Photo Credit: Craig Houtz
Denis Smirnov rise in the hockey world continues. After a prolific freshman year at Penn State, Smirnov heard his name called by the Colorado Avalanche on day two of the 2017 NHL Draft.
The skilled forward played two seasons with the Knights between 2011-2013. A 2016-17 commitment to Penn State, Smirnov joined the Nittany Lions last season where he went on to lead the team, and the nation’s freshmen with 19 goals and 47 points in 39 games. Smirnov’s efforts earned him Penn State’s MVP and Freshman of the Year awards, and ultimately the attention of NHL scouts.
Taken by Colorado in the 6th round with the 156th overall pick, Smirnov’s selection now marks four consecutive years in which a Knights alumni has been taken in the NHL Draft.
Smirnov is the sixth Knight to be drafted, following CJ Yakimowicz (2014-6th round, St. Louis Blues), Ivan Provorov (2015-1st round, Philadelphia Flyers), Daniel Sprong (2015-2nd Round, Pittsburgh Penguins), Nikita Pavlychev (2015-7th round, Pittsburgh Penguins), and Dmitri Zaitsev (2016-7th round, Washington Capitals).
The Knights are ecstatic for Denis and congratulate him on his well-deserved success. The entire organization is rooting for him as he continues his tremendous career!