By Joshua Boyd / USPHLPremier.com
Two years of USPHL Elite hockey was just the right measure for Richmond Generals defenseman Jonathan Beiber to move on from an Elite championship season to the USPHL Premier and put together an All-Star season. All that also led to his NCAA Division III commitment to Salem State University, in Salem, Mass.
“I think the USPHL’s path from Elite to Premier is really good for younger guys After having an ACL injury and cutting my first year on Elite short, it was great to be able to come back and compete at the same level so that I could improve and prepare for a year at the Premier level,” said Beiber, an ‘02 out of Pittsburgh.
“I think the Gens have one of the best development models in the league. From giving younger Elite guys the chance to come up to Premier to get some practice experience and having a few defensemen-focused skill days per month, the Gens have a great development path for young players,” said Beiber, building on the Elite-to-Premier-to-College pathway. “The coaches really gave me opportunities to try new things and play in different situations which improved my game immensely.”
That improvement was certainly noticed throughout the year and at USPHL Nationals by Assistant Coach Jimmy Currier and the rest of the Salem State staff.
“I started talking with Salem State around February this year. Coach Currier and I have talked regularly since then,” said Beiber (pronounced “bye-ber,” not like the pop star of no relation whose surname is also spelled differently). “The coaches really liked my ability to control the play and make smart decisions with the puck. On the hockey side, their facility was great. The rink being on campus was a huge bonus for me. For academics, their finance program really piqued my interest, and I will be majoring in finance.”
He got a feel for the Vikings culture during his visit, and it certainly reminded him of the family atmosphere he got while playing for the Generals, where nearly 60 Premier and Elite players formed an unbreakable bond.
“I really enjoyed my visit to the campus. The boys on the team seem really close to one another and that is part of what I enjoyed so much at the Richmond Generals,” added Beiber. “I made my commitment official because I knew Salem State was the right fit for me after my visit. The team also had great success in the MASCAC playoffs which was fun to watch.”
In his three years with the Generals, Beiber got to play in the Elite championship game (and win, in 2022) and play in the Premier semifinals (2023). Overall, he put up 49 points in 61 combined regular season and playoff games in the Elite – winning All-Star honors in 2022 – and 27 points in 49 combined Premier games – and Premier Southeast Division All-Star honors this past year.
“I enjoyed every minute playing for the Gens. The connections I made with some of my teammates and coaches there will last way past the end of my junior career,” said Beiber. “The coaches and the ownership really care for their players and treat them like family.”
It’s going to be an intense off-season, one he looks forward to as he knows that a long and productive career kicks off in the fall.
“This summer, I’m really trying to focus on getting stronger so that I can play a physical, intense game at the NCAA level,” added Beiber.
The USPHL congratulates Jonathan Beiber, his family, the Richmond Generals and Salem State University for his commitment.