WBS Jr. Knights Hockey Programs



2019-2020 WBS Jr. Knights & Jr. Monarchs Tryouts

Independent U6 and U8
(2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)

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Tier 1 AYHL
2008, 2009, 2010

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Eastern Junior Elite Prospects (EJEPHL)
U10 (2009/2010), U12 (2007/2008), U13 (2006/2007)

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Jr. Monarchs Girls
U19, U14, U12

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About the WBS Jr. Knights

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Junior Knights are a USA Hockey-sanctioned team led by Head Coach / Director of Knights Hockey, Alex Vasko.   The Knights have teams ranging from mites to U19 girls. 

The WBS Knights teams play in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League (AYHL).  The AYHL is the premier Tier I AAA travel league on the East Coast. It is comprised of over 125 teams from the Atlantic, Southeast, New York and New England Districts.

WBS Knights also have teams in the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League (EJEPL).  The EJEPL was created to prepare players to become the Junior, Prep School and College recruits of the future. Many of the owners of top Junior programs, top Prep School programs and AAA Youth organizations regularly scout the EJEPL and it’s (90) partner organizations

Did you know?  

In the past six years, the WBS Jr Knights produced NHL players Ivan Provorov – Philadelphia Flyers (NHL Draft 2015, 1st Round, 7th Overall), Denis Smirnov – Colorado Avalanche (NHL Draft 2017, 6th Round, 156th Overall), CJ Yakimowicz – St. Louis Blues (NHL Draft 2014, 6th Round, 172nd Overall), Nikita Pavlychev – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Draft 2015, 7th Round, 197th Overall) and Dmitri Zaitsev – Washington Capitals (NHL Draft 2016, 7th Round, 207th Overall).

In addition to the six NHL draft picks, the WBS Jr Knights currently have players committed by the Big 10 and other Division 1 Colleges including: Denis Smirnov, Nikita Pavlychev, Paul Denaples and Jacob Goldowski – Penn State, NCAA Div. I – Big Ten; Eugene Fadyeyev – Ohio State, NCAA Div. I – Big Ten; Derek Hamelin – Canisius College, NCAA Div. I; Marcus Joseph – Sacred Heart University, NCAA Div. I; Vlad Dzhioshvili, University of Vermont, NCAA Div. I; Konstantin Chernyuk- University of Maine, NCAA Div. I; Jacob Hamacher and Gavin Lewis – RIT, NCAA Div. I; Joseph Campolieto – Union College, NCAA Div. I.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights are a USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier I youth ice hockey team from Pittston, Pennsylvania.  In 2012, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights Bantam Midget AAA team became just the sixth Pennsylvania squad to win a USA Hockey youth national championship.

In 2015, the Knights’ junior hockey organization purchased the dormant Dawson Creek Rage franchise in the Tier II North American Hockey League (NAHL).  The NAHL players, ages 16–20, carry amateur status under Junior A guidelines and hope to earn a spot on higher level of junior hockey teams in the United States and Canada, Canadian Major Junior teams, Collegiate teams, and eventually professional teams.

Few NAHL teams can boast the type of success that the Knights have had since their expansion season in 2015-16. The Knights have made the NAHL playoffs in each of their first three seasons, culminating in a NAHL East Division Championship and Robertson Cup Finals appearance in 2017-18. The Knights organization was named the NAHL East Division Organization of the Year for the 2017-18 season. Throughout the history of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights the organization has advanced a huge number of players to NCAA Division I hockey and produced a number of NHL Draft Picks including Ivan Provorov  and Daniel Sprong.  

The Knights NAHL  teams are led by one of the best hockey operation staffs in the North American Hockey League. Head Coach/GM Tom Kowal brings over a decade of coaching experience to the team. Kowal has coached at nearly every junior level spending the majority of his coaching career in the USHL and NAHL ranks. 

Travel hockey spring 2019 “Stay Sharp” clinics are now enrolling!  This is for anyone that may play travel hockey next year or just any player that just wants to skate.  This will get you ready for tryouts.

