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World Junior Championships Division 1 tournaments loaded with USPHL talent

By Joshua Boyd /, 12/09/18, 2:45PM EST


(Pictured: Rene Troethan, South Shore Kings. Photo by Joshua Boyd /


Active USPHL players

Rene Troethan (South Shore Kings/NCDC), Team Austria 
Troethan, a ‘99 from Villach, Austria, is playing in the Division 1 Group A tournament with Austria. The Austrian team played its first game on Dec. 9 and lost 3-2 to Germany in a shootout. With the Kings this year, he played in 23 games and registered 11 points prior to his appointment to the Austrian National Junior Team in Fussen, Germany. 
“Rene's leadership and compete level are off the charts,” said Kings head coach John Gurskis.
Austria next faces Latvia on Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. EST (7 p.m. local time) 

Janis Vizbelis (Connecticut Jr. Rangers/NCDC), Team Latvia
Vizbelis, a ‘99 from Riga, has been in the USPHL since 2014, skating three seasons with the Connecticut Jr. Rangers in the 16U Division (2014-15), Premier Division (2017-18) and NCDC (2018-19). He also skated a season in the USPHL 18U Division with the Springfield Jr. Pics in 2016-17. 
Latvia opened the Division 1 Group A tournament with a 3-1 loss to France, and will look to rebound on Tuesday against Austria. 
Through 23 NCDC games this year, Vizbelis has six goals and 12 points. 
“The Connecticut Jr. Rangers are extremely excited for Janis to participate with Latvia at the U20 World Junior Championships,” said Rangers NCDC coach Jim Henkel. “Janis has put in a lot of work in the last 18 months to put himself in a position to take advantage of this opportunity. His participation in the tournament will make him a better player and in turn will make the Connecticut Jr. Rangers team better.”

Sasha Peresunko (Boston Junior Bruins/NCDC), Team Ukraine
Peresunko (‘00/Kharkov) has been one of the most productive players in the NCDC this year, earning the NCDC’s Forward Of The Month award for October. He picked up 33 points in his first 23 games this season. Last season, he played in 14 games for the Junior Bruins’ NCDC team and earned 15 points. 
He is also an alum of the Springfield Jr. Pics organization, with whom he torched the Premier Division last year for 27 goals and 42 points in 26 games. He also played two 18U games for the Pics last season. 
Peresunko scored Team Ukraine’s second goal on Dec. 9 against Team Hungary, his second career World Junior Under-20 Championships goal, after also representing his country last season in the tournament. He has played for Team Ukraine’s 18U squad in two World Under-18 Championships as well. 
“Sasha is a very talented offensive player and has been a big part of our hockey team,” said Mike Anderson, head coach of the NCDC Junior Bruins. “We certainly miss his presence in the lineup during this stretch but are excited for him to have the opportunity to represent his country and compete on a world stage.”

Artyom Mateychenko (South Shore Kings/NCDC), Team Ukraine
Mateychenko (‘00/Kharkov) scored Team Ukraine’s second goal of the 2018 World Junior Championship Division 1 Group B tournament, a beautiful wristshot off a breakaway. Mateychenko is Team Ukraine’s captain, having held the same position last spring when he captained Ukraine’s U18 World Championships squad. 
With the Kings’ Premier squad, Mateychenko has 11 points in 16 games, and he has added three assists through five NCDC contests as well. 
“Only a 2000, Arty has the potential to put up some numbers in the second half of the season,” said the Kings’ NCDC coach John Gurskis.
“Artyom is a speedy forward with a great attitude for the game and his teammates,” added Kings Premier coach Dan Panciocco. “His vision and hockey IQ is off the chart for such a young player. Due to his commitment and positive attitude, it was no surprise he was selected for the WJC tournament. Being a young and skilled player we expect him to continue making an impact within the Kings organization. We are very proud of him!”

Danylo Sukhonos (New York Aviators/Premier), Team Ukraine
From the powerful New York Aviators, who spent many weeks as the nation’s top-ranked Tier-3 junior team, comes this ‘99 from Odessa, Ukraine. He has racked up 31 points in 22 games on the blue line for the Aviators, and is in his second year with the organization. Last year, he split time between the USPHL’s Premier Division, Elite Division and 18U Division with the New York squad. 
Team Ukraine is playing in the Division 1 Group B tournament in Tychy, Poland. They took a tournament-opening 4-2 loss to the host country on Saturday, and will play again Sunday afternoon against Hungary. 
“As a team and an organization, we have been fortunate to have a lot of success. Without question, Danylo has contributed to that and helped take our program to a new level this season,” said Aviators head coach Mike Stanaway. “He has put in a lot of work in the two seasons that he has been here. I feel his success is a great example that shows how dedicated our staff is to player development and the determination of our players to improve every day.” 

Artem Buzoberya (New Jersey Hitmen/Premier), Team Ukraine
Team Ukraine leads with the most current USPHL players on its WJC roster. Buzoberya joined the Hitmen last season and split time between the 18U squad and Premier, and this year he has split time between the Premier and NCDC teams. 
With Team Ukraine, Buzoberya (‘99) earned one assist in the squad’s tournament-opening loss to Poland, and added another against Team Hungary. 
“Artem is a big, skilled forward that had a big summer in the weight room,” said the NCDC Hitmen head coach Toby Harris. “We will be looking for big things out of him the second half of the season.” 

