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Former Tampa Bay Juniors Hintz making positive impact on Stars during AHL playoffs

by Patrick Williams / NHL.com Correspondent

Roope Hintz needed a full season in the American Hockey League to prepare himself for a future role with the Dallas Stars, and the forward prospect has shown Stars management how far his development has come.

Hintz, 21, a second-round pick (No. 49) in the 2015 NHL Draft, has played a major role in helping Texas, the Stars' AHL affiliate, reach the Calder Cup Final against Toronto (Toronto Maple Leafs).

Texas won 2-1 on the road in Game 2 on Sunday to even the of the best-of-7 series 1-1. Toronto had won 10 consecutive playoff games and also had a 13-game home winning streak, including the regular season, before the loss. The next three games in the series will be in Texas, starting with Game 3 on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN2).

"It's good to go back to Austin now with one win [in Toronto]," Hintz said. "We have confidence."

Dallas took a patient approach with Hintz and kept him with Texas all season. His success this season could put him in contention for a full-time job in Dallas next season. Hintz has attracted considerable attention from Stars management and earned the trust of Texas coach Derek Laxdal.

"Roope has taken some huge strides," Laxdal said. "One of his assets is his speed. He is a big body (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) who can skate at a high speed, make plays at high speed."

Hintz also has a good hockey mind and playmaking ability to complement those physical attributes.

He is second among rookies in the playoffs with 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 17 games. He had six points (three goals, three assists) in the six-game series win against Rockford (Chicago Blackhawks) in the conference final. His overtime goal in Game 6 clinched Texas' spot in the Calder Cup Final.

Hintz's playoff performance followed a strong regular season; he had 35 points (20 goals, 15 assists) in 70 games in his first season in North America. He had spent the previous three seasons with Ilves of Liiga, the top professional league in his native Finland.

His 20 goals and 153 shots on goal were second for Texas this season.

Laxdal is not one to hesitate to shake up his forward lines as he sees necessary, but he's mostly left Hintz at left wing on a line with center with Brian Flynn, a veteran of 275 NHL regular-season games, with other players rotating at right wing on the line.

The AHL tests most young players, and Hintz had the added challenge of adjusting to the North American game.

"I have learned the small-ice game better," said Hintz. "It's less speed here, a more physical game."

Laxdal has leaned on Hintz to use his size and strength, assets that he can utilize more on the smaller North American ice.

"His biggest challenge throughout the year has just been playing with that consistency and playing a little heavier," Laxdal said.

That message has sunk in for Hintz.

"It's good when we do that," Hintz said of sticking to Laxdal's message. "We [force opponents to] turn pucks over.

"I try to work hard every day, play my best game, and just do my best."

He has a big fan in Laxdal.

"He has had a good playoff for us and been a big part of this drive, and he is going to be a big part of this series," Laxdal said.

Tampa Bay Juniors Premier Defenseman Louria Commits to R.I.T.

5/7/18
By TBJ Staff
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors Hockey Club is proud to announce that Premier Defenseman Christian Louria has committed to ACHA Division I Rochester Institute of Technology.

Louria, from Wexford, PA, was a USPHL Southern Division All Star this past season with Tampa.  In 48 games Christian had 9 goals with 21 assist and a +23.

"Christian came to us just after the season started and right away you saw his skill and that he would be a difference maker," said Head Coach Garrett Strot.  "He was so good in the defensive zone with his awareness and calmness with the puck.  R.I.T picked up an elite defenseman."

"Playing for the Tampa Bay Juniors was great for my development as a player and a person."  said Christian, "The experienced coaching staff and exceptional facilities made it a memorable year for me and helped me get to the next level."

"Christian had multiple NCAA schools talking too him,"  said Strot, "but in the end he felt R.I.T was the best fit for him academically and to continue playing hockey."

The Tampa Bay Juniors wish Christian and his family the best of luck as he continues on to the next chapter of his life.

Christian is the 8th TBJ player to commit to a college this year.

 

17-18 College Commitments

Parker Elvy - Madison, WI
Lawrence University


Jory McWilliams - Bloomington, MN   
Bethel University


Ryan Vlaisavljevich - Woodbury, MN   
Milwaukee School of Engineering


Brenton Wadsworth - Tampa, FL       
DePaul University

Dillon Scammon - Orlando, FL
University of Cincinnati

Perry Giannino - Palm Beach, FL
University of Kentucky

Luke Perunovich* - Edina, MN
Providence College

Curtis Hansen - Prior Lake, MN
Bethel University

Christian Louria - Wexford, PA
Rochester Institute of Technology

*Alumni

Tampa Bay Juniors Forward Hansen Commits to Bethel

4/18/18
by TBJ Staff

The Tampa Bay Juniors Hockey Club is proud to announce that Premier forward Curtis Hansen has officially committed to Bethel University for the 2018-19 season.  Bethel is located in St. Paul, MN and plays in the MIAC.

Hansen, a Prior Lake, MN native, has played two seasons for TBJ.  In 2016-17 he played 41 games tallying 55 points.  This past season Hansen also played in 41 games netting 47 points despite missing 10 games due to an injury. 

“Curtis has been a top player for us the last two years,” said Head Coach Garrett Strot.  “Bethel is getting a skilled player who works hard both on and off the ice.  He definitely will add some scoring to their lineup.”

“Playing in Tampa the last two years has been the best years of my life,” said Hansen.  “If I was a high school player looking for a place to play juniors, I wouldn’t think twice about going and playing for TBJ.  They have some of the best facilities in all of junior hockey and who doesn’t want to go to the rink in shorts and flip flops every day!”

“It will be fun to watch his college career,”  added Strot,  “I played college with his dad at Bethel so to see him go there was awesome!”

The coaches and staff with TBJ all wish Curtis and his family the best of luck as he continues his hockey career.

Curtis is the 7th Tampa player to commit to a college this year, and the second one to commit to Bethel, joining Jory McWilliams.

Tampa Bay Juniors Vlaisavljevich Commits to Milwaukee School of Engineering

2/20/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors Hockey Club is proud to announce that Premier Defenseman Ryan Vlaisavljevich has officially committed to play hockey at Milwaukee School of Engineering for the 
2018-19 season.  MSOE is located in Milwaukee, WI and plays in the NCHA.

