NAPHL announces Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performers for December
The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) announced its Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performers for the month of December. The players were selected based upon their performance at the fourth NAPHL event of the season, which took place at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota from December 5-8, 2014.
18U Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performer (Forward) – Phil Erickson, Madison Capitols
Madison forward Phil Erickson, 17, was a one-man wrecking crew in Blaine. Even though the 1st place Capitols only went 3-2 at the event, they did manage to score 29 goals in the five games and Erickson (5’9/170) was a big part of the offense. The native of Eau Claire, WI, totaled 14 points in the five games, which included 10 goals and four assists. Erickson recorded multi-point games in four of the five contests. His biggest output came in a 10-2 win over Pursuit of Excellence where he had five points, including a hat-trick and game-winning goal in the win. He also had a hat-trick in an 8-0 win over the Minnesota Revolution and two goals and an assist in a 7-4 loss against New Jersey. Earlier this season, Erickson signed an NAHL tender agreement with the Coulee Region Chill and has played two games as an affiliate player for Coulee Region, scoring a goal in his NAHL debut back on October 31st. Erickson’s 31 points to date is tied for the NAPHL 18U scoring lead.
NAHL Event Scouting Report on Erickson: “Tough player with a very good shot and puck skills. A very solid competitor.”
#2 Star: Anthony Cusanelli, New Jersey Jr. Titans
#3 Star: Austin Junger, St. Louis Selects
18U Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performer (Defense) – Brad Becker, New Jersey Jr. Titans
A perfect 5-0 weekend in Blaine put the New Jersey Jr. Titans square in the middle of the 18U playoff race. New Jersey defenseman Brad Becker, 18, stepped up big for his club during the event as the native of Howell, NJ, accumulated 10 points in the five wins, which included four goals and six assists. Becker (5’11/165) began the event with a one goal, two assist effort in a 7-4 win over division-leading Madison on the first day. He followed that up with goals in both games on the second day along with some solid defense in shutout victories over Pikes Peak and West Michigan. His best output came in the second to last game, a 12-1 win over the Philadelphia Little Flyers, in which Becker had a goal and three assists. In 13 games played this season, Becker has 13 points, 10 of which came during the last event in Blaine.
NAHL Event Scouting Report on Becker: “A very skilled defenseman who sees ice very well and makes good decisions with and without puck.”
#2 Star: Chase Mickelson, Madison Capitols
#3 Star: Evan Nyhus, Anaheim Jr. Ducks
18U Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performer (Goaltender) – Nick Nast, California Titans
Entering the final event in Troy, the California Titans hold a firm grasp on the 8th and final playoff spot in the 18U Division. They did themselves some good with a 4-1 record in Blaine during the last NAPHL event and 17-year-old goalie Nick Nast (5’11/165) was exceptional in the games he played. The native of Oxnard, CA, won all three of his starts in Blaine and only allowed three goals in the three games. In his first game during the event, Nast made 20 saves in a 2-1 win over West Michigan. In his second game of the event, Nast stopped all 25 shots that came his way for his second shutout of the season as California blanked Arizona, 2-0. In his final game, Nast was phenomenal as he made a season-high 46 saves in a 3-2 shootout win over the Esmark Stars. Nast also stopped all four Esmark shooters in the shootout win. Nast, who is a tender of the Kenai River Brown Bears in the NAHL, is tied for the 18U lead in save percentage at 94.7% and ranks 5th in goals against average with a 1.65 mark.
NAHL Event Scouting Report on Nast: “Nast is a technically strong goalie who always stays square to shooter. He has great rebound control and always poised.”
#2 Star: Cam Newman, New Jersey Jr. Titans
#3 Star: Link Ferch, HC Dallas
16U Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performer (Forward) – Casey Gilling, Omaha AAA
Another event, another set of wins for the Omaha AAA 16U team, who continue to flex their muscles as one of the top teams in the Nation. Omaha won all five games in Blaine by a combined score of 26-4 and forward Casey Gilling, 16, was at the forefront of the offensive leaders for the team. The native of Sault Ste Marie, MI, piled up nine points in the five wins, which included seven goals and two assists. Gilling (6’1/191) began the event with a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal, and an assist in an 8-2 win over the West Michigan Hounds. He followed that up with goals in wins over New Jersey and Lansing. In the last game, Gilling had two goals, including the game-winner, in a 5-0 shutout of HC Dallas. In 15 NAPHL games with the 16U team this season, Gilling is 2nd on the team in scoring with 22 points. Gilling has also played in five 18U games for Omaha this season, registering three points. His 22 points also ranks him 7th in scoring in the 16U Division.
NAHL Event Scouting Report on Gilling: “A quick skater, strong forechecker and backchecker. He loves playing in the corners and in front of the net.”
#2 Star: Rex Moe, Lansing Capitals
#3 Star: Andre Ghantous, Anaheim Jr. Ducks
16U Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performer (Defense) – Nic Allen, Esmark Stars
Seeing his first action of the season, Esmark 16U defenseman Nic Allen, 16, made an immediate impact on the club in Blaine as the Stars kept pace with the leaders in the playoff race with a 4-1 record. The native of Russell, PA, managed to register at least a point in four of the five games and totaled six points, including one goal and five assists. Allen (5’9/155) began the event with a goal and an assist in a 8-3 win over San Jose. Later that day, he recorded two assists in a 7-2 win over Pikes Peak. He did not register a point in Esmark’s lone loss, a 3-2 decision to Pursuit of Excellence. He then finished the event with assists in wins over Arizona and Green Bay. Last season Allen skated with the Buffalo Saints team.
NAHL Event Scouting Report on Allen: “Played well in his first event and showed a lot of poise with the puck. Able to contribute offensively and adds depth to an already strong defensive line-up.”
#2 Star: Garrett Anderson, Omaha AAA
#3 Star: Cole Barney, Esmark Stars
16U Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performer (Goaltender) – Timothy Huxen, Anaheim Jr. Ducks
The Anaheim Jr. Ducks kept pace with Omaha atop of the 16U Division thanks to a 5-0 record at the event in Blaine. 16-year-old netminder Timothy Huxen got the start in three of the games and won all three, allowing just three goals in the process. The native of Bakersfield, CA, faced a total of 42 shots in the three games and stopped 39 of them. Huxen (5’10/156) began the event with 13 saves in a 6-2 win over the Arizona Bobcats. The next day, Huxen made 14 saves in a 3-1 win over the Green Bay Jr. Gamblers. He finished the event with his second shutout of the season, as he made 12 saves in a 6-0 win over Pikes Peak. For the season, Huxen has an 8-1 record and ranks 4th in the 16U Division in both goals against average (1.67) and save percentage (92.3%).
NAHL Event Scouting Report on Huxen: “He moves well and competes every time he is out there. He battles to see puck all the time and controls his rebounds well.”
#2 Star: Colin Burgess, New Jersey Jr. Titans
#3 Star: George McBey, HC Dallas
The NAPHL is comprised of five regular-season events leading up to its Championship Tournament Series in which the top teams in each division compete for a league championship. The fifth NAPHL event of the 2014-15 season will take place from January 16-19, 2015 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan. The event will feature all 32 NAPHL teams.
With more than 100 online high school courses and 20 years of experience, Apex Learning Virtual School offers players the opportunity to be both successful academically and available for practice and travel. Rigorous curriculum and the support of expert online teachers provide a strong academic foundation. The flexibility to complete online course work when and where it is convenient means school can fit with player's hockey commitments. Enrollment options include full time to earn a diploma and individual courses to fulfill specific requirements. For players wanting to qualify for Division I and Division III college teams, courses approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are offered.