Penn State Hockey Lands Defenseman

Penn State's hockey Class of 2012 receives a pledge from Mark Yanis, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound defenseman from Michigan.

The Nittany Lions received a commitment for their Class of 2012 from defenseman Mark Yanis earlier this week. Yanis, a Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.igan native, is a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder who played with the Muskegon Lumberjacks last season. The defenseman says he was impressed with what Penn State could provide him and what he could provide Penn State.

"I want to be a leader on this team and lead by example," Yanis said. "I want to show the newcomers what Muskegon hockey is all about. I have a physical style and Coach Patrick preaches that if you don't hit, you won't be in the lineup. I'm here to be a shutdown defenseman and that's what Penn State was looking for."

Yanis was recruited by the likes of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Notre Dame. Yanis is known for his physical, aggressive style of play and has his eyes on the next level.

"I wanted to go where I could continue to the next level and make it to the NHL," Yanis said. "(Penn State Head) Coach Guy Gadowsky has a lot of respect in the pro world. It rang a bell when I got to meet him personally."

As a rookie in the United States Hockey League last season, the defenseman managed a goal and four assists in 54 games . He was steered toward Penn State not just because of its coaching staff, but also because of the school's outstanding academic track record. , native has his sights set on getting a degree in criminal justice.

As Lumberjacks Owner Josh Mervis explained, "Mark Yanis has a long professional career ahead of him, and he'll be playing for a coach who has a proven track record of developing NHL player, but more importantly he's going to get a great education. Once he's done playing in the NHL, he'll have a diploma."

Yanis was impressed not only with what Penn State is building on the ice, but also what they provide in the classroom. Yanis plans on studying Criminal Justice in Happy Valley. He will become eligible for next June's NHL Draft and has his sights set on hearing his name called.

"It'll be a big year for me, starting with the USHL Fall Classic in September," Yanis said.

Yanis joins fellow PSU Class of 2012 pledge Tommy Olczyk, a four-year veteran of the Sioux City Musketeers.


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