USPHL Premier 2023-24 Midwest West Division All-Stars

Selection Process: Voting took part in two phases. In the first phase, the division’s coaches voted for three of their own players and three players from other teams in the division. Once these results were compiled, the division’s coaches voted on the final team. 



Cannon Bonifay, Minnesota Squatch 

Bonifay (‘04/Fort Worth, Texas) was a popular selection by the coaches, and it’s not surprising after he was a junior rookie player that put up 88 points. That placed him in the top 20 in overall scoring and first among rookies, while his 47 goals were good for third overall in the league. Bonifay joined from the Dallas Stars Elite program, alongside Squatch defenseman Jeb Gould. 




Jay Ellingson, Minnesota Squatch 

Ellingson (‘05/Maple Grove, Minn.) became the second member of his family to score 100 points in a season for the Squatch. He scored 101 points this year, one year after his brother Daniel Ellingson put up 103 points in the Squatch’s 2022-23 inaugural season. Ellingson went into the playoffs on a 24-game scoring streak, during which he put up 58 points. In the postseason, he scored 11 points in eight games. It was Ellingson’s hat trick goal on March 10 that ended their triple-OT playoff game against Hudson that sent the Squatch to the USPHL Nationals for the first time. 


Johan Karjalainen, Minnesota Squatch 

Karjalainen (‘03/Helsinki, Finland) finished his USPHL career with a very impressive 1.55 points per game average over two seasons, comping 96 points in 62 career games. He scored 54 points in 31 games with the Squatch in his first season with that team, helping to push them in the regular season and playoffs, where he added another 10 points in eight games, including their stint at Nationals. His 22 hits led the Squatch, as well, showing his ability to play a heavy game. 



Noah LaFleur, Steele County Blades  

LaFleur (‘03/Fairbanks, Alaska) became just the second Blades player to hit the 100-point mark for their career in the USPHL Premier, since the current conference was formed in 2017. He joined the Blades last year out of West Salem High School in Wisconsin and went right to work, scoring 51 points in 2022-23, then improving upon that with a 56-point season in 2023-24. LaFleur threw his 6-2, 201-pound frame around well, putting up a team-leading 96 hits this year, and his +12 was tied for second on the team. 



Easton Parnell, Isanti Outlaws

Parnell (‘03/Cambridge, Minn.) made it to the top of his organization’s all-time scoring list, coming across the junior finish line with 179 points in 150 games, going back to joining the former Rum River Mallards in 2020-21. He finished with 62 points on the season. The local product from Cambridge-Isanti High School put up a second straight 24-goal season, which ended up giving him 67 goals on his career, tied for first in team history (with another player on this list). 



Tyler Schmitt, Isanti Outlaws 

That player would be Tyler Schmitt, who’s been on board with Isanti since 2021. The ‘03 from Big Lake, Minn., is tied for the all-time lead in goals for the Outlaws with 67. He scored 22 this year, and finished with 56 points in 44 games. For his career, he has 173 points in 126 games, giving him a 1.36 points per game average. Schmitt’s 82 blocked shots this year led the team, as did his 59 hits.    




Zach Hutchinson, Minnesota Moose 

Hutchinson (‘03/West Salem, Wis.), the third-year Moose, improved each year with the team from 11 to 20 to 38 points. The three-year West Salem High School teammate of Noah LaFleur has 69 points for his junior career. Hutchinson was a +13 for the season, ranking second on the team. He was also second in hits with 60, while leading in faceoff wins with 427 for a 56 percent success rate.  



Evan Luxford, Hudson Havoc 

Luxford (‘05/Sun Prairie, Wis.) may not be long for the Premier, given that he was tendered by the NCDC’s Twin City Thunder recently. He got into the plans for that Tier II team after posting 25 goals and 49 points in 43 games this year, with those 25 goals ranking second all-time for Hudson in a single season. His +21 rating led the Havoc this year, as well. 




Karl Grafelman, Minnesota Blue Ox 

The second-year Blue Ox improved by 39 points and scored 27 goals in his second year, as he was the leading scorer for the Blue Ox this year, with the goal count tied for fifth most in Blue Ox history and points seventh most. Grafelman (‘03/Omaha, Neb.) posted the most time on ice for Blue Ox forwards at 21:10 per game, along with the most hits (39) and blocked shots (30) among the forward group. He was also his team’s faceoff master, winning 510 for a 56 percent success rate. 




