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Knights Alumni Denis Smirnov named Penn State MVP, Freshman of the Year

Photo/Craig Houtz

Once a regular at the Revolution Ice Centre, it wasn’t too long ago when it was a common sight for Denis Smirnov to be lighting the lamp for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. For the 2011-2012 season, the skilled Russian forward averaged three points a game for the Knights AYBHL team, with a line of 39-37-76 in 25 games played. The following year he made the jump to the AYHL 16U Knights and scored 23 goals with 21 assists in 21 games played.

His scoring touch carried over to his USHL career in which he registered 62-80-142 in 160 games played over three full seasons. Now in the NCAA, Smirnov finished his freshman year by leading the Penn State Nittany Lions in total points with 47, assists with 28, and game-winning goals with four.

His 19-28-47 stat line has earned him the nod as the Lions MVP and team Freshman of the Year.  Those numbers placed him in a tie for 15th in the nation in division one scoring, and led all freshman in the country.

Smirnov has been a stellar player at every stop along the way in his young hockey career, and the Knights congratulate him on his well-deserved accolades. The organization will be among many rooting for him as he moves ahead toward a very bright future.