Coaching Staff of the WBS Jr. Knights

Coach Alex Vasko – Hockey Director, WBS Jr. Knights

Coach Vasko is a native to Kiev, Ukraine and represents the former Soviet Union Hockey Training School.

Alex started his professional playing career in Eastern Europe Hockey League in 1995. In 1999 Alex moved to the United States to continue his playing career in Gold Rush AWHL, Sioux City Musketeers USHL and Mohawk Valley UHL. Alex also participated in NHL Rookie Camps of Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning and in ECHL, UHL Training Camps.

In 2007, Alex moved to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area to begin his coaching career as a Head Coach with WBS Jr. Knights Youth Hockey Club. For five in a row, Alex has been selected as AYHL All Star Game Coach. From 2012 through 2014 hockey seasons, Alex led his teams to a National Championship and in 2012 won National Championship with his Bantam Major AAA Team.

Coach Vasko has coached and trained NHL player Ivan Provorov – Philadelphia Flyers (NHL Draft 2015, 1st Round, 7th Overall), Denis Smirnov – Colorado Avalanche (NHL Draft 2017, 6th Round, 156th Overall), CJ Yakimowicz – St. Louis Blues (NHL Draft 2014, 6th Round, 172nd Overall), Nikita Pavlychev – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Draft 2015, 7th Round, 197th Overall) and Dmitri Zaitsev – Washington Capitals (NHL Draft 2016, 7th Round, 207th Overall).

In addition to the six NHL draft picks, Coach Vasko has developed players currently committed by the Big 10 and other Division 1 Colleges: Denis Smirnov, Nikita Pavlychev, Paul Denaples and Jacob Goldowski – Penn State, NCAA Div. I – Big Ten; Eugene Fadyeyev – Ohio State, NCAA Div. I – Big Ten; Derek Hamelin – Canisius College, NCAA Div. I; Marcus Joseph – Sacred Heart University, NCAA Div. I; Vlad Dzhioshvili, University of Vermont, NCAA Div. I; Konstantin Chernyuk- University of Maine, NCAA Div. I; Jacob Hamacher and Gavin Lewis – RIT, NCAA Div. I; Joseph Campolieto – Union College, NCAA Div. I.

Coach Marty Moucha – WBS Jr. Knights Bantams Head Coach

Coach Moucha coaches the WBS Jr. Knights U16 and U18 teams as well as consults with all teams in the Knights organization.

Martin re-located to the United States in 2000 from Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic. He was recruited to play Ice Hockey for Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School in Kingston, PA at sixteen years old. While at Seminary, Martin played in the Met League, Junior B, for the Little Flyers, winning the Kegan Cup, 2003. After graduating from Wyoming Seminary in 2003, he played Junior hockey in Albany, NY for the CD Selects (EJHL). Martin then went on to play college hockey and graduated with a Civil Engineering degree from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont in 2008. Since graduating from college Martin has played in the AHL for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the ECHL for the Wheeling Nailers and Elmira Jackals and also suited up in the Federal Hockey League for the Danbury Whalers and the Williamsport Outlaws.

Martin recently received his Level 5 Coaching Certification through USA Hockey. He has coached Wyoming Seminary Prep (2009-11) with Head Coach Glenn Patrick for two years. Marty has also coached the Pocono Pirates U-16 A Midget Team (2008-09), winning both the DVHL and Atlantic District Championships, and the Wilkes-Barre Junior Pens, U-18A team (2012-13), DVHL Play Off Champions.

Coach Ray Giroux – WBS Jr. Knights Coach and Revolution Learn to Play Director

Coach Giroux is a Canadian ice hockey defenceman that played with Metallurg Novokuznetsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

Giroux, who shoots left, played collegiately at Yale University. During the 1997–98 season, he captained the best team in school history as Yale won their first ECAC regular season title (Yale has since won another regular season title in the 2008-09 season) and advanced to the NCAA tournament after only having been picked to finish in 10th place at the beginning of the season. In addition to being a 1st-team All American, Giroux was named ECAC Player of the Year as well as the league’s best offensive defenceman and was one of ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate player.

