Thirty-One USPHL Alumni Competed In IIHF World Championship Tournaments

By Joshua Boyd / 


Boston, MA – May 28, 2024 – The United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) proudly congratulates all 31 alumni who have been selected by their home countries’ hockey federations to represent their nations in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships taking place around the globe this spring.

The selected players represent a broad spectrum of the USPHL’s developmental success. The breakdown by USPHL conference includes:

  • Six former NCDC players
  • Seventeen former USPHL Premier players
  • Thirteen former USPHL Elite players

Many of this year’s representatives have competed at multiple USPHL levels, showcasing the depth and breadth of talent cultivated within the league.

Notably, this list includes five USPHL alumni who contributed to their teams winning their divisional championships. Their victories have enabled their home nations to advance to the next highest division for the 2025 IIHF World Championships.



World Champions 

Three USPHL Alumni Help Ukraine Win Division 1 Group B Championship 

Ukraine captured the Division 1 Group B Championship, which will lift them to Division 1 Group A in 2025. 


Alexander Peresunko, Springfield Pics/Boston Junior Bruins (2017-19)

Peresunko played for the Springfield Pics in 2017-18 in the USPHL Premier and Elite, and also played that year with the Boston Junior Bruins in the inaugural season of the NCDC. The next year, he was the Junior Bruins’ leading scorer with 18 goals and 42 assists for 60 points in the regular season, as well as four points in eight playoff games as the Junior Bruins captured the 2018-19 Dineen Cup. 

Peresunko has represented Ukraine in four World Championships, three World Junior Under-20 Championships and two World Under-18 Championships. This season, he led the Division 1 Group A tournament in goals (5), assists (6) and points (11), en route to winning his first Gold Medal. He previously won Silver (2023) and Bronze (2022) as Ukraine worked their way up the D1A ranks year by year. During the 2023-24 season, he split the year between HK Poprad in the top Slovakian pro league and also played for AquaCity Pikes in Slovakia Division 2. 


Andrei Deniskin, Hampton Roads Whalers (2016-17) 

Deniskin was among the top point-getters for the USPHL Elite Whalers in 2016-17, scoring 23 goals and 20 assists for 43 points in 29 games that season, as well as 17 points in 12 playoff games, including a run at the USPHL Nationals. 

Deniskin has played in two World Under-18, two World Under-20 and two World Championship tournaments for Ukraine, and this is his third overall medal and first Gold. He also won a Bronze with the Ukraine Under-18 team in 2016 and joined Peresunko and Felix Morozov on last year’s Silver Medal-winning Ukraine team as well. He scored four goals and two assists for six points in five World Championship D1A games. In 2023-24, he played pro hockey for Unia Oswiecim in Poland. 


Feliks Morozov, Potomac Patriots (2017-18) 

Morozov played 23 games for the Potomac Patriots in the first year of the current USPHL Premier Conference, leading the Patriots in points per game with 21 goals and 30 points in 23 games for a 1.30 points per game average. He also saw a four-game call-up to the NCDC’s former Syracuse Jr. Stars (now the Utica Jr. Comets). 

He would go on to play in two World Under-18 Championships, three World Under-20 Championships and two World Championships for Ukraine. He has just won his fourth medal at IIHF tournaments – this is his second Gold, having won an Under-18 Gold in 2018. He won an Under-20 Bronze Medal in 2020 and a World Championship Bronze in 2022. He scored a goal and two assists for three points in five 2024 World Championship Games. This past season, he played in both Sweden’s HockeyEttan Division for Kiruna IF and in France’s Second Division for Morzine-Avoriaz. 


Two USPHL Alumni Help Belgium Win Division 2 Group B Championship

Belgium will advance to the Division 2 Group A tournament in 2025. 


Jelle Lievens, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (2022-23) 

Lievens was named the Best Goaltender in the 2024 World Championships Division 2 Group B Tournament, going 4-0 with a 0.75 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. Lievens originally played the full 2022-23 season with the former Monarchs’ USPHL Premier team, playing in 28 games that season. These 2024 World Championships marked Lievens’ second straight year of playing in the D2B tournament. He won a Silver Medal with Team Belgium in 2023. He had previously played for Team Belgium in the World Under-20 Championships in 2020 and 2022. He was named the Top Player for Team Belgium at the 2022 tournament. This past 2023-24 season, he played pro hockey in Belgium for Chefs Leuven in the BeNeLiga. 


