Congratulations to our Southeast Division All-Stars, who were selected from votes made by the coaches with support from the League Media Director.
Brayden Strong, Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
Some returning veterans will improve on their points, some will even double. There are few who are able to more than triple their points – especially if they scored 21 the year before. When the final buzzer sounded in the regular season, the lifetime Jr. Cane Strong (‘04/Wake Forest, N.C.) put up 18 goals and 48 assists for 66 points in just 39 games, good for a 1.69 points per game average. That was the second best regular season in Jr. Canes Elite history, which helped earn him a unanimous vote. Strong had eight points in six postseason games to help the Jr. Canes to the National Championship.
Jacob Gifford, Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
Gifford (‘04/Cary, N.C.) improved his points total by even more than Strong, improving from nine points to 56 this year, off an even 28-28-56 line in 39 games. He was also on fire in the postseason en route to the National Championship, as he put up a 5-4-9 line in seven games. His 28 goals were good for third all-time in the Jr. Canes’ USPHL Elite history, and his five postseason goals were also a team record. He tied for the all-time Jr. Canes playoff record in points with teammate Tristan Seney.
Zarand Varga, Potomac Patriots
Varga (‘04/Hungary) enjoyed his first season in North America, joining after a very offensively productive season in his home country. With the Patriots, who made their first playoff appearance in their history, posted 20 goals and 40 assists for 60 points this season. He set team records for assists (40), points (60) and points per game average (1.76).
David Csemi, Potomac Patriots
Varga’s Hungarian countryman was actually originally born in 2004 in Dunajská Streda, Slovakia, but joined his longtime Gyori ETO club teammate in going to North America. And the results were not much different from Varga’s. Csemi put up a line of 23-33-56 in 39 games, and he set the single season goals record and was second all-time in Patriots Elite points.
Spencer Barrow, Charlotte Rush
Receiving several votes from across the league, Barrow (‘04/Massapequa, N.Y.) was the outright and clear leader for the always-strong Rush squad. He put up 19 goals and 29 assists for 48 points in 39 games, good for a 1.23 points per game average. His 29 helpers ranked in the all-time Top 10 for the Rush, never an easy leaderboard to crack. He also put up four points in five games.
Wesley Wilding, Richmond Generals
Wilding (‘04/London, Ont.) received multiple votes, saluting the first-year junior forward for his numbers, as he put up 23 goals and 23 assists for 46 points in just 33 games. His 1.39 points per game average was fifth best in Elite GEnerals history, one that includes the 2019 and 2022 National Championships. He also played 12 games this year for the Gens’ 18U team and five more games (with three points) at the USPHL Premier level for Richmond. Wilding was also responsible as a two-way player, putting up a +18 rating.
Gino Indelicato, Nashville Spartans
Indelicato (‘05/Chicago, Ill.) gave the Spartans a fantastic first year sparkplug to get them started. He became the Spartans’ first leading scorer, and the first to hit at least a 1.00 points per game average. He put up 13 goals and 29 assists for 42 points in 42 games as a junior rookie. Certainly many eyes will be on Indelicato as he continues to move through his junior career.
Brayden Taylor, Hampton Roads Whalers
Taylor (‘03/Virginia Beach, Va.) put forth his best of three seasons with the Elite Whalers, as he doubled his previous points total from 16 to 32 this year. Taylor posted 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points in 36 contests. A career Whalers player, he improved at the Elite level in points from 11 to 16 to 32.
Colby Markham, Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
Not only one of the best ‘05 players in the league, Markham (‘05/Raleigh, N.C.) was one of the overall best players in the USPHL Elite – and his efforts certainly paid off in the end with the Elite National Championship. Markham put up a line of 9-36-45 in 42 games for a 1.07 points per game average. His 45 points is an all-time record for a Jr. Canes defenseman, but it doesn’t end there. He also put up 52 blocks and registered 46 takeaways while also leading the entire USPHL Elite in shifts (1,102) this past season. In the playoffs, he added a 3-1-4 line in seven games.
Wesley Sweitzer, Charlotte Rush
Sweitzer (‘03/West Chester, Pa.) put together a powerful season of a 7-34-41 line offensively, and helped the Rush to yet another 30-win season, their fifth straight at that level. He put up a +23 rating, as well and also posted 58 blocked shots and 63 takeaways on the season.
Wilder Outman, Charlotte Rush
Outman (‘03/Fairview, Texas) was a total package on the blue line this year for the Rush. He put up a line of 5-19-24 in 41 games, showing he can certainly jump up into the rush, but he was also a menace to opposing offenses. He put up 76 blocked shots, the most in the league, and he was also a +16 this year.
Tristan Falsetto, Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
Falsetto (‘02/West Palm Beach, Fla.) had a fantastic season in 2021-22 with his prior USPHL Elite team. But it was like the best dream ever when he jumped in with the Jr. Canes, especially the way the story ended. He went 10-2-0-0 this year with a 1.73 goals against average and a .940 save percentage in the regular season. Great stuff – but he was not even close to being done. In the postseason, he put up a 3-0 mark and then it was a 1.69 goals against average and a .944 save percentage – all topped with nothing better than a National Championship.
Ethan Carlone, Richmond Generals
Carlone (‘04/Tecumseh, Ont.) joined the 2022 defending National Champion Generals as a rookie and certainly did everything he could to help the Gens in their title defense campaign. It didn’t quite go the way they wanted, but they did pick up an outstanding new goaltender in the process. He put up a .934 save percentage, the second best save percentage for an Elite goalie with at least 800 minutes played. He also registered a 2.05 goals against average and a 12-3-0-0 record.
Evan Crawford, Charlotte Rush
Crawford (‘04/Greenwich, Conn.) was another great pickup for not just the Rush but the USPHL Elite overall this year, as Crawford had come out of Ohio’s University School and put up a .932 save percentage and a 1.82 goals against average as a junior rookie. Oh, and Crawford also put up a league-leading six shutouts for the season. What you call “a great get.”