Giroux spent time in many NHL organizations before leaving the US to play overseas. He has played in the AHL for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and in the NHL for both the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils.

Playing for Ak Bars he became Russian champion (2005/06) and IIHF European Champions Cup winner (2007). Giroux made his Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) debut playing with SKA Saint Petersburg during the inaugural 2008–09 KHL season. He participated in 2009 Kontinental Hockey League All-Star Game.

Coach Andrei Svistunov – WBS Knights Goaltending Coach  

Coach Svistunov is the goaltender coach of the WBS Knights.  As a native of Moscow, Russia, Svistunov played hockey for the WBS Knights prior to joining the Buffalo State Bengals.  As a mechanical engineering major, Svistunov racked up an impressive 92% and 80% save percentage in the net for the WBS Knights and Bengals respectively.  

WBS Jr. Knights Teams

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Junior Knights are a USA Hockey-sanctioned travel team ranging from mites (Age 6) to U19 (girls) led by Head Coach / Director of Knights Hockey, Alex Vasko.  Teams include:    

  • U6 – Mite Minor
  • U8 – Mite Major
  • U10 – Squirt (AYHL)
  • U10 – Squirt (EJEPL)
  • U10 – Squirt (MAWHA Girls)
  • U12 – Pee Wee (AYHL)
  • U12 – Pee Wee (EJEPL)
  • U16 – Midget
  • U19 – Midget (MAWHA Girls)

FAQ’s & General Information on Youth Hockey

As players navigate through tryouts and get chosen on a team, sometimes players are given a different message.  There are many forces that create top athletes / hockey players and it is often misunderstood how important each of the different forces are.  At different age groups, players have different opportunities for playing hockey in United States and Canada:

  • U6 – Mite Minor
  • U8 – Mite Major
  • U10 – Squirt (Major and Minor)
  • U12 – Pee Wee (Major and Minor)
  • U14 – Bantam (Major and Minor)
  • U18 – Midget (Major and Minor), High School
  • U20 – Junior

Within each age group, there is opportunity to play at different tiers and levels. It is often confusing how programs use the word AAA or Tier 1 or Elite.  Depending on where you live in the country, AAA, AA, A, B, C, House, Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4 all mean different things.

Tiers are designated by USA hockey and they represent levels of hockey for state, regional and national competition. Tier 1 is the highest level and USA hockey offers National Championships at U14(Bantam), U16(Midget Minor) and U18(Midget Major) levels.

Tier I hockey is subdivided into Major and Minor teams. Minor teams are comprised of first year players at that level and Major teams are comprised of second year players. Major teams at the Peewee level and above are eligible for the USA Hockey National Championships.

Within each organization teams are separated by letters. The top teams are usually AAA, followed by AA, A, B, C, and in-house at each respective age group. Despite the different terms, a AAA team in one organization may not be any better than a A team in another organization. Travel Hockey organizations in many part of the country are not allowed to have AAA teams at all or at different ages.

What does it mean to reach higher levels of hockey?

Playing higher levels of hockey doesn’t mean you have to play AAA or Tier 1 at younger ages, it means that you have to find the right program and coach. Development at younger ages means a lot different than older ages.

Most players are not scouted until they are Bantam Major or older. Rarely a player will be touted about when he is a Pee Wee Major.

Hockey development is unusual in that the best players in their younger days may have played A, or house instead of the highest levels in their respective organizations. It is unfortunate but the higher designation with extra A adds cost to hockey. It is often benefited with more ice time and higher level coaches.  More puck touches on a smaller lower level team might be more beneficial than no or low puck touches on a higher level team.

Other components play factors to creating opportunities for players also:

  1. Training: How good is the training. Are they working on skills or just team tactics. Are they working on becoming better athletes.
  2. Support: Do players have parents or family that picks them up when they make mistakes, and signs them up for training.
  3. Opportunity: Do coaches, teammates, parents, players themselves create opportunities for success.
  4. Recognition and Achievement: Does performance lead to recognition and achievement.
  5. Often players are touted for their skating skill or stick handling ability but if they are not seen or scouted they may not get the opportunities to advance.