Andriiy Yevtukhov (Springfield Jr. Pics 16U), Team Ukraine.
Yevtukhov is an ‘03 playing in a largely 1999-dominated tournament, but he has certainly shown flashes of what he is capable of in the highly competitive USPHL 16U Division. He scored 14 points through his first 13 games with the Pics. He has played in the first two games for Team Ukraine. 

Dmytro Danylenko (Springfield Jr. Pics 18U/Premier), Team Ukraine.
The ‘00 from Kiev has split his USPHL time this year between the 18U and Premier Divisions for the Pics, and has produced at both levels. He has 21 points in 15 USPHL Premier games and another 27 points in 15 USPHL 18U contests. 
He earned his first assist of the tournament on Dec. 9 against Team Hungary. 

Mark Strazisar (Hampton Roads Whalers/USPHL Premier), Team Slovenia. 
Strazisar (‘99/Ljubljana) scored the third goal in a 3-0 shutout win for Team Slovenia in the Division 1 Group B tournament in Poland. Strazisar is in his first year with the Whalers and has nine points through seven USPHL Elite games, and he also has an assist in the one USPHL Premier game he played. 
Slovenia is 2-0 at the D-1 Group B tournament thus far, having also beaten Japan, 5-3. 
“Mark has been a fantastic addition to the Whalers organization since his arrival in late October,” said Brad Jones, general manager of the Whalers. “He has added size and skill to our lineup and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow the rest of the season. We are excited for him to compete on the international stage and the honor of representing his home country. He becomes the eighth Whaler in franchise history to achieve this honor.”

USPHL Alumni* On World Junior Championship Rosters

* = Including alumni of USPHL member organizations prior to joining the USPHL. 

Team USA (Preliminary Roster)
Spencer Knight
- A former member of the EHF Selects’ member organization Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers, Knight played for the Jr. Rangers’ U16 team in 2016-17. Knight is the only ‘01 named to the preliminary roster, the youngest of all eligible players. 

Michael Callahan - Another player on Team USA’s Preliminary Roster, Callahan played for current EHF Selects member organization the Cape Cod Whalers. He was on the Whalers’ U16 team in 2015-16 and on their U18 team in 2016-17. 

Mattias Samuelsson - The son of former NHLer Kjell Samuelsson, Mattias - named to the Team USA Preliminary Roster - is an alumnus of the Northwood School, current Affiliate Members of the USPHL 18U Division. He played for Northwood from 2014-16. 

Evan Barratt - Barratt played for Team Comcast in the USPHL 16U Division in 2014-15. 

Joel Farabee - Farabee played two years for the Selects Academy at South Kent School in the USPHL 16U Division from 2014-16. 

Jay O’Brien - O’Brien played for the Whalers 16U squad from 2014-16, and with the 18U squad from 2016-18. 

Other Teams
Albert Adamsen
- Named to Team Denmark’s Preliminary Roster for the top WJC division set to play between Dec. 26 and Jan. 5, Adamsen played for the Okanagan European Eagles during the USPHL Premier’s 2016-17 season. 

Vladimir Saiko - Saiko played for the New Jersey Rockets in the NCDC earlier this season and registered one assist in seven games, before moving overseas to play in the MHL. He was named to Team Kazakhstan’s Preliminary Roster for the top WJC tournament. 

Moritz Wirth - Wirth played for the Boston Bandits in 2017-18 in the NCDC, and is currently playing for Team Germany in the Division 1 Group A tournament. Germany beat Austria, 3-2, in a shootout on Dec. 9. 

Niks Krollis - He played for the Islanders Hockey Club’s 18U squad in 2015-16, and is also an alumnus of the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs organization. He is with Latvia’s National Junior Team, which began with a 3-1 loss to France in the Division 1 Group A tournament. 

Dominik Olszewski - Olszewski is a former Springfield Jr. Pics player, having suited up for their 16U, 18U and Premier teams between 2015 and 2017. The host Team Poland has played in two games in the WJC Division 1 Group B tournament, defeating Ukraine 4-2 and falling to Italy, 3-1. 

Janis Voris - A former Northern Cyclones NCDC player (2018-19), the goaltender Voris is on the Team Latvia roster but had not yet seen action in the Division 1 Group A tournament. 

Feliks Morozov - A former Potomac Patriot (2017-18), Morozov scored 30 points in 21 games for the Patriots in the USPHL Premier last season. He also earned a four-game call-up with the NCDC’s Syracuse Stars. He is currently with Team Ukraine and scored their first goal of the Division 1 Group B tournament in their 4-2 loss to Poland, and also scored against Team Hungary on Dec. 9. 

Aljaz Predan - Predan played for the Florida Jr. Blades in the USPHL Elite Division in 2017-18, racking up seven goals and 12 points in just five games. He is currently tied for second in scoring in the Division 1 Group B tournament for Team Slovenia with two goals and two assists for four points in two games. 

Please Note: There may be more additions to this list as some countries have not yet announced their rosters for either the top division World Junior Championships in Canada, or the Division 2 and 3 tournaments to be held in January. Check back to for further WJC updates as rosters become official.