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USHL Players of the Week: Week 8

11/19/2018, 2:30pm CST

Top NHL Draft prospect, pair of Muskegon Lumberjacks among weekly honorees.

The United States Hockey League announced the Forward, Defenseman and Goaltender of the Week for Week 8 of the 2018-19 season. Team USA forward Trevor Zegras and a pair of Muskegon Lumberjacks - defenseman Alex Yakovenko and goaltender Brandon Bussi - earned weekly honors for the second time in their respective USHL careers. Zegras recorded four points in two games over the weekend, helping Team USA's U18 team score seven goals in each of their road victories. Yakovenko scored twice and added an assist in Muskegon's win on Saturday, and Bussi stopped all 23 shots he faced on Saturday for his league-leading third shutout of the season. The USHL is America’s only Tier 1 junior hockey league, and continues to lead the world in the advancement of Division I college hockey athletes.

Forward: Trevor Zegras, Team USA

Trevor Zegras, Team USA (courtesy Hickling Images)

2 GP: 2 goals, 2 assists, +3 rating


Zegras scored a goal and added an assist in both of the U18s wins over the weekend, a 7-1 win in Omaha on Friday and 7-4 victory in Dubuque on Saturday. Zegras has been on fire offensively in his six USHL games, as he has recorded 12 points (5G, 7A) in those contests. He has also recorded at least one point in five straight games dating back to Oct. 27, with four multi-point performances in that span. The Boston University commit is tied for the lead among all USHL players with 2.00 points-per-game and is tied for the Team USA scoring lead scoring with his 12 points. Zegras is a top prospect for the 2019 NHL Draft and has been listed as a first round prospect on each of this season's NHL Central Scouting Players to Watch lists. The Bedford, NY native has now won Forward of the Week for the second time in three weeks, as he also earned honors on Oct. 29. Zegras is in his second USHL season and has recorded 44 points (15G, 29A) in 37 regular season games, in addition to six points (1G, 5A) in eight games during Team USA's run to the Eastern Conference Final last season. Prior to his time with Team USA, Zegras played for Avon Old Farms (USHS).

Defenseman: Alex Yakovenko - Muskegon Lumberjacks

Alex Yakovenko, Muskegon Lumberjacks (courtesy Hickling Images)

1 GP: 2 goals, 1 assist, +2 rating


Yakovenko made the most of his one game over the weekend, scoring on the power play, shorthanded, and adding an assist in Muskegon's 4-0 shutout of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Saturday. It marked the second straight game the Karagande, KAZ native has scored two goals and dished out an assist, as he also did so on Nov. 11 against the Central Illinois Flying Aces. Yakovenko currently sits with 16 points (5G, 11A) on the season, the most among Lumberjacks defenseman and second among all USHL blueliners. He is also fourth among all Muskegon players in scoring with his 16 points and has a +9 rating through 14 games this year, tying him for seventh among USHL defensemen. Yakovenko was named Defenseman of the Week once last season (Apr. 9), a year in which he recorded 17 points (3G, 14A) in 31 games for the Lumberjacks. He was added to Muskegon's roster in January and previously played for Chelmet Chelyabinsk in Russia.

Goaltender: Brandon Bussi - Muskegon Lumberjacks

Brandon Bussi, Muskegon Lumberjacks (courtesy Hickling Images)

1-0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV%


Bussi was named USHL Goaltender of the Week for the second time this season, thanks to his 23-save shutout of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Saturday night, his league-leading third shutout of the year. The Sound Beach, NY native has been dominant between the pipes for the Lumberjacks this year, as he has posted a 13-1-0-0 record, 2.14 GAA and .923 SV% to go along with his three shutouts. In addition to leading the USHL in shutouts, Bussi also paces all USHL goaltenders with his 13 wins. His 2.14 GAA is second in the league, while his .923 SV% is good for third among USHL netminders. This is Bussi's second weekly award this season, as he previously earned Goaltender of the Week honors on Oct. 8. 2018-19 marks Bussi's first season in the USHL, following two seasons where he backstopped the NAHL's Amarillo Bulls and New Jersey Junior Titans as well as the P.A.L. Junior Islanders. He was added to Muskegon's roster on July 25.

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 17th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2018-19. The USHL had a record 45 players selected at the 2018 NHL Draft, more than any junior league in the world, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.

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