Week of Sept. 25-Oct. 2, 2023
Forward: Tikhon Ashikhmin, Islanders Hockey Club
Ashikhmin (‘03/Yekaterinburg, Russia) has put together a fantastic start, registering seven points through his first five games of the year. To start the BJB Shootout, Ashikhmin registered two goals against perennial powerhouse the Jersey Hitmen, including the game-winning goal. He had a goal and an assist against the Mercer Chiefs, giving him a three-game goal-scoring streak going back to Sept. 23. He ended the Shootout with two assists as the IHC just barely edged the WBS Knights, 4-3.
Defense: Riley Joslin, Utica Jr. Comets
The Jr. Comets and Islanders Hockey Club were the only two teams to go clean through three BJB Shootout games, and Joslin (‘05/Chilliwack, B.C.) was all over the scoresheet in helping the Jr. Comets get their sweep. He posted three goals and three assists for six points over the three showcase games. It all started with two goals including the GWG against the Connecticut Jr. Rangers, and he earned an assist in a 4-2 victory against the Rockets Hockey Club. He registered three helpers in the team’s showcase-closing 7-0 victory against Mercer.
Goaltender: Waylon Esche, Utica Jr. Comets
Esche (‘05/Utica, N.Y.) is a lifelong Jr. Comet, having come up through their Midget program and up to the NCDC for his first 30 games in 2022-23. He started his season with a 23-save performance in the Jr. Comets’ 5-1 come-from-behind victory against Connecticut on Saturday. He then stopped 28 of 30 shots when the team defeated the Rockets, 4-2. For the showcase, he stopped 51 of 54 shots for a .944 save percentage and a 1.50 GAA so far on the season.
Rookie: Frank Murphy, Islanders Hockey Club
The former USPHL Premier All-Star goaltender, playing with the Toledo Cherokee last season, played every minute of the BJB Shootout for the Islanders and finished with a 3-0 record. The ‘04 from Mississauga, Ont., stopped 91 of 100 shots faced over the three games, with his best performance being a 31-save performance on 33 shots in the opener against the Hitmen.
Rookie: New to Tier II or no more than 10 Tier II games before this year; 2004 or younger.