Penn State’s Andrew Sturtz inks NHL contract with Ottawa Senators
OTTAWA — Penn State junior forward Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) will forgo his senior season in Hockey Valley as he inked a two-year entry level contract with the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League earlier Wednesday Afternoon.
Sturtz just completed his junior season on the ice where he led the team with a career-high 40 points on 14 goals and 26 assists. With neither the Senators nor their American Hockey League counterpart the Belleville Senators in position to make a postseason run, Sturtz will remain at Penn State through the week where he will continue to attend classes to earn his bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management over the next few weeks.
“We are extremely proud of Sturtzy, he’s an honors student who’s going to graduate with his degree from Penn State and he’s signing an NHL contract,” commented head coach Guy Gadowsky. “He made this program a heck of a lot better and he will always be an integral part of Hockey Valley.”
Sturtz becomes the fourth Nittany Lion in as many seasons to leave school early to sign an NHL contract joining Casey Bailey (Toronto), Eamon McAdam (New York Islanders) and Vince Pedrie (New York Rangers) who are each currently playing in the American Hockey League. Bailey remains the only former Penn State student-athlete to reach the NHL appearing in 13 games with stints in Toronto in 2015 and Ottawa just last season.
Earlier this season, the junior became Penn State’s all-time leading goal scorer and just the second Nittany Lion ever to reach 100 career points earning the first postseason accolade of his career with a Big Ten honorable mention selection earlier this month.
Sturtz is just the third Nittany Lion ever to register at least 40 points in a single-season joining Bailey and sophomore Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) who set the Penn State single-season record with 47 points last season.
Sturtz’s 26 assists this season are also a career-high and are the second-most all-time in a single-season at Penn State behind Smirnov’s single-season record of 28 set during the 2016-17 campaign.
“This is a childhood dream come true, five or six years ago I didn’t even think I would be playing Division I hockey and then Matt Lindsay found me in Carleton Place and brought me to Penn State,” mentioned Sturtz. “Being a part of this university and hockey program has opened my eyes to something bigger, the hockey program here is certainly going in the right direction and I think I left it better than I found it.”
The Buffalo, N.Y. native leaves Penn State as the all-time career leader in goals scored with 54 while also holding the program standard for shorthanded goals with nine, game-winning goals with eight and plus/minus finishing his career with a plus-50 rating in 111 games played. Sturtz also ranks second all-time in points (104) and shots on goal (402) while ranking tied for third in assists (50) and fifth in power-play goals with nine.
“I am extremely grateful to have played under Guy Gadowsky and his staff and meet the best friends I could ever ask for, the one thing I will always remember is home games at Pegula, I don’t think anything will compare to that and I’ll always be true to dear old White and Blue it was the best time of my life and I’m excited for the next chapter.”