Kevin Wall and Mason Snell, who each inked their letters of intent during the early stages of the signing period back in November.

Connor MacEachern // F // 5-10 // 175 // L // Brooklin, Ontario // Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)

In his first season in the USHL, MacEachern ranked inside the top-20 with 56 points and 26 goals in 62 games for the Phantoms finishing third and second on the team, respectively, in each category. Prior to his time in Youngstown, he played two seasons for the Cobourg Cougars of the OJHL scoring 26 goals while adding 40 assists for 66 points in 96 games with an additional seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points in 23 playoff games helping his team capture the 2017 RBC Cup Championship. MacEachern was named Cobourg's 2017 Rookie of the Year in the process.

"I chose Penn State because of the great combination of athletics and academics."

"Connor is a smart player who loves to shoot the puck. He brings a lot of energy and his style of play will really fit our offense."

Kenny Johnson // D // 6-4 // 230 // L // Ann Arbor, Mich. // Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL)

Johnson, the younger brother of Pittsburgh Penguin defenseman Jack Johnson, finished the 2018-19 season with the Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Hockey League after being traded from Penticton where he had spent parts of three seasons. Johnson played a total of 177 games, including playoffs, in the BCHL scoring 14 goals while adding 37 assists for 51 points. Johnson ended the season earning the Grizzlies Most Inspirational Player Award. In 2016-17, Johnson was part of a Penticton Vees squad that went 41-13-1-3 capturing the Interior Division crown and ultimately defeating the Chilliwack Chiefs four games to three to win the Fred Page Cup. The following season, Johnson was voted Penticton's Fan Favorite and Humanitarian Award Winner as the Vees secured another Interior Division Championship. Prior to his time in the BCHL, Johnson attending Shattuck St. Mary's from 2012-2016 scoring 10 goals while adding 43 assists for 53 points during his junior and senior seasons.

"When it comes to hockey, Penn State is on another level, it's a young program, but has already established itself as a team to watch out for. The coaches are genuine people who believe in their players and want the best for them, and I want to be a part of winning championships for this program. Academically, Penn State is respected across the world."

"The first thing you notice about Kenny is his size, which will fit well on our back end. He is known as a great teammate who has tremendous work ethic and moves pucks well to go along with a very heavy shot."

Bobby Hampton // F // 6-0 // 197 // R // Middletown, N.J. // Northeastern (Hockey East)

Hampton, who will redshirt the 2019-20 season due to the NCAA transfer rule, arrives in Hockey Valley after spending the previous two seasons at Northeastern University in Hockey East where he appeared in 47 games scoring five goals and adding a pair of assists for seven points. Prior to his time with the Huskies, Hampton spent parts of three seasons with three different teams in the USHL finishing his time with the Cedar Rapids Roughriders in 2016-17 with a team-best 23 points on 11 goals and 12 assists in 44 games played. Spent the 2015-16 season with the North Jersey Avalanche U18 team, notching 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists) to help the club to the T1EHL U18 Championship.

"It is hard to not choose Penn State when an opportunity like this presents itself, there is so much history at this University and I wanted nothing more than to be a part of it."
"Bobby is a good skater who plays hard, but unfortunately will have to sit out the 2019-20 season due to NCAA transfer rules. We believe the year off will allow him to adjust to Penn State and our style of play."

Will Holtforster // G // 5-11 // 185 // Mississauga, Ontario // Penn State Ice Lions

Holtforster spent the past three seasons with the Penn State Ice Lions compiling a 23-2-0 record while leading the team to back-to-back Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey Championships during his sophomore and junior seasons. Holtforster was named to the ACHA First-Team following the 2017-18 campaign after going 13-2-0 with a 2.19 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. A 2018-19 ACHA Academic All-American, the senior went 10-2-0 last season with a 2.40 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

"I chose Penn State to earn a degree in hospitality management and to continue my hockey career."

"Will is a great person and great teammate who will be joining us as our third goaltender. His character and love for Penn State will be an excellent addition to our program."

Penn State the 2019-20 campaign with the International Game against Ottawa on Sunday, October 6 before hosting Sacred Heart for an opening weekend series on October 11-12. Single-game tickets go on sale Thursday, August 15 at 10:00 a.m. through ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-NITTANY.