Congratulations to our Midwest East Division All-Stars, who were selected from votes made by the coaches with support from the League Media Director.
Noah Maine, Fort Wayne Spacemen
Turns out that this ‘02 from Knoxville, Tenn., was only scratching the surface when he posted 50 points and was named an All-Star following the 2021-22 season. Switching almost exclusively to forward this season after playing D last year, Maine put up the most goals and points in the Midwest East Division with a line of 30-46-76 in 43 games. He was an unstoppable force in helping the Spacemen win their first division title and make their first Nationals run. Maine closes out his career third on the Spacemen’s all-time points leaderboard. He put up seven points in seven postseason games as well this year. Maine was a completely unanimous selection to the All-Star team.
Logan Robins, Fort Wayne Spacemen
Robins (‘02/Detroit, Mich.) has been there since Day 1 for the Spacemen and is the franchise’s all-time games played and points leader at 166 and 186, respectively. This year, he contributed a line of 25-28-53 to those all-time numbers. He had his best offensive season yet by nine points, very impressive in a four-year career over which he never scored less than 39 points. Robins also led the way with 10 points in seven playoff games, including their Nationals trip, to close out his junior career. His +46 also led the Midwest East Division this season.
Kyle Remo, Fort Wayne Spacemen
Call Remo the Spacemen’s “starter,” as he placed in the Top 10 this year for first goals with seven out of his 27 getting the Spacemen off on the right foot in games. Remo (‘02/Fanwood, N.J.) also registered 18 assists for a 45-point season in 41 games. His three-year track of points saw him go from 16 to 36 to 45 since first joining the Spacemen in the 2020-21 season. In his second to last game of the season, he picked up career Goal No. 50 and he ended with a combined 104 points in 130 combined regular season and playoff games.
T.J. Haas, Chicago Cougars
The ‘03 from Hartland, Wis., hit the 50-point mark for the first time in his three seasons with the Cougars, after two 29-point seasons in a row. He put up 21 goals and 29 assists this year, and in mid-February he crossed over the 100-point mark and currently stands with 108 in his 116 regular season games, putting him at No. 3 all-time in Cougars history. He has nine more points in 16 playoff games after reaching Nationals in 2021 and 2022.
Johan Karjalainen, Chicago Cougars
The ‘03 from Helsinki, Finland, made his North American debut last fall with the expansion Chicago Crush, putting up 26 points in 12 games for the first-year team before a trade to the Crush’s built-in cross-town rivals the Cougars. He put up 16 more points in 19 games, and added three points in five playoff games. All told, he put up a line of 20-22-42 in just 31 games played this year, good for an impressive 1.35 points per game to start his career on this side of the pond.
Kevin Maisells, Chicago Cougars
Maisells (‘02/Westminster, Colo.) improved from 10 points in 27 games last year to 41 points through 34 regular season contests in his second and final year with the Cougars, good for a 1.21 points per game average, second best behind Haas for a full-season Cougars player. Maisells kicked off his 2022-23 season with a five-point effort against Motor City and closed that first weekend with seven points, and continued to be a consistent force from there, including closing the year with 11 points in his final seven games.
Evan Burkle, Battle Creek Kernels
Every first-year team needs that veteran foundation to build from, and that’s exactly what the ‘02 Battle Creek resident gave to his hometown’s new squad. Coming in with Tier II and high-level Midget AAA experience, Burkle led the Kernels in his only season with them by scoring 28 points in 26 games. He enjoyed a season-high 4-2-6 performance on Feb. 10 against Decatur, nearly bookending the season with four-goal games as he also did the same in his Oct. 10 Battle Creek debut.
Walker Smith, Decatur Blaze
It was a tough year in many respects for the Blaze on the win-loss side of things, but in Smith they always trusted. He put up his second point per game-plus season of his career by posting 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points in 38 games for the Blaze. Along with an amazing 61-point season in 2019-20 and 29 points last year, that saw the ‘02 from Castle Rock, Colo., walk away from junior hockey with 129 points. He ranks second on the Blaze’s all-time leaderboard (behind former teammate T.J. Dougan’s 147).
Brian Bell, Motor City Gamblers
One of the few teams in USPHL Premier history to see its top two scoring positions led by a pair of defensemen, the Gamblers still needed production from their forwards up front. Their most productive in terms of points per game over the complete season was Bell, an ‘03 junior rookie out of the prestigious Honeybaked program. He put up an 18-29-47 line in 42 games for a 1.12 points per game average. He finished on a tear with 10 points in his final four contests of the regular season, and then he tied teammate and defenseman Aidan Canady for the postseason scoring lead with six points in five games.