Vlaisavljevich, a native of Woodbury, MN is in his second season with Tampa.  As Captain in 2017-18 season he played in 44 games scoring 8 goals with 21 assist and a plus 23.  Prior to coming back to Tampa this season Ryan played with the NCDC South Shore Kings.  This season he has played in 24 games with 8 goals and 13 assist and a plus 22.

"Ryan really helped solidify our defense when he came back," said Head Coach Garrett Strot.  "He is a tremendous leader both on and off the ice.  He is committed to improving every day.  I have no doubt he will be an impact player right away for MSOE."

"Ryan is a multiple tool player,"  said MSOE Head Coach Mark Ostapina, "because of these skills MSOE expects Ryan to have an immediate impact at the NCAA level.  Equally important is the fact that he is a high character person."

"It's been an incredible experience." Said Ryan, "The sprint training and skill work the coaches implement has really helped me to improve my overall game as a defenseman.  I can't thank the coaches enough for helping me to develop into the player I am today.  I'll miss coming to the rink in Tampa but I look forward to my next four years at MSOE."

 

TBJ wishes Ryan and his family the best of luck as Ryan continues his hockey career.

Ryan is the 3rd Tampa Premier player to commit for the 2018-19 season.

Tampa Bay Juniors McWilliams Commits to Bethel University

2/14/18 - Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors Hockey Club is proud to announce that Premier forward Jory McWilliams has officially committed to Bethel University for the 2018-19 season.  Bethel is located in St. Paul, MN and plays in the MIAC.

McWilliams, a Bloomington, MN native is in his second season with Tampa.  After scoring 42 points last season in 45 games, McWilliams has exploded this season with 89 points so far and leading the USPHL in scoring all season.

"Jory has had an incredible season this year," said head coach Garrett Strot.  "Bethel is getting a player that is going to step in right away for them and be an impact."

"Jory is someone we've been keeping an eye on since last season,"  said Bethel Head Coach Charlie Burgraff, "he has great character and we are excited to have Jory join the Bethel program."

McWilliams had many schools recruiting him and felt Bethel was the right fit after visiting the campus and rink.  "It felt right," said McWilliams, "I also want to thank the Tampa Bay Juniors.  Playing for TBJ has been the best 2 years of my life.  I'm glad I chose to come to Florida to develop as a player.  I loved the training and the top notch facilities."

"I can't be happier for Jory," said Strot, "He deserved all the attention he got from schools and all of us with TBJ wish him and his family the best as he continues his hockey career!"

McWilliams is the second TBJ player to commit in the last week joining Parker Elvy (Lawrence U) with still more too come.

 

Tampa Bay Juniors Elvy Commits to Lawrence University

2/8/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors Hockey Club is proud to announce that Premier forward Parker Elvy has officially committed to the Lawrence University Vikings of the NCHA for the 2018-19 season.

Elvy, a native of Madison, WI, has played the past 2 seasons with Tampa, playing in over 80 games including 42 games played this season with 15 goals and 25 assist.

"Parker has been very dedicated both on and off the ice the past 2 years", said head coach Garrett Strot.  "He will only get better each year with his dedication and will have a tremendous college career."

"We are very excited to offer Parker a roster spot," said Lawrence Assistant Coach Pat Macadden, who first saw Elvy at the Florida Showcase.  "Parker's has great character both on and off the ice and we are excited about him being part of the Lawrence Hockey Family."

"I loved my time here in Tampa and playing for TBJ", Said Parker, "It's a different environment with the off ice training and the great facility we have.  Just the whole experience playing in Tampa was awesome!"

TBJ wishes Parker and his family the best of luck as he continues his hockey career.  Parker is the first TBJ player to commit to a college for next season with many more to follow in the coming weeks.

Giannino Commits to Kentuckey

3/18/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors are proud to announce that Goalie Perry "Spike" Giannino has committed to play hockey at the University of Kentucky for the 2018-19 season.  Spike, a native of Palm Beach, FL, has played the last 2 season's with Tampa playing in 29 games between the USP3 and Elite teams.

"I couldn't be happier for Spike,"  said Head Coach Garrett Strot.  "He came to us in the middle of last year and helped stabilize our goaltending.  This season he showed the type of leader that he is and helped our Elite team to it's best season ever."

"My time with the TBJ organization changed my life,"  said Perry, "I'm so grateful of coaches Garrett and Brett Strot and Rett Vossler for helping shape me into who I am now and coach Glenn Murphy for helping me bring my game to another level."

Kentucky plays in the ACHA at the Division II level.  TBJ wishes Spike and his family the best of luck as he continues on with his hockey career. 

Tampa Bay Juniors Brenton Wadsworth Commits to DePaul University

3/1/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors Hockey Club is proud to announce that Elite Forward Brenton Wadsworth has committed to DePaul University to play hockey in the 2018-19 season.  DePaul U, which is located in downtown Chicago, is an ACHA Division II team that plays in the Northern Collegiate Hockey League.

Brenton a native of Tampa, FL is in his first year with the Tampa Bay Juniors and is the first Elite player this season to commit to a college.

"I am very happy for Brenton," said Head Coach Garrett Strot.  "Brenton is a very hard worker who come to play each game and practice.  His character both on and off the ice will be a big plus to the DePaul program."

"TBJ was not only a great organization but also a positive part in my life."  Said Brenton, "I gained new skills and accomplishments this season.  I wouldn't have done it any other way."

The Tampa Bay Junuiors wish Brenton and his family the best of luck as he continues his hockey career.

Wadsworth is the 4th TBJ player to commit to a college this year.

Scammon Commits to Cincinnati

3/14/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors are proud to announce that Dillon Scammon has committed to play hockey at the University of Cincinnati for the 2018-19 season.  Dillon, a native of Orlando, FL, played 85 games for Tampa during the 2015-17 seasons.

"I am very proud that Dillon is going to continue with his hockey career," said Head Coach Garrett Strot.  "Dillon had some offers at the end of last season to play but took a year to save up for school, and it's great to see him get the opportunity with Cincinnati.  He was a leader both on and off the ice here and will bring that same leadership style to the Bearcats hockey team."