Jake Bryceland, Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings 

Bryceland (‘04/Telford, U.K.) briefly joined Wisconsin Rapids last year after a couple years at the Hoosac School, before being a full-time Riverking this year. Bryceland posted a 23-28-51 line to push his team to No. 1 in the Midwest West Division and also ultimately into the USPHL Nationals. His +30 led the Riverkings in 2023-24, and he contributed four points in six postseason games. 





Owen Tutich, Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings 

Tutich (‘04/Greensburg, Pa.) was a fantastic addition for the Riverkings, coming out of the Pittsburgh Vengeance AAA team and Greensburg Salem High School in his hometown. In Year 1 with the Riverkings, Tutich enjoyed a strong rookie junior season with 34 points in 44 games, and then added six points in seven playoff games, including three points in three Nationals contests. He also led Riverkings forwards this year in blocked shots with 32. 




Cyril Valach, Minnesota Mullets 

Valach (‘04/Moravske Budejovice, Czechia) joined the Mullets in early December out of the HK Budejovice organization in his home country and made an immediate impact. He scored 18 goals and 33 points in 22 games, enough to see him named Captain of the Mullets before the season ended. 





Gavin Jensen, Hudson Havoc 

Jensen (‘05/Beloit, Wis.) was a rock star for the Havoc all season long, joining out of the NAHL and playing in 38 games. He would go on to put up a very strong 6-24-30 line during the regular season, and he added five assists in six games, as the Havoc battled through two three-game series in the postseason. Jensen was reunited on the Havoc this year with former Bantam and Midget teammate Evan Luxford. 




Thomas Dalsin, Minnesota Moose

Dalsin (‘03/Shakopee, Minn.) returned for a second year with the Moose and was a strong veteran presence for the team, helping to keep the ship moving in the right direction as a field general for Head Coach Nic Leibold. He improved to 21 points 41 games (and scored three points in four playoff games), and he also led the Moose in overall ice time with 23:18. His 31 blocked shots were second on the Moose defense. 




Lyndon Orr, Isanti Outlaws

Orr (‘03/Aberdeen, S.D.) brought great veteran leadership to the Outlaws defensive corps, putting up a line of 11 goals and 29 assists for 40 points. The University of Mary (ACHA) recruit was a machine, in terms of averaging 28:12 per game. Also employed as a forward for the Outlaws, he showed his versatility by winning 133 faceoffs, blocking 80 shots and registering 21 hits during the year. 



Jack Kopfstein, Dells Ducks 

Kopfstein (‘05/Newport Beach, Calif.) remained a top defenseman not only for the Dells Ducks but league-wide as he just completed his third season after originally starting as a 16-year-old in 2021-22. He has improved offensively each season from 15 points to 31 to 34. In the Ducks’ USPHL Premier history, since 2017, Kopfstein is second in games played (112) and points (80). 



Lucas Whitehead, Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings 

Whitehead (‘04/Barrie, Ont.) does not put up the flashy offensive numbers of some all-stars, but to Riverkings GM/Head Coach Paul Pechmann, he was every bit as important to the team’s return to the USPHL Nationals for the first time since 2018 as the team’s offensive leaders. His most telling statistic was his 110 blocked shots this year, while he also put up 12 assists in his second Riverkings season. In seven postseason games, he blocked 25 shots of those 110 total shots.




Gabe Myers, Minnesota Blue Ox

Another outstanding second-year defenseman, Myers (‘04/Southeast Polk, Iowa) was a leader in many ways. He led the Blue Ox defense in scoring with 33 points, and he was also No. 1 on the Blue Ox in average ice time per game with 22:30. He also led the way in hits (47) and blocked shots (62) for the Coon Rapids, Minnesota-based team. For his two years with the Blue Ox, his 48 assists are good for 10th on their all-time helper leaderboard.  





Levi Preugschas, Steele County Blades

Preugschas (‘03/Buffalo, Minn.) will leave his junior hockey career with the fifth-most victories in Premier history – at 40 – and with the second-most games in net, at 85. This year saw Preugschas put up his best save percentage of his career, standing at .920, an improvement on both his first two seasons. He also finished his career with a playoff save percentage of .927. 


Bora Yildirim, Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings 

Yildirim (‘03/Hostivice, Czechia) enjoyed a huge season, as he led all of the USPHL Premier with his .950 save percentage, as he pushed his way to a 12-2-3-2 record for the season. During the postseason, he went 3-0 with a .947 as the Riverkings made it to USPHL Nationals. His .950 save percentage is the best all-time for a single Riverkings goaltender season, and seventh all-time in the USPHL Premier.