As mentioned earlier, scouts for junior and college teams come to see players that are in their Bantam and Midget years. Size, interests, skills change rapidly as player grow, puberty and external forces begin to impact hockey players. Also, use injuries become more prevalent. Athleticism, conditioning, speed, talent separate players at this age. For this reason, players are encouraged to be at the top of their games by bantam major. Players have the greatest development between the ages of 10 and 14. It is these years that define their future in hockey at the higher levels.

There are many paths to Division 1, Division 2/3 and pro hockey. There are many intermediate steps along the way. There is no right path or direct path. The best players will be found but to become the best a player, players will need to compete against the best and get high level coaching.  

Revolution Ice Centre runs various camps and clinics throughout the year.  Click here for the latest info on Camps & Clinics

WBS Jr. Knights Alumni

NHL Draft:

  • Ivan Provorov – Philadelphia Flyers (NHL Draft 2015, 1st Round, 7th Overall)
  • Daniel Sprong – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Draft 2015, 2nd Round, 46th Overall)
  • Denis Smirnov – Colorado Avalanche (NHL Draft 2017, 6th Round, 156th Overall)
  • CJ Yakimowicz – St. Louis Blues (NHL Draft 2014, 6th Round, 172nd Overall)
  • Nikita Pavlychev – Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL Draft 2015, 7th Round, 197th Overall)
  • Dmitri Zaitsev – Washington Capitals (NHL Draft 2016, 7th Round, 207th Overall)

Major Junior:

  • CJ Yakimowicz – London Knights, OHL 2013-2016, Sudbury Wolves, OHL, 2016-2017
  • Daniel Sprong – Charlottetown Islanders, QMJHL, 2013-2017
  • Ivan Provorov – Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL, 2014-2016
  • Konstantin Chernyuk – Kingston Frontenacs, OHL, 2015-16
  • Dmitri Zaitsev – Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL, 2016-Present
  • Jake Goldowski – Saginaw Spirit, OHL, 2017-Present

USA Hockey:

  • CJ Yakimowicz – USA National Development Team U18 2013-14
  • Jake Goldowski – USA National Development Team U17 2016-2017, U18 2017-18

NCAA Division I:

  • Denis Smirnov – 2011-2013: Committed to Penn State, NCAA Div. I – Big Ten
  • Derek Hamelin – 2011-2014: Committed to Canisius College, NCAA Div. I – Atlantic Hockey
  • Nikita Pavlychev – 2011-2014: Committed to Penn State, NCAA Div. I – Big Ten
  • Eugene Fadyeyev – 2011-2014: Committed to Ohio State, NCAA Div. I – Big Ten
  • Marcus Joseph – 2012-2015: Committed to Sacred Heart University, NCAA Div. I – Atlantic Hockey
  • Dan Perez – 2013-2015: Committed to University of Maine, NCAA Div. I – Hockey East
  • Vlad Dzhioshvili – 2012-2015: Committed to University of Vermont, NCAA Div. I – Hockey East
  • Konstantin Chernyuk – 2013-2015: Committed to University of Maine, NCAA Div. I – Hockey East
  • Jacob Hamacher – 2013-2014, 2015-2016: Committed to RIT, NCAA Div. I – Atlantic Hockey
  • Gavin Lewis – 2014-15: Committed to RIT, NCAA Div. I – Atlantic Hockey
  • Luke Edgerton – 2014-15: Committed to Niagara University, NCAA Div. I – Atlantic Hockey
  • Jacob Goldowski – 2014-2016: Committed to Penn State, NCAA Div. I – Big Ten
  • Aiden Beck – 2015-2016: Committed to Canisius College, NCAA Div. I – Atlantic Hockey
  • Sammy Steele – 2015-2016: Committed to Arizona State University, NCAA Div. I – Independent
  • Joseph Campolieto – 2010-2016: Committed to Union College, NCAA Div. I – ECAC
  • Paul DeNaples – 2010-2016: Committed to Penn State, NCAA Div. I – Big Ten
  • Joey Kubachka – 2015-2017: Committed to Cornell University, NCAA Div. I – ECAC
  • Khristian Acosta – 2016-17: Committed to University of Massachusetts at Amherst, NCAA Div. I – Hockey East
  • Dorian Dawson – 2015-2017: Committed to Brown University, NCAA Div. I – ECAC
  • Grant Valentine – 2015-2017: Committed to Miami University (of Ohio), NCAA Div. I – NCHC
  • Tyrone Bronte – 2017-2018: Committed to Bemidji State University, NCAA Div. I – WCHA
  • Paul Maust – 2015-2017: Committed to Mercyhurst University, NCAA Div. I – Atlantic Hockey
  • Reed Robinson – 2015-2018: Committed to Niagara University, NCAA Div. I – Atlantic Hockey
  • Jack Olmstead – 2017-2018: Committed to University of Michigan, NCAA Div. I – Big 10
  • Thomas Farrell – 2016-2018: Committed to Army, NCAA Div. I – Atlantic Hockey
  • Anthony Firriolo – 2017-2018: Committed to Army, NCAA Div. I – Atlantic Hockey
  • Christian Stoever – 2017-18: Committed to Merrimack College, NCAA Div. I – Hockey East
  • Adrian Danchenko – 2014 – 2018: Committed to Alabama-Huntsville, NCAA Div. I – WCHA