"I had a great experience with the Tampa Bay Juniors."  said Scammon.  "I want to thank the coaches for helping me get to the next level.  The program and facility is awesome and I'm looking forward to my next chapter in life."

The University of Cincinnati is an ACHA Division II team, and is currently ranked 4th in the southeast district.

Vlaisavljevich; Wawrzkiewicz Named POTW

2/22/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - Tampa Bay Juniors Premier defenseman Ryan Vlaisavljevich and Elite forward Mateusz Wawrzkiewicz have each been named USPHL Player of the Week.

Ryan, who just committed to Milwaukee School of Engineering, had 3 assist Saturday and 2 goals Sunday in Tampa's sweep of the Daytona Racers and clinching the Florida Division Title.

Mateusz had 7 points over the weekend with 4 goals and 3 assist, including a hat trick in Sundays win vs the Daytona Racers.  This is the second time Mateusz has won POTW.

Malinoski Named POTW

2/7/18
Ken Malinoski has been named Player of the Week in the USPHL after scoring 5 goals in Tampa Elite's sweep of the Florida Blades over the weekend.  Malinoski scored 2 goals friday night and capped off the weekend with a hat trick in Saturdays Game.

Malinoski is the 3rd elite player to be named POTW and Tampa's 5th overall recipient. 

Tampa Bay Juniors get a Taste of NHL All Star Weekend

1/27/18
Tampa, FL - Before the NHL All Stars bring their skills to Tampa tonight for the NHL Skills competition, ten Tampa Bay Juniors players took part in the exact events Friday as the NHL tested equipment and went through a dry run at Amalie Arena.

With the NHL All Star weekend here in Tampa, event organizers needed players to test the equipment and make sure everything ran smoothly before the nationally televised events take place.  The players were able to participate in the same events as the NHL players will and did a new event that will be unvailed tonight.

Jory McWilliams, Parker Elvy, David Tmej, Curtis Hansen, Ryan Vlaisavljevich, Luke Zimmermann, Christian Louria, Daniel Seniov, Saxon Greene and Alec Murano each participated in the different events that showcase the top NHL talents.  The events included; fastest skater, hardest shot,accuracy shooting, passing and stickhandling.

"Everyone had an unreal experience", said Vlaisavljevich, "It was a once in a lifetime chance.  The guys had a lot of fun and the referees doing the events would come up to us and ask us how our team was doing and how the league is.  It will be fun to watch on TV and see how we compared."

"It was a lot of fun doing all the different events", said Seniov,"Just being out on that ice and experiencing all of it."

Kortenhaus Named Elite POTW

1/26/18
Tampa Bay Junior Elite goalie Daniel Kortenhaus was named Player of the Week this past week by the USPHL.  Daniel Shutout the Palm Beach Hawks Sunday making 15 saves.  Kortenhaus now has 11 wins on the season and lowered his GAA to 1.72 and his save % to.924.

 

McWilliams Named POTW for Second Time

1/17/18
Tampa Bay Juniors Captain Jory McWilliams has been named Florida/Southeast Player of the Week for the second time this season.  McWilliams had 5 goals over the weekend including two game winners in win's over Daytona.  The second game winner came with less than a minute to play and gave Jory the Hat Trick.  McWilliams continues to lead all of tier 3 junior hockey in scoring.
This is the 3rd time Tampa has had a player named POTW, with Mateusz Wawrzkiewicz being named on 12/13 along with McWilliams second.


The Premier Destination

By Joshua Boyd, 06/04/18

BOSTON, MA -- Doors are opening to college hockey opportunity. 

From Fort Myers, Fla., to Toledo, Ohio; from Boston, Mass. to Charlotte, N.C., the USPHL Premier is living up to its well-deserved reputation for advancement to all collegiate levels as the league enters Year 6 with new teams but the same ironclad determination to serve its players and the college scouts watching them. 

In September, games will start in a newly expanded USPHL Premier Division with seven geographical divisions including 53 teams. As large a league as that may seem, the divisions typically play most of their games within themselves, so the full USPHL Premier operates more like seven separate leagues. 

The benefit of the larger umbrella of the USPHL Premier comes into focus when the teams play in the several USPHL Showcase Series events held throughout each season. 

These include the Junior Bruins Shootout, the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase, the signature USPHL Winter Showcase and the USPHL Nationals, when the division champions get together to settle one overall champion for the USPHL Premier. 

True, the league expanded, but the majority of teams are proven organizations with strong Tier-3 junior track records and college and higher-level junior advancement. Each of the six teams in the Great Lakes Division are such teams, new to the USPHL but not to junior hockey. 

“We needed to tie our youth and junior programs together and this was the only way to attain that,” said Southern Tier Xpress head coach David Dorsey. “Plus, we need to get our players more exposure out East. That will allow our players to get more visibility in front of NCAA Division 1 and 3 scouts, and help improve their chances of moving on to a higher level of hockey.” 

“It was a decision that our division as a whole made [to leave from our previous Tier-3 league],” said Toledo Cherokee general manager/head coach Kenny Miller. “As a group, we just felt it was in the best interest for us from a business standpoint as well as for player development. Our organization felt we would have a better chance of moving guys to Tier 2 if we went this route.”  

Other teams have taken the place of departed league members or are the result of franchise ownership changes. Others, like the Twin City Thunder in Auburn, Maine, are just simply new organizations that want to take advantage of all the USPHL has to offer. 

“I think we added some very strong teams in the Midwest,” said Jason McCrimmon, general manager and head coach of the Motor City Hockey Club. “That is a positive step as we grow in the right direction.”

“I think the league is getting better and better, and I think it’s becoming the clear-cut leader in advancement to NCAA Division 3 and ACHA schools,” added Richmond Generals’ GM R.C. Lyke. “I think one of the biggest focuses we’ll have as we continue to grow and add new teams, is to make sure the talent remains at a high level, and continues to rise.”

COLLEGES KEEP CALLING

NCAA and ACHA colleges have a wealth of player sources to scout and recruit from, but they certainly keep the USPHL Premier as a top destination every year. 