Aidan Canady, Motor City Gamblers
Canady joined Noah Maine as the only two players in the Midwest East to receive unanimous support across the division. The second-leading defenseman scoring leader in the USPHL Premier (behind only the Aviators’ Hunter Scanlon) with 66 points, Canady was also the leader in assists among all Premier blueliners. The ‘03 from Schaumburg, Ill., played in 38 games this season, giving him a 1.74 points per game average, second best among all USPHL Premier defensemen. He signed a tender to play in the NCDC with the Idaho Falls Spud Kings in 2023-24.
Jake Mullins, Motor City Gamblers
Next year, Canady may look down the blue line and see his former MCG defensive partner lining up with him once again on the Idaho Falls Spud Kings in the NCDC. Mullins (‘03/Clawson, Mich.) also signed with IFSK for next year, coming off a season in which he ranked third in defenseman scoring behind Canady and Scanlon. Never before in the USPHL Premier had two defensemen on the same team both scored at least 60 points or combined for 120 or more. Mullins was in his second Premier season, having put up 19 points for the former Detroit Fighting Irish last year. Former Fighting Irish bench boss Sam Shaheen was Motor City’s Head Coach this past season.
Sam Tetreault, Fort Wayne Spacemen
Tetreault (‘02/Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge, Que.) broke his teammate Noah Maine’s prior record for most points in a season by a Spacemen defenseman with his 55 points this year, posting a 13-42-55 line in 38 games. His 1.45 points per game was also fifth among all USPHL Premier defensemen, giving the Midwest East three in the top five of point production league-wide. Tetreault led all Midwest East defensemen with a +37 and was second in hits with 70 and third in blocked shots with 75. Not surprisingly, the walking, talking definition of “Workhorse” led his team in ice time by more than two minutes per game at 25:27.
Thomas Turgeon, Fort Wayne Spacemen
Not to be completely outshined by his fellow Canadian blueliner Tetreault, the second-year Spaceman Turgeon (‘04/Laval, Que.) also had an outstanding season by putting up 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points in 35 games, good for a 1.06 points per game average, fourth best among Midwest East blueliners and capping the list of the only four who posted at least one point per game. For his two-year Spacemen career, Turgeon now has 61 points in 54 regular season games and 19 points in 12 postseason games, including a 1-10-11 mark in seven games as the Spacemen went to their first Nationals.
Jonathan Wood, Chicago Crush
An ‘04 from Elmhurst, Ill., Wood made the jump from Illinois High School hockey to the USPHL Premier seamlessly as a junior rookie with the first-year Crush. Wood was the go-to player in so many ways for the Crush, especially after their trade of Johan Karjalainen. Wood responded with a fantastic two-way game, putting up a 7-16-23 line in 44 games, while leading the division with 109 blocked shots and skating nothing less than 27:08 on average per game. He is a future leader for the Crush or a Tier II junior program to build around.
Josh Boze, Metro Jets Development Program (MJDP)
Boze (‘03/Livonia, Mich.) helped the MJDP join their Metro Jets brethren out of the Great Lakes Division with a trip to the USPHL Premier Nationals – for the third straight year! Boze has been a key defenseman for the MJDP for two years now, and picked up a career-best 11 goals and 23 points in 43 regular season games, over which he went +28. He also helped the MJDP in the Midwest East playoffs and the Nationals with five points over eight games. With his defensive acumen, MJDP finished top 10 in both shots against per game (29.57, eighth) and in goals against (1.95, third) for the 2022-23 campaign.
Taylor White, Metro Jets Development Program (MJDP)
Number 1 in the land for save percentage and Number 1 in your MJDP program and in your hearts, it’s the ‘03 Bay City, Mich., native Taylor White. White put up a fantastic .944 save percentage in his 22 games, over which he put up a 13-6-0-1 record and a 1.64 goals against average. That latter number was also good for a tie for second with Utah’s Jaxon Letey. The leader in that category, Metro’s Rocco Stolz (1.50) is another student of the great Metro Jets goaltending coach Randy Wilson, who continues to send out league goaltending leaders across two squads. Case in point: five Metro/MJDP goaltenders this year finished with save percentages of .930 or better!