NCDC Players of the Month – South Division: January 2023

South Division 


Luca Leighton, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders

Leighton started the league’s longest current point streak with Game 1 of 2023, and he has put up eight goals in eight games so far this year, with all eight coming in his last six games. That is tied for the league’s longest overall goal streak for 2022-23. He’s also added six assists for 14 points, which was the second most points for any NCDC player in the month of January. Leighton is tied for second in NCDC scoring with 45 points in 33 games, and his 1.36 points per game average is second in the league. He is also fifth among current NCDC players with 90 career points in 83 games. 


Medrick Bolduc, Utica Jr. Comets

Bolduc was on fire during January, scoring in eight of the Jr. Comets’ nine games, and averaging an assist per contest with a line of 4-9-13 in January. Bolduc’s 27 assists this season are good for third in the league. With 62 points in 79 career games, Bolduc is the leader in career points among active players for the Jr. Comets, who are in a fight for their playoff lives in the South Division. He’s been effective even when Utica doesn’t come out on top; he was in on two of their three goals in a 5-3 loss to the Jersey Hitmen, and then Bolduc posted a 1-2-3 line when they fell in a close 5-3 battle with P.A.L. on Jan. 30. 


Panayioti Efraimidis, Jersey Hitmen 

The Hitmen welcomed Efraimidis back to the fold after an injury kept him out since Dec. 2. He returned with a roar and posted six goals and four assists for 10 points in six games, registering at least a point in each of five games between Jan. 21 and 26, a stretch over which the Hitmen went 5-0 to jump well ahead of their South Division competition for the division and overall league lead. Efraimidis leads the league in points per game at 1.43 (33 points in 23 games) and he is fourth in Hitmen scoring. 



Sean Melso, Jersey Hitmen 

Melso never quits, not even after becoming the NCDC’s all-time leading scorer in November, or passing the 100-point mark here in January. He led all NCDC defensemen with 11 points in January, all off helpers across 10 games. He put up eight of those assists during a grueling six-games-in-eight-days stretch to end the month against Utica and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Melso is the NCDC’s leading scorer with 34 points, jumping just a point ahead of P.A.L.’s Jack Hewitt. His career total is 108 points in 126 games, putting him in the NCDC’s top 15 all-time. 


Rhett Kodsi, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights

At 5-4 in January, the Knights had the South Division’s third-best points total for the month with 10 (after the Hitmen and P.A.L.). Khodsi was a huge part of the winning month that puts the Knights right into a crowded push for a playoff spot. He put up three assists and three assists for six points in nine games and was a +3. Kodsi now has 14 points in his 33 games this year and will be one of those players who helps determine the first-year Knights’ fate regarding postseason participation. 



Cameron Smith, P.A.L. Jr. Islanders

No goaltender played more than Smith in the month of January – and no one won more games either, as the St. Lawrence University recruit Smith jumped into the league lead for W’s with 19, six coming last month alone. He went 6-1-0-1, also the Jr. Islanders’ team record,  over 465 minutes of action. He stopped 254 of 270 shots for a .941 save percentage. He posted two shutouts, back to back against the Hitmen (45 saves) and Connecticut Jr. Rangers (35 saves) on Jan. 6 and 8.