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

Summaries by Joshua Boyd /

Forward: Noah LaFleur, Steele County Blades

LaFleur (‘03/Fairbanks, Alaska) racked up no less than 12 goals and added 10 assists for 22 points in 11 games during the month of December. The Blades made the trip to Las Vegas and LaFleur posted a 4-4-8 line for the four-game showcase. LaFleur put in 20:59 per game on average for the month of December, and his +11 and 23 hits led the team as well. 


Forward: Jay Ellingson, Minnesota Squatch 

Ellingson (‘05/Maple Grove, Minn.) is enjoying his second season with the Squatch and has 67 points in 27 games this season. For the past month of December, he put up six goals and added five assists for 11 points in just a span of five games. Like LaFleur, Ellingson led his team in ice time, with 21:41. He was a +6, good for a share of a four-way tie. 


Forward: Bryce Laager, Hudson Havoc

Laager (‘04/Blaine, Minn.) averaged two points per game during December by registering five goals and adding seven assists for 12 points in six games. From Oct. 28 through the end of 2023, Laager never missed making the scoresheet with a goal, an assist or both (or multiples of both). In those 16 games, he put up a 17-19-36 scoring streak. Laager now has 17 goals and 36 points in 17 games. 


Defense: Steven Pribula, Steele County Blades

Pribula (‘03/Grand Forks, N.D.) put up a pair of goals and added 10 assists for 12 points in 11 games, good for 1.09 points per game. He therefore matched his 2022-23 totals in that one month and has also doubled them for this season, with 22 points now in 28 games. He led the Blades in December ice time at 24:24 per game, 


Defense: Gavin Jensen, Hudson Havoc

Jensen (‘05/Beloit, Wis.) clicked on a point per game pace for the Havoc in his first junior season out of the Sioux Falls Power AAA. He put up a 1-5-6 line in six games, with that one goal being the game-winner in a Dec. 29 game against the Minnesota Blue Ox. His +8 was tops among Havoc defensemen last month and Jensen now has 22 points in 25 games. 


Goaltender: Bora Yildirim, Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings 

Yildirim (‘03/Praha, Czechia) was huge for the Riverkings over the month, playing 185 minutes and not losing once in any single 60-to 65-minute session of music. He finished the month with a 2-0-0-1 record and stopped 103 of 106 shots for a .972 save percentage. He finished his 2023 worth of hockey with 36 saves on 36 shots against the offensively powerful Minnesota Squatch. 


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