Penn State Hockey

Penn State hockey: Future Nittany Lion drafted by Penguins

The Penn State men’s hockey team saw the NHL take some more interest in its program Saturday.

Future Nittany Lion Nikita Pavlychev was chosen by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the seventh round of the NHL Draft. He was taken 197th overall, the 16th pick of the final round of the draft.

The 6-foot-7, 200-pound center is the fifth Nittany Lion to be picked by an NHL team. He is a recruit committed for the fall of 2016, an oral commitment who has yet to sign a National Letter of Intent, and was a teammate on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights with Denis Smirnov, who gave a commitment to the Nittany Lions for this fall but has deferred it to next season.

The 18-year-old Pavlychev, originally from Yaroslavl, Russia, has been playing with the Des Moines Buccaneers in the U.S. Hockey League, scoring six goals and assisting on 10 more in 42 games last season