Selection Process: The league media office sends top statistical candidates to divisional coaches for review and coaches either approve or challenge the nominations.
Summaries by Joshua Boyd / NCDCHockey.com
Forward: Hunter Hayes, Pueblo Bulls
Hayes (‘04/Lodi, Calif.) put up the NCDC’s best points per game average for the month of January, as his nine goals and four assists for 13 points in eight games worked out to be 1.63 points per game. Hayes has been a great addition for the Bulls, who are pushing hard to potentially seal up a playoff spot. They entered February in fourth place in the Mountain Division (the last available playoff spot), but are being chased closely by the fifth place Idaho Falls Spud Kings. Hayes’ output, which includes 25 goals and 14 assists for 39 points in 37 games, will be key for the Bulls down the stretch towards the end of the regular season in mid-March.
Hayes wasn’t just potent on the offense, he also was clutch for the Bulls in the faceoff circle, winning 105 of 164 draws in January for a 64 percent success rate. He also led the team in shots on goal with 39, which gave him a very impressive shooting percentage of 23 percent.
Forward: Brody Simko, Ogden Mustangs
Simko (‘04/Butler, PA.) was huge for the Mustangs as they fought tooth-and-nail to remain at the top of the Mountain Division standings, a position they will try to clutch onto with every ounce of strength the rest of the way during the regular season. Simko registered four goals and six assists for 10 points in their eight games last month. He finished the month with a 2-6-8 scoring streak over six games, one that is still active going into February. He also led the Mustangs with 17 hits in February and his +5 was tied for the lead among Mustang forwards. For the season, he has a 16-15-31 line in 35 contests.
Forward: Dimitri Voyatzis, Ogden Mustangs
The owner of the NCDC’s longest scoring streak this year (16 games, Sept. 23-Nov. 17) Voyatzis was also on fire during January when he put up points in six of the seven games in which he appeared, giving him a 2-7-9 line over the seven games. This has helped him put up 44 points in 35 games this year, and Voyatzis is also sixth all-time in Mustangs history counting their time both in the USPHL/NCDC and prior to that. He has 169 points through 131 games in a Mustangs jersey since 2020. The Captain of the Mustangs was also the leader for forward ice time (19:17 per game in January) and his 152 accurate passes also led the team’s forward corps.
Defense: Teddie Hember, Ogden Mustangs
Hember (‘03/Stockholm, Sweden) put up two goals and seven assists for nine points in seven January games, and those nine points were scored over a six-game point streak. Hember has been the absolute and undeniable leader of the Mustangs defense corps this year. No one is out on the ice more in a Mustangs jersey, as his 23:05 per game average led all Ogden skaters in January and he also put up 63 takeaways, which was second for the team. For this season, Hember has 27 points in 31 games, which ranks him sixth among defensemen in the NCDC.
Defense: Matteo Mitrovic, Idaho Falls Spud Kings*
Mitrovic (‘03/Graz, Austria) was a mover and shaker who has helped the Spud Kings remain in the hunt for a Mountain Division playoff spot. He was out on the ice more than any teammate during January, skating for an average of 21:36 per game over eight games. He has become one of the most pinpoint passers in the league, as 148 of his 171 passes during January were right on the tape. Mitrovic is, like Voyatzis and Hember, a pioneer for his team who helped them make the transition from USPHL Premier to the NCDC, as these players themselves made the same transition individually.
Goaltender: Nikita Volski, Ogden Mustangs
Volski (‘04/Minsk, Belarus) is certainly very thankful for the opportunity he has been given with the Mustangs, coming after a Thanksgiving Day trade from the Pueblo Bulls to Ogden. After getting a couple of successful starts at the NCDC Frozen Futures Showcase in Idaho Falls, he was back with three more starts in January for the Mustangs. Every time he’s pulled on a Mustangs jersey and skated out to the crease, he’s won, going 5-0 for Ogden so far – and that includes his 3-0 run in January. He stopped 99 out of 103 shots, including his second NCDC shutout with 37 saves against Idaho Falls. A former Esmark Stars teammate of current Mustangs teammate and fellow Player of the Month Brody Simko, Volski is 7-3-0-0 with a 2.50 GAA and .924 save percentage.
* = Traded to Utah Outliers on Feb. 1.
Top Performers Of The Week (Jan. 24-31)
Forward: Parker Osborn, Ogden Mustangs – 2GP 3G 0A 3PTS
Defense: Nate Farrell, Pueblo Bulls – 2GP 1G 3A 4PTS
Goaltender: Tucker Inabinet, Idaho Falls Spud Kings – 120 min. – 1-1-0-0 – 2.00 GAA – 62 saves on 66 shots, .939 save percentage
Rookie: Ryan Roethke, Provo Predators – 2GP 1G 2A 3PTS