USPHL Premier 2023-24 Atlantic Division Players Of The Month: November 2023

USPHL Premier 2023-24 Atlantic Division Players Of The Month: November 2023


Summaries by Joshua Boyd / 


Forward: Joona Juntunen, Connecticut Jr. Rangers

Juntunen (‘03/Hyvinkaa, Finland) absolutely lit up the entire Northeastern U.S., and well ahead of the holiday season at that. He put in 11 goals and dished out 19 assists for 30 points in just nine November games as the Jr. Rangers went undefeated throughout their November schedule. For the Jr. Rangers, who are averaging more than nine (!) goals per game, Juntunen was also a +26, which is good for second among the team’s forwards. 


Forward: Yakov Yakzhin, Connecticut Jr. Rangers 

Yakzhin (‘03/Moskva, Russia) is one of the career leaders in points among active players, carrying 171 points in 149 games into the heart of December’s schedule. He began playing in the Premier in 2019, and after a year of AAA hockey, he returned for three straight seasons between 2021 and the present. After an already impressive 53-point season last year, he’s already at the 49-point mark just 23 games into 2023-24 with his new team, the Jr. Rangers. He put up 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points (2.78 points per game). Yakzhin also led the Jr. Rangers forwards in average ice time (18:32), plus-minus (+30), faceoff wins (91, good for 65 percent success rate on 139 draws) and shots on goal (54, good for shooting percentage of 22.2 percent). 


Forward: Lex Roldan, Elmira Impact 

Roldan (‘03/East Aurora, N.Y.) helped the Impact to a fantastic 8-2-0-0 month of November, thanks in large part to his offensive contribution of 23 points in just 10 games. He put up seven goals and added 16 assists for his team. He is skating an average of 19:45 per game, second among 

Impact forwards, and he’s also gone down in front of five shots for five blocks during November. For the season, Roldan has 46 points in 23 games, and 82 points in 62 career games. 


Defense: Hunter Scanlon, Connecticut Jr. Rangers

Scanlon (‘03/Rockford, Ill.) continues to be one of the Premier’s all-time top defensemen, and in fact he ranks second in scoring behind former Wisconsin Rapids Riverking Jordan Stear on the all-time points leaderboard for blueliners. Scanlon currently has 153 points in 105 games. In 2021-22, Stear set the bar at 190 points. Scanlon put up seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points in just nine November games, averaging 2.78 points per game. He is the current scoring leader among D-men in the Premier with 49 points. Defensively, Scanlon led the Jr. Rangers in blocked shots (10) and plus-minus (+36). 


Defense: Markus Andrews, Connecticut Jr. Rangers

Andrews (‘03/Stockholm, Sweden) put up two goals and added on 15 assists for 17 points in eight games in November. Andrews, like Scanlon, is a hearty Premier veteran who had previous experience of playing for current CJR coach Mike Stanaway. He was right behind Scanlon in ice time, skating 21:36 per game, and he was also second on the blue line in +28. He also led the Jr. Rangers in 11 hits. His 38 points this year have already bypassed the 35 he put up in his first year of 2022-23, and he has 73 points in his 62 career games. 


Goaltender: Dylan Bruce, Elmira Impact 

An All-Star in the Elite Conference last year, Bruce continues to move up the ranks and attain great performances along the way. The 2005-born native of Kitchener, Ont., started out 2-0 in the Elite this season in Tampa before being acquired by the Impact, where he has since gone 4-0 at the Premier level. Two of those four wins came during November, when he posted 50 saves on 51 shots over Buffalo and the Minnesota Blue Ox, the latter on the big stage of the USPHL Detroit Showcase. His first Premier shutout, on Nov. 12, saw him stop all 24 shots against the Stampede.  


Selection Process: The league media office sends top candidates to divisional coaches for review and coaches either approve or challenge the nominations.