(Summaries By Grace Mello)
Narek Aleksanyan, Las Vegas Thunderbirds
It is no secret that Aleksanyan (‘02/East Angus, Que.) can score points. Last year, he finished the regular season with 102 points. This saw him ranked No. 2 for the entire USPHL Premier in 2021-22. This season he is on track to being another highs scorer for the league. In just seven games, he has been able to pick up 23 points aiding in the success of the T-Birds. Off to a hot start, this forward currently has 11 goals and 12 assists as the top scorer for Las Vegas, averaging 3.29 points per game. He has scored goals in six of his seven games played including a hat trick in a 7-3 win over San Diego.
Ethan McKibbin, Ontario Jr. Reign
McKibbin (‘02/Chestermere, Alb.) knows how to make an entrance; It’s his first year in the USPHL and he sure has started off strong. He is currently ranked seventh in points in the USPHL Premier an he is leading the Jr. Reign with 30 points (16-14-30). In just 12 games, this forward has nearly doubled the points he has scored in previous seasons.
McKibbin has earned points in every game played and he picked three hat tricks in Ontario’s three-game series over Lake Tahoe.
Christopher Miraldo, Fresno Monsters
Fresno is becoming a second home for this forward as he began his second season with the Monsters. Currently leading the Pacific Division, Miraldo (‘02/Montreal, Que.) has picked up goals in his last seven games.
Starting off strong with 33 points, 23 goals and 10 assists, in 15 games, he is ranked No.3 in the USPHL Premier. So far, he has scored more than half of the goals he earned in the entirety of last season with the Fresno Monsters and Saint-Laurent Patriotes. He has also earned six GWG for the Monsters, who are at the top of the Pacific Division.
Jacob Gagnon, Fresno Monsters
Year 3 in the USPHL and Year 3 on the Monsters for this 2002-born Fresno local, who is leading his team in a big way. Last year he finished sixth in points for the Monsters with 46 and as captain of the Monsters this season, Gagnon is second in points on the team with a total of 24.
He has already scored more than half of his total points for the 2021-2022 season. So far, he is +19 with 17 assists and seven goals. He has played in 14 of the Monster’s 15 games so far this season and been a defensive force to reckon with.
Chase Sechrist, Lake Tahoe Lakers
Sechrist (‘02/ Santa Rosa, CA) is no stranger to Tahoe as he has been playing there since 2016. He joined the Lakers last year for their inaugural season in the USPHL and is back for Year 2 with them. Last season he finished with 35 points earning a No. 5 rank.
This season, he has scored more than half of points he earned last year, earning 19 total points, with 10 assists and nine goals, putting him in the No.1 spot. He has already had a few big games this season scoring five points in a late September game vs Ontario and earning 4 points in an early October game vs. Long Beach where they picked up an OT win.
Ethan Blackburn, San Diego Sabers
Starting his second year in the USPHL Premier, Blackburn (‘02/Boulder, CO) has played eight games so far this season and earned seven wins. Last year, he played 11 games with the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings (where he posted a .929 save percentage) and with the Decatur Blaze.
This season looks to be his best one yet, with San Diego he has faced 291 shots and earned 275 saves with a .945 save percentage, putting him in the top 10 for save percentage in the USPHL Premier.