USPHL Premier Players Of The Month – January 2023: Southeast Division

Summaries by Joshua Boyd /



Rhett Evjen, Charlotte Rush

It’s a long way from his hometown of Swift Current, Sask., to Charlotte, but the ‘02 left winger Evjen has made every mile worth it. He’s moved up to 45 points on the season, especially after putting up 16 points in nine games, including nine goals. He scored eight of those goals over a six-game goal-scoring streak. A first-year Rush, Evjen came in with extensive NCDC experience from 2021-22. 


Niko Schoner, Nashville Spartans

Another NCDC veteran, Schoner has been an absolute point machine for the first-year Spartans and that hasn’t stopped whether it’s September, November or certainly not in January. He posted a division-best two points per game average, by putting up 20 points. He sent home – and you’re reading this right – 16 goals! His 46 goals is second only to Christopher Miraldo (of Fresno)’s 51. He had three hat tricks and scored at least one goal in eight of the Spartans’ 10 January games. 


Ethyn Hopp, Carolina Jr. Hurricanes 

With 125 points in 113 career games, Hopp is already the Jr. Canes’ organization all-time leading scorer. He figures why stop at 125? He just keeps building on his total, especially after averaging two points per game in nine games during the month of January. He popped in eight goals and added 10 assists for 18 points in nine games. He exited January on an eight-game point streak, and he started the month with an eight-point performance in four games at the USPHL Tampa Showcase. 



Gustav Sandberg, Potomac Patriots

The Patriots clinched a playoff berth and are hungry to make their USPHL Nationals debut after such an amazing season so far. A heavily international team, they’ve been able to get performances every game from athletes like Sandberg, an ‘03 from Danderyd, Sweden, put up a 1-8-9 line in the Patriots’ eight January games. He also led the team in ice time at 23:29 per game and blocked six shots. 


C.J. Stucky, Carolina Jr. Hurricanes 

Another hearty blueliner who led his team in ice time in January, Stucky (‘02/Everett, Wash.) bypassed the point per game mark for the season with his 33rd point in 32 games. He posted one goal and 12 assists for 13 points in nine games, including an eight-point performance at the scout-heavy USPHL Tampa Showcase. With a +9 in January, he was second in plus-minus only to Ethyn Hopp and frequent defense partner Artyom Barashkin who registered +10. Stucky averaged a team-high 20:08. 



Devin Stephens, Charlotte Rush

There are several reasons why the Rush are the top point-earning team east of the Rockies, and great goaltending is certainly high on the checklist. Stephens, who brings in NCDC experience, has not lost a game since joining the Rush in December. He stands at 9-0 with a 1.11 goals against average and .959 save percentage. For January alone, he stopped 115 of 120 shots, for a .958 save percentage and a 1.25 GAA. This included wins against Nationals staples the Metro Jets and Chicago Cougars. He gave up just one goal in each of those marquee matchups for a combined 59 saves.