The USPHL Premier saw more than 200 NCAA and ACHA commitments from players skating for its 2018-19 member clubs during this past season. The vast majority of these players are moving on to NCAA Division 2 and 3 schools. The full list, which grows almost daily, is online at www.usphl.com/collegecommits.

“The USPHL does an excellent job of advancing and placing players into NCAA programs from all of their divisions,” said Jay Punsky, head coach of the Boston Bandits. “The Premier Division gives players the best of both worlds – excellent exposure to colleges and the opportunity to develop and advance to Tier 2 junior hockey and the National Collegiate Development Conference with the same organization,” added Punsky, whose Bandits field one of the 12 tuition-free NCDC teams. “The Bandits are a perfect example of what I'm trying to say. Last season, 14 players from our Premier team were offered NCAA Division 3 commitments, but only four of them accepted the offers. The remaining players plan to return to play on our NCDC team.” 

Tampa Bay head coach Garrett Strot said his Juniors team sees excellent advancement every year, largely through the reputation of the USPHL and all of its divisions. 

“I’ve talked to coaches from the Midwest [colleges] and they say they have to get down there to Florida. We have nine going to college from our team this year, and five are going to Midwest schools,” Strot said. “Our team last year had eight kids from Minnesota skating for Tampa Bay. These players are coming to Florida because they know about the team and the program we run, and they know they will still get the exposure they’re looking for.” 

“The USPHL continues to head in the right direction and build momentum, showcasing student-athletes,” added New Jersey Rockets head coach Tim Halewicz. “The Premier Division's record of advancement to NCAA is the proof of the USPHL's success. We had eight NCAA commitments, including Cole Sanderson going to Babson in the fall. We continue to push our players to competitive NCAA programs.”

OPPORTUNITIES UP ABOVE

No other single junior league in the United States has as many individual steps, with the top being tuition-free hockey that is scouted by NCAA Division 1 and even NHL scouts. 

USPHL players can start at the 16U Futures Division, and work their way up through the Midget 16 and 18 levels, while the junior level tiers begin with the Elite, working up to the Premier and ultimately to the NCDC. 

Within the Premier Division, there is the exclusive Affiliate Program, in which each NCDC team is paired with two to three Premier teams. As aforementioned, some Premier teams are within organizations that field NCDC teams, but these NCDC teams also reach out to teams from the outside to offer unprecedented in-season opportunities. 

Affiliate teams can send two to three players each season to their NCDC teams for practices and, if these Premier players impress their NCDC affiliate coaches, they will see game action. At worse, these players get their names in the books for future season consideration. 

“We work with John Gurskis, of the South Shore Kings, and he just came out to Detroit in mid-April to run a joint camp, which was very successful,” said McCrimmon. “Two guys from our Motor City team last year are going to their main camp.” 

“The program and the players are very excited about the Affiliate Program,” added the Xpress’ Dorsey. “This will give them an in-season chance to get a call-up and measure their ability against higher caliber players.” 

The Tampa Bay Juniors had a chance to work with both the Kings and the Northern Cyclones.

“It worked well for us,” Strot said. “We had a player who played for the South Shore Kings [captain Ryan Vlaisavljevich] and he was a candidate to stick with their squad. He went there because of that affiliation.” 

“This was another big reason we decided to join the USPHL,” added the Toledo Cherokee’s Kenny Miller. “Anytime you can get a player called up and he gets an opportunity to go up to the NCDC and show that coaching staff his skills is not only a bonus for the player but for the entire organization.”

Teams like the Bandits and Rockets, with NCDC teams in-house, certainly like being able to use the Premier Division as a proving ground en route to that higher division. 

“The Premier / NCDC affiliate structure fosters healthy competition within the ranks and the opportunity for advancement,” said the Rockets’ Halewicz. “Last season, Casey Sottanella started with the Premier team and moved up to NCDC in November, earning a spot for the rest of the season. At least 14 players were given the opportunity to play at least one NCDC game.”

Overall, Lyke hopes the USPHL Premier as a whole can work even better to move their 19-year-old and younger players towards the next level of junior hockey – that might be in the NCDC, in another U.S. league or even north in Canada. 

“I would like to see our Premier programs as a whole commit to advancing kids to higher levels of juniors just as they have committed to sending them on to college hockey,” he added.

ALL EYES ON THE PREMIER

During the season, you might see the Boston Bandits play the Toledo Cherokee, the Tampa Bay Juniors play the New Jersey Rockets, or the Motor City Hockey Club play the Richmond Generals. 

That doesn’t mean the bussing costs will go sky high or they’ll be flying this, that and the other direction. The USPHL is smart in its scheduling, keeping the lions’ share of games within the seven divisions, but scheduling three to four league games every couple months in the Showcase Series. 

Taking out one team’s schedule as an example, the Boston Bandits played a New England Division vs. Mid-Atlantic Division Showcase in October. In November, they faced three teams from the Southeast Division in the Islanders Hockey Club Showcase. In the January Winter Showcase, they faced three more Mid-Atlantic Division foes. 

“The USPHL's goal is to limit travel and time missed from school. As a result, the schedule is very friendly to the players. It allows them more time to focus on schoolwork, on-ice skill development and off-ice training,” said the Bandits’ Punsky.  

“It is our hope that the USPHL will continue, and perhaps expand, their showcases,” Punsky added. “It’s an excellent way for scouts to see multiple teams under the same roof.”

“I think the schedule is solid and gives our players an opportunity to play in a lot of different places in front of a lot of different schools,” added the Motor City Hockey Club’s McCrimmon. “We played in Chicago twice last year, and we went to Boston [for the Islanders Showcase]. We were also very fortunate to go to Boston again as we made it to the USPHL Nationals. We talked to a lot of NCAA and ACHA schools at these showcases, and as a result, we’re moving seven players on to college hockey.” 

The Southern Tier Xpress are grateful to not only have the chance to participate in the USPHL Showcase Series, but to have been placed within a division featuring their familiar foes from their previous league. 

“I expect the same high level of competition that we’ve had in the past with those teams,” Dorsey said. “We expect it to be a battle every night, and the Showcases will provide elite competition for our players.”