Oliver De Croock, Minnesota Blue Ox (2018-20) 

De Croock, who just completed his eighth IIHF tournament for Team Belgium, started with the Minnesota Blue Ox in 2018 and helped the Blue Ox to the National Semifinals, after a 49-point regular season in 42 games. He came back in 2019-20 and led the Blue Ox with a line of 29-39-68 in 44 games, as well as eight points in five postseason games.

De Croock first played in an IIHF tournament for Belgium in 2014-15, his first of three straight appearances with their World Under-18 team. In 2017, he made his first World Under-20 appearance and the very next year, he was named the Top Player for Team Belgium. He made his World Championship debut in 2019, playing again in 2022 (winning Bronze) and here in 2024. This year, the Lawrence University (NCAA) forward put up 11 points in five World Championship games, ranking in a tie for third on his international team as they pushed their way to Gold. 



Also Representing Their Countries

World Championships (Top Level)

Lucas Brine, Utah Outliers/Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings/Potomac Patriots (2022-23) / Great Britain

Brine went an impressive 15-9-0-1 during a two-year USPHL Premier career, and he was also a top-flight postseason goalie with a 2.56 GAA and .924 save percentage in playoff games, including a run to the 2022 Nationals with the Utah Outliers. After helping Great Britain win a Bronze Medal in 2022 at the World Under-20 Division 2A tournament, he was rostered as a goaltender for Great Britain again this year as they skated as part of the top-level group that includes the U.S., Canada and all of the traditional hockey powers of the world. He dressed on May 21, but has not seen action in the tournament. He played this past year for the Dundee Stars in the Elite Ice Hockey League. 


Division 1 Group A 

Chikara Hanzawa, South Shore Kings (2020-22) / Japan – The former NCDC All-Star led the Kings in scoring in both of his seasons, scoring 40 points in 33 games in his first year and 53 points in 47 games the next season. He committed to Sacred Heart University (NCAA Division I) in his first year with the Kings and has played 56 games for the Pioneers over the past two seasons. With Team Japan, he played in his fifth IIHF tournament, and second World Championship. He posted two assists in five games. 


Division 1 Group B

Yuyang Hou, Beijing Shougang Eagles (2016-19) / China –  Hou scored 109 points in 107 games for the former Beijing Shougang Eagles in the USPHL Elite, standing as that former program’s leading scorer by more than 40 points over the second career leading scorer. He has represented China five times in IIHF tournaments, and he led China this year with six points in five games. He has won two IIHF medals in 2018 (Silver) and 2020 (Bronze), both in the World Under-20 Championships. 


Gang Wang, Beijing Shougang Eagles (2016-18) / China – Wang scored 37 points in 68 Elite regular season games and six points in six playoff games. This year marked his sixth IIHF tournament and first since 2019. He was part of the 2018 Division 3 World Under-20 Gold Medalist team. 


Mingju Zheng, Beijing Shougang Eagles (2017-19) / China – Zheng scored 43 goals and 59 points in 55 games, plus three points in six playoff games. Zheng won a Silver Medal in 2019 at the World Under-18 level and a Bronze Medal in 2020 in the World Under-20 Championships. 


Tianyou Zuo, Hampton Roads Whalers (2016-18) / China – Zuo helped the Whalers win the 2018 USPHL Elite Championship, scoring seven points in eight games in that year’s Nationals. Over two seasons, he scored 19 points in 48 Elite games and eight points in 33 Premier games for the Whalers. He has completed his sixth IIHF tournament for Team China, scoring four points in five D1B games. He has won two Gold Medals, the first in 2013 at the Under-18 Championships and the second in 2015 at the World Under-20 level. 


Tobie Collard, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (2018-20) / Netherlands – Collard scored 22 points in 54 regular season games over two seasons, and he also saw five games up with the former Monarchs’ NCDC team. He helped the 2019 Monarchs to the USPHL Nationals. He has completed his seventh IIHF tournament for Team Netherlands. He was the team’s Top Player in 2017 at the Under-18 level, and he won a Bronze Medal in 2019 at the World Under-20 level. 


Mitch Jongmans, South Shore Kings (2022-24) / Netherlands – Jongmans has played for the Kings in the USPHL Premier the past two seasons, scoring 27 points in 76 career games. He has played in five IIHF Tournaments for Netherlands, including this past season’s Under-20 Championships. He has been Netherlands’ Top Player in 2022 (World Under-18) and also at this year’s World Under-20 Division 2 Group A tournament. He also won a Bronze Medal in the World Under-18’s in 2022. 


