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

Summaries By Joshua Boyd /


Forward: Yakov Yakzhin, Connecticut Jr. Rangers

Yakzhin (‘03/Moskva, Russia) improved to an amazing 187 points on his career – and could easily hit 200 before season’s end – during the month of November in this, his fourth Premier season. The Jr. Rangers forward put up a 5-17-22 line in just six games, equaling a 3.67 points per game average. He averages 26:30, leading the Rangers forwards in that category. He’s also a team-leading +12 and had a team-leading 63 faceoff wins (56 percent of his 112 total). In 15 straight games, Yakzhin has registered 47 points on an active streak. 


Forward: Joona Juntunen, Connecticut Jr. Rangers

Juntunen (‘03/Hyvinkaa, Finland) registered nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points in six games, averaging 3.5 points per game for the month of December. He just passed the 100-point mark during the month, and stands with 105 points in 61 career Premier games. He led in scoring chances with 15 and was second on the Rangers with a +11 rating. 


Forward: Filip Tomiczek, Elmira Impact

Tomiczek (‘04/Trinec, Czechia) registered a 6-10-16 line in seven December games and continues to just have an eye-popping year, already at 61 points in 29 games. He entered 2024 on a 14-game scoring streak that has seen him register 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points in 14 games. He skated an average of 24:59 per game, leading all Impact forwards, and he put a team-leading 48 shots on goal. 


Defense: Hunter Scanlon, Connecticut Jr. Rangers

Scanlon (‘03/Rockford, Ill.) is closing in on the all-time scoring lead among USPHL Premier defensemen. At 167 points, he is just 25 points back of former Wisconsin Rapids Riverking Jordan Stear, currently with Lebanon Valley College. This is very much within the realm of possibility for him to set the new record as he just came off a 17-point month with a 6-11-17 line in just six games. He skated an average of 27:03 per game to stand second on the Rangers in that category, and he also led the Rangers in blocked shots per game at 1.25. 


Defense: Jonathan Brauer, Connecticut Jr. Rangers

Brauer, an ‘04 from Sweden, was huge for his team by putting up a 2-8-10 line in just five games. Brauer’s +6 rating led all Jr. Rangers defensemen as did his six hits last month, and he has been having a fantastic first year of North American hockey. He currently has 31 points in 27 games for this year. 


Goaltender: Andrew Zang, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights

Zang (‘04/Carrollton, Texas) is enjoying his second USPHL season and first with the Knights. He swept his starts in December by going 3-0, and he made 87 stops on 91 shots during that time for a .956 save percentage. His best performance was stopping 39 of 41 against the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders on Dec. 2. For the season, he is 7-2-0-0 overall with a .930 save percentage and a 2.04 goals against average. 


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