“Hopefully, our team will get maximum exposure since we’re going from one showcase in our old league to three showcases in the USPHL,” added the Cherokee’s Miller. 

Tampa Bay’s Strot loves the opportunity to play teams from all over the USPHL footprint. One thing he would add to the Showcase Series is more ceremony and fanfare. 

“Maybe they can add more announcing the kids, maybe starting lineups, just a little more atmosphere for the players,” Strot added. “These showcases are huge for the league to get scouts to come to one place and see all the teams.” 

It’s not long now before the USPHL 2018-19 schedule is announced across all levels, including the Showcase Series. Halewicz and the New Jersey Rockets will be waiting and looking forward to another year of fun, development and advancement in America’s single largest junior league. 

“The USPHL Premier schedule works very well,” added Halewicz. “Not only are there showcases in the Northeast, mainly Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where it is convenient for many NCAA programs to scout, but there is also the opportunity to head west.” 

Former Tampa Bay Juniors Defensemen Luke Perunovich Commits to Providence

4/11/18
By TBJ Staff

Former Tampa Bay Juniors Defenseman Luke Perunovich committed this week to play hockey at Providence College starting in the 2018-19 season.  The Friars, a member of Hockey East, recently won the NCAA Division I Frozen Four in 2015.

Perunovich played with Tampa Bay during the 2015-16 season before playing the last two years with the North East Generals of the NAHL.

“Luke came to us from one of the top High School programs in Minnesota and needed a chance to play in all situations and get a lot of ice time,” said Head Coach Garrett Strot, “For him to make the leap to come to Florida to start his junior career and to have his dedication and commitment payoff is great to see.  I’ve known his family for many years and am very happy to see his dream come true!”

“You could see his skill set right away,” said Owner/Head Coach Brett Strot, “The first time I saw him was at our first practice that season and right away I told my brother ‘this kid has some potential’ and to see him go Division I is great.”

Luke becomes the first player to play for the Tampa Bay Juniors to make a Division I commitment.  Earlier this year, Roope Hintz became the first player to play for TBJ to be called up to the NHL. (Dallas Stars)

The Tampa Bay Juniors wish Luke and his family the best of luck in his continued hockey journey at Providence.

The Southeast/Florida Divisions Announces Its All-Star Selections for the 2017-2018 Season

3/10/18
Boston, MA - The Southeast/Florida divisions of the USPHL announced its All-Star selections for the 2071-18 season.  The Tampa Bay Juniors had six representatives to the team including three in each the Premier and Elite Divisions.

In the Premier Division; forwards Jory McWilliams and David Tmej made the team along with Christian Louria on Defense.  In the Elite Division; forward Mark Louria, defenseman Evan Hoffberg and goalie Daniel Kortenhaus were named.

McWilliams led the USPHL in scoring in the regular season and finished the season with a team record 104 points.  McWilliams also set a team record with 51 goals.  Tmej Finished 3rd in the league in scoring and finished with 98 points and a team record of 55 assist. C. Louria finished wth 9 goals and 21 assist for 30 points.

M. Louria led the Elite team in scoring with 24 goals and 42 assist for 66 points.  Hoffberg led all defenseman in scoring with 10 goals and 31 assist for 41 points and Kortenhaus finished 16-6 with a 1.80 GAA, .920 Save % and 2 shutouts.

Former Tampa Bay Juniors Roope Hinz Gets the Call From Dallas

by TBJ Staff

3/6/18

Wesley Chapel, FL - Former Tampa Bay Juniors forward Roope Hinz has been called up by the Dallas Stars.  Hinz, who has been playing with the Stars AHL team, was called up yesterday.  He did not dress, but his debut is expected in the next few days.

Hinz played for the Tampa Bay Juniors in the 2012-13 season.  He had 20 goals and 15 assist for 35 points in 20 games.  Later that year he was called up to a tier 2 team.  

"Roope came to us as a 16 year old and right away you could see his high hockey IQ."  said TBJ Owner/Coach Brett Strot.  "He was a very creative player and had this passion to play the game and get better."

Hinz was drafted in the second round by Dallas, #49 overall, in the 2015 draft.  He is the second player, joining Brian Ferlin who was taken in the fourth round by Boston in 2011, to play for Brett Strot in the Tampa/Jacksonville organization.

Tampa Bay Juniors Premier and Elite Teams Punch Their Ticket to Boston for USPHL Championships

3/1/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors Hockey Club, Premier and Elite Teams, both won their first round best of three playoff match ups and are heading to the USPHL Championship March 7-10 in Boston, MA.  

 

TBJ Premier won its best of three playoff series 2-0 with a decisive win 9-2 over the Florida Blades in game one, led by Jory McWilliams 2 goals, 2 assist and David Tmej's 1 goal, 3 assist.  In game two Tampa would jump out to a 4-0 lead, only too see the Blades roar back to take a 6-4 lead early in the 3rd period.   After defenseman Ryan Vlaisavljevich's goal brought Tampa to within one, Matej Dejdar scored what Tampa thought was the tying goal but was disallowed.  30 seconds later though Tmej would tie it with 3:33 on the clock.  With time running down Dejdar put Tampa ahead with a goal that would stand with 2:05 remaining punching Tampa's ticket to Boston.

 

TBJ Elite would take three games to eliminate a tough Palm Beach Hawk team.  After dropping game one 4-1 Tampa would bounce back as Daniel Kortenhaus made 12 saves in the 2-0 win.  Game three saw Tampa down 1-0 after the first, but Dan Duncan would score 32 seconds into the second period to get Tampa going.  Mateusz Wawrzkiewicz and Jack Mazur each scored two goals as Tampa pulled away 7-2 to punch the Elite's team ticket to Boston.

 

This is the first time both the Premier and Elite teams have gone to the USPHL Championships in the same season.  This follows a regular season which saw both teams win the USPHL Florida Division.

Tampa Bay Juniors Elite Heading to Boston

2/27/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors Elite Team pulled out a 7-2 game 3 win to win it's first round playoff, two games to one over the Palm Beach Hawks.  With the win TBJ Elite now moves onto the USPHL Championships in Boston.

