Tag Archives: Division I Hockey

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.

Knights Alumni Eugene Fadyeyev Commits to Ohio State

Former Knights Eugene Fadyeyev has made his commitment to play hockey for the Ohio State Buckeyes division I hockey program.

Between 2011-2014, Fadyeyev played 77 games for the Knights for the organization’s Bantam Major team (AYBHL), and the 16U team (AYHL). In that stretch he scored a combined 46 goals and 79 assists, good for 125 points.

Since departing the Knights Fadyeyev scored has played for the Madison Capitols in both the NAPHL 18U and the USHL and represented the Ukraine U18 team in the 2014-2015 Word Junior Classic-18 D1B tournament.

The Knights would like to congratulate Eugene on his hard work and success and wish him the best of luck moving forward!

 

Campolieto Commits to Division 1 Union College

Knights defenseman Joseph Campolieto has committed to Union College starting in the 2018-19 season. The long-time member of the Knights organization is the first Knights player to commit during the 2016-2017 NAHL regular season. He joins forward Aiden Beck as the second division one commit on the Knights current roster.

“I visited Union twice in April and May,” he said. “I just fell in love with the size of the campus, the academics and of course the hockey. They won the national championship in 2014. I just thought Union was a perfect fit for me.

As mentioned, the Union Dutchmen defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 7-4 in the 2014 NCAA Division 1 National Championship. They’ve produced alumni like Philadelphia Flyers phenom defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, Calgary Flames forward Josh Jooris, and New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid among many others. In Campolieto Union is getting a dynamic defenseman.

“I am an offensive defenseman,” he said when asked to describe his game. “I have good-skating ability, high hockey-IQ, I see the ice very well. I just try to make plays and play solid in the defensive zone.”

That skating ability is what really pops when watching Campolieto on film. It’s not uncommon to see him lead a rush into the offensive zone. Last week, at the NAHL’s annual player showcase, he flashed his speed on a penalty kill, breaking up a pass at center ice before taking it back the other way for a shorthanded, breakaway goal.

“I’ve worked really hard since a very young age, skating non-stop. I want to thank Besa Tsintsadze. He’s helped me improve a lot. I’ve skated with him and he’s coached me since I was little.”

Tsintsadze is a former competitive figure skater from the country of Georgia. Since his retirement he’s come to coach hockey players the art of power skating, working with both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins. He now focuses on developing young hockey players like Campolieto in their ability to skate.

After playing 21 games in the NAHL last year, Campolieto has enjoyed a strong start to 2016-2017, leading the Knights in points with one goal and six assists through eight games.

“I’ve known and coached Joseph for many years,” said Knights head coach Tom Kowal. “His improvement is evident. Yes, he’s an impressive skater, but he’s come a long way in developing the other elements of his game. He’s a tireless worker. At the end of the day he’s got a bright future. He’s been an asset for us at multiple levels of the organization and that continues to this day. I’m happy to have him on my team, and I’m excited to see him grow. It’s been a privilege coaching Joseph over the past couple years. I’m excited to have helped him reach his goals both on and off the ice. ”

In addition to adding a blend of offense and speed to the team’s defensive corps, Campolieto is one of the Knight’s leaders. The veteran blue-liner is not about to lose focus on his current season.

“I just want to keep working hard, keep getting better every day. I want to stay focused so that I’m able to do everything I can to help make this team better.”

Without a doubt, the team is happy to have him. As an organization, the Knights congratulate Joe on his commitment and continue to wish him the best of luck in his current and future endeavors.