The Youngstown Phantoms announced that rookie defenseman Steven Ruggiero has committed to play collegiate hockey at Penn State University following his USHL career.
"The facilities were the best I've seen in all of my visits," said Ruggiero. "The coaching staff was great and everything about Penn State was really nice. It is a good fit for me academically, and the hockey down the road is only going to get better in the Big Ten."
Ruggiero has dished out one assist and posted an even plus/minus rating over 14 games this season for the Phantoms. The Kings Park, New York native recently celebrated his 17th birthday earlier this month. He was selected by the Phantoms in the first round of Phase One of the 2013 USHL Draft.
"We're extremely proud of him,” said Phantoms Head Coach Anthony Noreen. "We love the way he went through the process, and the reasons that he chose Penn State. They're a program on the way up, and they're trying to build an identity. He's the type of character kid that you can build a program around."
Ruggiero is joined by teammate Bo Pellah who is also committee to Penn State University. Five other current USHL players are also committed to play hockey at the school; Alec Marsh (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Scott Conway (Indiana Ice), Denis Smirnov (Indiana Ice), Chase Berger (Tri-City Storm), and Kevin Kerr (Tri-City Storm).
Penn State University is a member of the newly-formed Big Ten Conference for hockey and has 14 USHL alumni on the Nittany Lions roster this season; Connor Varley (Des Moines Buccaneers), Patrick Koudys (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Mark Yanis (Muskegon Lumberjacks), David Goodwin (Cedar Rapids/Sioux City/Green Bay), Kenny Brooks (Tri-City Storm), Tommy Olczyk (Sioux City Musketeers), Zach Saar (Muskegon/Des Moines/Chicago), Eric Scheid (Lincoln Stars), Nate Jensen (Tri-City/Cedar Rapids), Casey Bailey (Omaha Lancers), Max Gardiner (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Taylor Holstrom (Youngstown/Omaha),Matt Skoff (Sioux City Musketeers), and Eamon McAdam (Waterloo Black Hawks).
USHL stats – Steven Ruggiero
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14. A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.
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