Mateusz Wawrzkiewicz and Jack Mazur each scored 2 goals with Jaakko Kiukas adding a goal and 2 assist.  After Palm Beach held a 1-0 lead Dan Duncan got TBJ Elite going with the tying goal 32 seconds into the second period and then Wawrzkiewicz put TBJ Elite ahead 1 minute later.  Palm Beach would tie it but before the second period ended Kiukas, Wawrzkiewicz and Mazur put Tampa up three.

The third period saw Mazur and Evan Hoffberg score to put the finishing touches on the game.  Goalie Daniel Kortenhaus made 22 saves for the win.

Tampa now heads to Boston next week for the USPHL Championship's. 

Tampa Bay Juniors Premier Team Heading to Boston

2/25/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors Premier Team defeated the Florida Blades in a wild 7-6 game Saturday at Florida Hospital Center Ice and will head to Boston for the USPHL Championships.

After Tampa built a 4-0 first period lead on goals from Matej Dejdar, Parker Elvy, David Tmej and Jory McWilliams, the Blades came storming back with 6 unanswered goals to take a 6-4 lead in the 3rd period.

Tampa defenseman Ryan Vlaisavljevich got the come back started with a goal at 10:15.  With 4 minutes left, Dejdar scored what appeared to be the tying goal but would be waved off by the referee's.   Tampa kept pushing and 30 seconds later Tmej would tie the game at 6.  Tampa was not done and Dejdar finished the come back with a goal that counted at 17:55 to give TBJ Premier the victory and move onto Boston.

In game one of the series Tampa blew out the Blades 9-2 with Tmej and McWilliams each getting 4 points.

McWilliams Gets 50 and Hits the Century Mark

Jory McWilliams incredible season continues as his goal Saturday gave him 50 on the season.  In Friday's game McWilliams had 4 points to put him at 100 and has 102 for the season.  McWilliams is the first Tampa Bay Junior to ever reach 50 goals and have 100 points.

 

Tampa Bay Juniors Premier and Elite Teams Win Division Titles

2/19/18 
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors Premier and Elite teams both wrapped up first place in Florida Division with sweeps over the Daytona Racers this weekend.  Both teams will be the number one seed in the first round of playoffs that begin Friday.  With the wins TBJ Elite team end the regular season on a 14 game winning streak and TBJ Premier team ended it's regular season on a 12 game winning streak.

TBJ Premier was led by David Tmej's 8 points, including a hat trick on Saturday.  Jory Mcwilliams had 7 points (2 goals, 5 assist) Ryan Vlaisavejevich had 5 points (2 goals, 3 assist) and Christian Louria had 4 assist.

TBJ Elite was led by Mateusz Wawrzkiewicz 7 points with a hat trick Sunday.  Evan Hoffberg 1 goal 5 assist with 4 helpers in Sunday's win.  Mark Louria also contributed 1 goal and 4 assist.

McWilliams wins scoring title

Jory McWilliams finished the weekend with 7 points which gave him the USPHL Premier Division scoring title.  McWilliams finished with 96 points and also led the league in goals with 47.  David Tmej finished third in the league scoring with 88 points on the season including 39 goals.

Game Recaps
2/17/18 @ Daytona Racers
TBJ Elite 6  Daytona 2

Wawrzkiewicz had a goal and 2 assist to lead Tampa in it's 6-2 win.  Louria would add 3 assist and Jack Mazur 1 goal and 1 assist.  Also scoring for Tampa was Spencer Geer, Casey Bahl and Jaakko Kiukas.  Perry Gianinno had 29 saves and TBJ fired 73 at the Daytona goalies.

TBJ Premier 10  Daytona 1
The Premier team wrapped up the division title with it's resounding win.  Tmej had the hat trick and McWilliams had 2 goals and 3 assist to win the USPHL scoring title.  Saxon Greene, 2 goals, Matej Dejdar, Daniel Seniov and Alec Murano rounded out the scoring.  Vlaiavljevich had 3 assist.  Tyler Roy had 21 saves as TBJ outshot Daytona 64-22.

2/18/18 @ FHCI
TBJ Elite 8  Daytona 3

Wawrzkiewicz continued his hot weekend netting the hat trick.  Hoffberg picked up 4 assist and Ken Malinoski continued his hot scoring getting 2.  Geer, Kiukas and Louria would also score.  Daniel Kortenhaus made 18 saves.

TBJ Premier 10  Daytona 6
For the second consecutive day Tampa score 10 goals led by Tmej, Vlaisavljevich, Nikita Baikov and Zach Slezak each scoring 2 goals.   Ethan Chadwell and Parker Elvy also scored.  Louria added 3 assist with goalies Chad Duran and Nic Redmond combining with 21 saves in the win. 

 

 


Premier Division Champs


Elite Division Champs

Tampa Bay Juniors Premier/Elite Teams Maintain Division Leads

2/4/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - Tampa Bay Juniors Premier and Elite teams both swept the Florida Blades over the weekend to each maintain its lead on the Florida Divisions and continue their winning streaks.  TBJ Premier now has its winning streak to ten games and TBJ Elite extended its winning streak to twelve games!

TBJ Premier was once again led by the Jory McWilliams, David Tmej and Daniel Seniov line which combined for 17 points (6 goals, 11 assist).  McWilliams and Tmej are both 1 and 2 in scoring this year in the USPHL.

TBJ Elite was led by Ken Malinoski who scored 5 goals over the weekend, including the hat trick Saturday.  Mark Louria would add 2 goals 1 assist with Evan Hoffberg and Brenton Wadsworth each chipping in a goal and 2 assist.  

With the sweeps, both teams can wrap up the division titles in 2 weeks with home and home games vs the Daytona Racers.

Game Recaps
Friday 2/2/18 @ FHCI

TBJ Premier 5  Florida Blades 2
Tyler Roy made 33 saves and Seniov's 2 goals 1 assist led Tampa in game 1.  Tmej, Ryan Vlaisavljevich and Parker Elvy also would light the lamp and McWilliams adding 3 assist.