Konrad Kudeviita, Minnesota Blue Ox (2023-24) / Estonia – Kudeviita played in 38 games for the Blue Ox this past season, scoring a 3-8-11 line and he has played in five IIHF tournaments dating back to just 2021-22. He played in all five of Estonia’s World Championship games, making his debut at that level and winning the Bronze Medal. He had also played in the World Under-20 Championships D1B tournament, and he won a Silver Medal in 2022 in the Under-18 tournament. 


Vadim Vasjonkin, Boston Junior Bruins (2015-17) / Estonia – Vasjonkin scored 20 points in 39 games with the Boston Junior Bruins, and he also played for the former Philadelphia Flyers Elite team. He played in his 11th IIHF tournament with Estonia at the World Championships, and he has twice been a Top Player twice for Estonia’s teams in the past. He won his third Bronze Medal this past spring and also won Gold in 2014 as an Under-18 player. 


Division 2 Group A

Casey Kubara, Atlanta Jr. Knights (2014-16) / Australia – Kubara played for the former Atlanta Jr. Knights (now the Atlanta MadHatters) and was a key part of their USPHL Elite team, putting up a combined 35 points in 43 games, and he also registered 12 points in six games with the Knights’ former USPHL Empire team. He has just played in his eighth IIHF tournament for Australia. He has won an Under-18 Gold Medal (2014) and an Under-20 Bronze Medal (2015). He played this past year for the CBR Brave in his home country. 


Jamie Woodman, Palm Beach Hawks (2013-14) / Australia – Woodman competed in the inaugural season of the USPHL, 2013-14, for the former Hawks at the USPHL Elite level, scoring six points in 37 games. He just recently played in his eighth IIHF tournament for Australia, and fifth World Championship overall. He has won three Silver Medals in past World Championships, three in a row from 2017 through 2019. He scored four points in five games th is year. Woodman played for the Perth Thunder in the Australian Ice Hockey League. 


Ethan Hawes, Northern Cyclones/Islanders Hockey Club (2019-21) / Australia – Hawes played a total of 11 games for the Cyclones and also for the Islanders after having previously played in the Cyclones’ former USPHL 18U (now THF) team in 2019-20. He played in four IIHF tournaments for Australia, including being named Best Defenseman at the 2022 World Under-20 team in the Division 3 tournament, where he also won a Bronze Medal. 


Yuval Turner, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (2022-23) / Israel – Turner played in 38 games, scoring a 5-5-10 line in the 2022-23 Premier season. He has represented Israel in IIHF play four times, including winning the Under-20 D3 Gold Medal earlier this year, which gives Israel a promotion to Division 2 Group B next year. He also won a Silver medal in 2023 at the Under-20 level. He registered one assist in five World Championship games as he made his debut at that level. 


Division 2 Group B

Yung-Hsuan Wang, Carolina Jr. Hurricanes (2023-24) / Chinese Taipei – Wang played in a combined 28 regular season and playoff games, helping the Jr. Canes return to the Elite National Championship Game for a second straight season. He scored six points over the course of the season. He has represented Chinese Taipei in five IIHF championship tournaments, and made his Worlds debut this year, scoring one goal. He won Gold Medals in 2022 at both the Under-18 and Under-20 levels, and was named the Top Player for his team at this year’s Under-20 Division 2 Group B championships. 


Brody Hsiao, Rock Springs Prospectors (2022-23) / Chinese Taipei – Hsiao played in a combined 23 regular season and playoff games with the former Prospectors. He has represented Chinese Taipei four times in IIHF championship tournaments, including this year marking his second World Championship. He won Gold Medals in 2019 at the Under-18 level, in 2022 at the Under-20 level and in 2023 at the Division 3 Group A World Championships. He was also named Best Goaltender at the 2019 Under-18 Championship and at the 2023 World Championship Division 3A. Hsiao played in 2023-24 at San Diego State University. 


Konstantin Dikov, South Shore Kings (2020-22) / Bulgaria – Dikov was a staple of the Kings’ Premier team for two seasons, registering a combined 25 points in 82 regular season and playoff games. He was also called up for two NCDC Kings games. He just completed his 11th IIHF championship tournament for his home country, and fifth Men’s World Championship. He scored three points in five games. He has been named Top Player for Bulgaria three times, and he has won two IIHF Gold Medals, one Silver Medal and three Bronze Medals. He was also named Best Defenseman at the 2020 World Under-20 Division 3 Championships. He played this year for Irbis Skate Sofia in his home country’s pro league. 


