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Avalanche Picks Denis Smirnov No. 156 Overall At 2017 NHL Draft

The Russian set freshmen records at Penn State in 2016-17

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

CHICAGO --The Colorado Avalanche picked forward Denis Smirnov with the 156th overall selection in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL Draft on Saturday at United Center.

Smirnov completed his first season at Penn State University in 2016-17, where he led the nation in scoring among freshmen with 47 points in 39 contests. He also set a new school record for points and assists (28) in a single campaign, as well as the most goals (19) ever by a Nittany Lion freshman.

An All-Big Ten honorable mention, the 19-year-old was also a member of the conference's All-Freshman Team last year as he helped Penn State win its first Big Ten Tournament championship.

Born in Moscow, Russia, Smirnov is no stranger to hockey in the United States. He played for the Wilkes-Barre Knights program from 2011 to 2013 before three seasons in the United States Hockey League with the Indiana Ice and Fargo Force. The right wing was named to the USHL Second All-Star Team in 2015-16 after putting up 61 points (29 goals and 32 assists) in 60 contests with Fargo.

Smirnov won a USHL Clark Cup championship with Indiana in 2013-14, where he was also an All-Rookie Team selection.

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