TBJ Elite 4  Florida Blades 2
In a game that features 82 minutes in penalties, TBJ Elite defense took control in the 3rd period, killing a 5 minute major and limiting the Blades to 2 shots on goal.  With the score tied after the first on goals by Louria and Malinoski Tampa secured the victory in the third with goals by Hoffberg and Malinoskis second.  Perry Gianinno had 12 saves for the win.

Saturday 2/3/18 @ Germain Arena

TBJ Premier 6  Blades 3
Tampa jumped to a 5-0 lead on goals from Saxon Greene, Zach Puterbaugh, Seniov, Tmej (2) and Parker Elvy in its 6-3 win Saturday.  McWilliams added 3 assist and Curtis Hansen had 2 helpers with Chad Duran making 27 saves in the Victory.

TBJ Elite 8  Blades 3
Malinoski scored the hat trick in Tampa's 8-3 blow out Saturday.  Wadsworth, Dan Duncan, Louria, Aiden Kennedy and Jack Mazur rounded out the scoring for Tampa.  Daniel Kortenhaus had 21 saves in the win.

 

 

 

Tampa Bay Juniors Streaks Continue

1/29/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors Elite and Premier Teams continue their hot streaks as both teams swept the Florida Eels over the weekend.  The TBJ Elite has now won 10 games in a row while the TBJ Premier team extended its streak to 8.  

TBJ Elite was led by Zach Parker's 3 goals and 2 assist, Mark Louria had 1 goal and 4 assist and Evan Hoffberg had 3 assist in Sunday's win.  TBJ Premier was led by David Tmej's 7 points (4g 3a) Jory McWilliams 5 points (3g 2a) and Daniel Seniov 1 goal 3 assist.

The victory's keep both teams in first place with 4 games remaining.  Both teams will face the Florida Blades Friday, at FHCI and Saturday, at Germain Arena.

Game Recaps
Friday 1/26/18

TBJ Elite 7  Florida Eels 1
Parker scored 2 goals, Louria added a goal and 3 assist and Perry Gianinno made 15 saves in Tampa's 7-1 trouncing of the Eels.  Gehrig Oppenhiemer, Casey Bahl, Jack Mazur and Matt Gibbons would also score.


TBJ Premier 5  Florida Eels 3
Peter Celatka scored his first goal of the season with Tmej scoring 2 goals and McWilliams adding a goal and a assist in Tampa's victory.  Nikita Baikov also scored and Tyler Roy had 29 saves in the win.

Saturday 1/28/18

TBJ Elite 4  Florida Eels 2
Hoffberg had 3 assist to help lead Tampa to its 10th straight win.  Jaakko Kiukas, Parker, Ken Malinoski and Trent Gephart all scored with Daniel Kortenhaus turning away 27 of 29 shots.

TBJ Premier 8  Florida Eels 2
A tight game turned into a blowout as Tampa scored its 3rd shorthanded goal of the weekend and added 2 power play goals.  Tmej had 2 goals and 3 assist with McWilliams and Parker Elvy also netting 2 goals each.  Daniel Seniov and Ryan Vlaisavljevich would round up the scoring.  Chad Duran made 42 saves giving Tampa an 8 game winning streak.

Tampa Bay Juniors Continue Hot January

1/22/18
Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa bay Juniors Premier and Elite teams continued their strong play since the start of the new year by each sweeping the Palm Beach Hawks at the Florida Hospital Center Ice this weekend.  With the wins TBJ Premier is 8-1 since 2018 began and TBJ Elite is 8-1-1.  

TBJ Elite had a three game weekend beginning with a 7-3 win in Daytona before defeating Palm Beach 6-1 and 3-0.  Evan Hoffberg and Zach Parker led the way with each having 2 goals and 3 assist over the weekend.  TBJ Premier swept the Hawks by scores of 6-2 and 5-2.  The trio of Jory McWilliams, David Tmej and Daniel Seniov combined for 6 goals and 7 assist, with McWilliams netting his 3rd hat trick of the season Saturday.

Both teams continue this Friday at Home vs the Florida Eels before traveling to Fort Myers Sunday.

Game Recaps
Friday 1/19/18 at Daytona

TBJ ELITE 7  Daytona Racers 3
Vincent Margosian and Ken Malinoski's move from defense to forward payed off as each scored early to send Tampa on it's way to a 7-3 win.  Spencer Geer, Hoffberg (1g 2a), Jack Mazur, Mateusz Wawrzkiewicz and Parker would round out the scoring.  Daniel Kortenhaus made 29 saves in the win.

Saturday 1/20/18 at FHCI

TBJ Elite 6  Palm Beach hawks 1
Mark Louria had 2 goals with Malinoski, Parker, Wawrzkiewicz and Kyle Vargas also scoring in the win.  Andrew Behrenfeld would add 2 assist and Perry Giannini 21 saves.

TBJ Premier 6  Palm Beach Hawks 2
McWilliams would get the hat trick as Tampa pulled away in what started off as a tight game.  Parker Elvy netted 2 goals, including the game winner, and Saxon Greene scored in the victory over the Hawks.  Seniov and Tmej each had 3 assist and Tyler Roy stopped 24 of 26 shots.

Sunday 1/21/18 at FHCI

TBJ ELITE 3  Palm Beach 0
Kortenhaus made 15 saves for the shutout and Hoffberg, Gehrig Oppenhiemer, Behrenfeld did the scoring in Tampa's 3-0 win.

TBJ Premier 5  Palm Beach 2
Curtis Hansen broke a 2-2 tie 5 minutes into the second period and Tampa never looked back.  McWilliams, Seniov and Tmej each scored and Luke Zimmermann's goal capped off the 5-2 win.  Zach Canaan would add 2 assist and Chad Duran had 6 of his 29 saves in the third as Tampa locked down the win.

Tampa Bay Juniors Premier and Elite A Perfect 6-0 Over Weekend

1/16/18
Wesley Chapel - With a home and home sweep of the Daytona Racers and two road wins at the Florida Eels the Tampa Bay Juniors Premier and Elite teams were a perfect 6-0 this past weekend.  The Elite team's suddenly potent offense, was led by Mark Louria, who had 9 points (5 goals 4 assist) as the TBJ Elite won by scores of 4-1 and 8-3 over Daytona and 6-0 over the Florida Eels averaging almost 50 shots a game.  