Veselin Dikov, Okanagan European Eagles/Northern Cyclones (2016-18) / Bulgaria – Dikov first played in the USPHL Premier for the Okanagan European Eagles, scoring four assists in 37 games. In 2017-18, he played a combined 28 games for the Northern Cyclones and former Connecticut Nighthawks, also in the Premier, scoring 10 points. He has now played in 16 IIHF championship tournaments going back to 2012. He scored two points in five games this spring. The highly-decorated player has won eight IIHF medals (One Worlds Gold in 2019, three Silver and four Bronze). He was named Top Player for Bulgaria’s World Under-18 Team in 2016. He played this year with brothers Konstantin and Kaloyan for Irbis Skate Sofia. 


Tomislav Georgiev, Connecticut Nighthawks (2017-18) / Bulgaria – Veselin Dikov’s former Nighthawks (and current Irbis Skate Sofia) teammate played in 15 combined regular season and playoff games for Connecticut, scoring seven points. Like Veselin, he also has played in 16 IIHF championship tournaments for Bulgaria, and he played in all five games this year as Alternate Captain at the Worlds. He too has eight IIHF medals (World Gold in 2014 and 2019, four Silver and two Bronze).  


Martin Raynov, Tampa Bay Juniors/Isanti Outlaws (2020-22) / Bulgaria – In 2020-21 at the Elite level, Raynov scored 14 points in 40 combined regular season and playoff games for Tampa Bay, before moving to the Premier level with the former Rum River Mallards (now the Isanti Outlaws). He scored six points in a combined 39 games with Rum River. He has completed five IIHF world championship tournaments, and his third World Championship. Last year, he won Bronze Medals at both the Under-20 and World Championship tournaments. The current University of Florida (AAU) player competed in four games at this year’s Worlds. 


Alex Regan, Charleston Colonials/Atlanta MadHatters (2019-22) / New Zealand – In 2019-20, Regan played for Charleston and split the season between the Elite (14 points in 26 games) and Premier (one point in 17 games). He joined the MadHatters the next season and skated for two Premier seasons with Atlanta, totaling 16 points in 100 combined regular season and playoff games. He has represented New Zealand four times in IIHF championship tournaments, including winning a Silver Medal at this year’s Worlds. He also won a Gold Medal at the Under-18 level in 2018, where he was named New Zealand’s Top Player. 


Jacob Carey, Rockets Hockey Club (2023-24) / New Zealand – The ‘05-born Carey played in 26 games for this year’s Rockets Premier team, and scored 31 points. He completed his fourth IIHF championship tournament, and first World Championships with New Zealand, winning a Silver Medal. He scored four points in five games. Carey also helped New Zealand to the World Under-20 D3A Silver Medal this winter. He won a Gold Medal and was New Zealand’s Top Player with his country’s Under-18 team at the 2023 World Under-18 D3B championships. 


Division 3 Group A

Ernazar Isamatov, Florida Jr. Blades (2021-22) / Kyrgyzstan – Played the full 2021-22 season for the Florida Jr. Blades, putting up 13 points in 29 combined regular season and playoff games at the Elite level, plus four assists in nine USPHL Premier games. He has played in five IIHF championship tournaments for Kyrgyzstan, and this was his third World Championship. He registered four assists in five games. In 2022-23, he won the Division 3 Group B Best Defenseman Award and helped Kyrgyzstan to the Gold Medal. This spring, he helped Kyrgyzstan to the D3A Silver Medal. 


Alonso Tapia, Fresno Monsters (2022-23) / Mexico – Tapia scored a combined 29 points in 49 regular season and playoff games for the Monsters in 2022-23. He has completed his fifth appearance in an IIHF championship tournament with Mexico, and in his second World Championship. With a 4-3-7 line in five games, he was named Mexico’s Top Player for the 2024 World Championship. He played in 2023-24 with the University of Alberta. 


Division 3 Group B

Carlo Angelo Tigaronita, Columbia Infantry (2022-23) / Philippines – With the Infantry in the Elite Conference, Tigaronita scored six points in 32 games. He made his international debut with the Philippines last year in the Division 4 World Championships, helping Philippines win the Gold Medal last year. He put up three points in five games in the Division 3 Group B World Championships this year.  


Yi Yam, Atlanta MadHatters (2021-22) / Hong Kong – Yam played in nine games with the MadHatters Elite team in 2021-22. He has played in four IIHF championship tournaments and two World Championships. He has earned a medal in every appearance, winning Silver at the Under-18 level in 2018 and 2019, and Bronze Medals at the 2023 and 2024 Worlds.