The Premier team was led by Jory McWilliams 5 goals, including the game winner  Sunday with under a minute to play, to give him the hattrick, in Tampa's 6-5 win over Daytona.  TBJ Premier also defeated Daytona Saturday 3-2 and finished the 3 game weekend with a 4-2 win over the Eels.

Next weekend divisional play continues as TBJ Elite has another 3 game set, going to Daytona Friday and at home Saturday and Sunday vs the Palm Beach Hawks.  TBJ Premier will be playing an exhibition game vs the USA Women's Olympic Team Wednesday night at 9:00 PM before taking on the Hawks at home Saturday and Sunday.

Game Recaps
Saturday 1/13/18

TBJ Elite 4  Daytona Racers 1
Aiden Kennedy scored 2 goals with Vincent Margosian and Brenton Wadsworth each netting one in the victory.  Ken Malinoski added 2 assist while Perry Giannino got the victory in net.

TBJ Premier 3  Daytona 2
Nic Redmond was sharp in net helping Tampa to the 3-2 win.  Saxon Greene, Zack Slezak (1st of the year) and Jory McWilliams would score for Tampa.

Sunday 1/14/18

TBJ Elite 8   Daytona Racers 3
Mark Louria scored 4 goals an had 2 assist to lead Tampa on it's scoring outburst.  Evan Hoffberg, Mateusz Wawrzkiewicz, Matt Gibbons and Zach Parker also scored with Daniel Kortenhaus getting the win in net.

TBJ Premier 6  Daytona Racers 5
McWilliams scored the Hat trick with his 3rd goal being the game winner with less than a minute to play in the 6-5 victory. David Tmej chipped in a goal and 2 assist.  Greene and Ethyn Chadwell also scored with Dylan Gluck in net for the win.

Monday 1/15/18

TBJ Elite 6  Florida Eels 0
Giannino made 18 saves for his second shutout of the season in Tampa’s win Monday.  Jaakko Kiukas scored 2 goals with Spencer Geer, Parker and Louria getting the others.  Louria and Parker also each added 2 assist giving Louria 9 points in his last 2 games.

TBJ Premier 4   Florida Eels 2
In a back and forth game TBJ Prenier was able to pull out the win on new comer Nikita Baikov’s 1st goal that broke a 2-2 tie.  Christian Louria, McWilliams and Tmej would round out the scoring.  Daniel Seniov added 3 assist and Chad Duran made 45 saves in the win.

Tampa Bay Juniors Return From Break with Successful Weekend

1/8/18

Wesley Chapel, FL - The Tampa Bay Juniors Premier and Elite teams came back from their Christmas break and got right back into things with the Winter Showcase in Marlboro, MA over the weekend.  The Premier Team went 3-1 and the Elite 2-1-1 as both teams are now in first place of the Florida Division.

Just getting to Boston was an adventure as a Blizzard hit the New England area Thursday and having the team rearrange flight plans to get both teams up to Boston Friday morning.  Despite the early flight and going straight to the rink TBJ Premier would win 2-1 over the South Shore Kings and TBJ Elite would lose to IHC 3-2 in a shootout.  

Both teams are back to Divisional games this weekend versus the Daytona Racers Saturday and Sunday with Sunday's home games at 12:30 (Elite) and 3:15 (Premier).  Both teams also play Monday 1/15 at the Florida Eels for a makeup game from Hurricane Irma.  Premier 10:30 am and Elite 1:30 pm.

Game Recaps
Friday 1/5/18

TBJ Premier 2   South Shore Kings 1
Tyler Roy Made Saxon Greene's early second half goal stand up as Tampa beat North Division power house South Shore Kings.  David Tmej would also score in the game.

TBJ Elite 2   Islanders Hockey Club 3   Shootout
Mark Louria and Jack Mazur would score for Tampa but North Division leading IHC would tie it with 30 seconds remaing in the game to tie it and win in the shootout.

Saturday 1/6/18

TBJ Elite 0  Junior Bruins 1
Goalie Daniel Kortenhaus would make 20 saves but the Junior Bruins would score the game winner with 43 seconds remaining as TBJ would drop another tight one with the North Division 2nd place team Bruins.

TBJ Premier 5  MN Blue Ox 3
Saxon Greene, Ryan Vlaisavljevich, Curtis Hansen, Zach Puterbaugh and Jory McWilliams would each score as Tampa would take down the Midwest Division leading Minnesota Blue Ox.  Chad Duran would get the win for TBJ.

TBJ Elite 5   Hartford 2
Jordan Blumberg made 20 saves as TBJ Elite beat the Wolf Pack 5-2.  Casey Bahl, Zach Parker (2 goals), Jaakko Kiukas and Kyle Vargas would score.

TBJ Premier  3  New Jersey Rockets 9
Jory McWilliams and Curtis Hansen (2 Goals) scored as TBJ fell to the Mid Atlantic leading Rockets.

Sunday 1/7

TBJ Elite 5  Team Beijing 1
Lucas Schrager scored his first goal of the year to help TBJ to a 5-1 win over th Eagles.  Aiden Kennedy, Louria, Parker and Trent Gephart would also find the back of the net as Kortenhaus and Perry Giannino would split the game for the win.

TBJ Premier 8  Hartford 2
Tampa would close out the showcase with an 8-2 win over the Wolf Pack.  Tmej and Puterbaugh would each score 2 goals with Vlaisavljevich, Daniel Seniov, Luke Zimmermann and Hansen also finding the back of the net.  Nic Redmond had 34 saves in the win.

Tampa Bay Juniors/Hockey International Announce Summer Training Program

2018 Summer Overspeed Training Program Registration

This program is specifically designed for players who have trained and/or would like to move to the next level of Speed, Power, Agility & Top Speed Endurance. It includes On-Ice & Off-Ice training & skills development. DAYS: TUESDAY & THURSDAY; May 29th-August 2nd AGES: 2002-College TUE: 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM ON-ICE Training 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM OFF-ICE Skills THU: 4:00 PM – 5:45 PM OFF-ICE Training

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