NCAA Division II:

  • Connor Ryan – 2013-2014: Committed to Southern New Hampshire University, NCAA Div. II – Northeast-10
  • Matt MacInnis – 2013-2014: Committed to Southern New Hampshire University, NCAA Div. II – Northeast-10
  • Brad Riccardi – 2013-2014: Committed to Franklin Pierce University, NCAA Div. II – Northeast-10

NCAA Division III:

  • Parker Carroll – 2010-2011: Committed to Norwich University, NCAA Div. III – ECAC East
  • Joe Casale – 2010-2012: Committed to SUNY Canton, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Rob Belger – 2011-2012: Committed to Nichols College, NCAA Div. III – ECAC Northeast
  • Rob Liberatore – 2011-2012: Committed to SUNY Canton, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Erik Lyrvall – 2011-2012: Committed to Norwich University, NCAA Div. III – ECAC East
  • Mike DeLaVergne – 2011-2013: Committed to Buffalo State College, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Gaven LaValley – 2011-2014: Committed to Nichols College, NCAA Div. III – ECAC Northeast
  • Jack Ceglarski – 2011-2013: Committed to SUNY Geneseo, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Erik Moberg – 2011-2013: Committed to SUNY Fredonia, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Gaven LaValley – 2011-2014: Committed to Nichols College, NCAA Div. III – ECAC Northeast
  • Tommy Dowell – 2012-2013: Committed to Plymouth State University, NCAA Div. III – MASCAC
  • Hunter Long – 2012-2013: Committed to SUNY Fredonia, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Marcus Ortiz – 2012-2013: Committed to SUNY Fredonia, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Matt Cessna – 2012-2014: Committed to SUNY Fredonia, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Chris Deming – 2012-2014: Committed to Nichols College, NCAA Div. III – ECAC Northeast
  • Oskar Gerhardson – 2013-2014: Committed to SUNY Fredonia, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Kyle Matsumoto – 2013-2014: Committed to SUNY Canton, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Quinton Neville – 2013-2014: Committed to St. Olaf College, NCAA Div. III – MIAC
  • Kenny Orlando – 2013-2014: Committed to SUNY Canton, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Jens Rasmusson – 2013-2014: Committed to UMass – Dartmouth, NCAA Div. III – MASCAC
  • Harout Sarkisian – 2013-2014: Committed to Nichols College, NCAA Div. III – ECAC Northeast
  • Austin Arnold – 2013-2015: Committed to St. Mary’s University, NCAA Div. III – MIAC
  • David MacGregor – 2014-2015: Committed to UMass-Boston, NCAA Div. III – ECAC East
  • John Regnart – 2013-2015: Committed to UMass-Boston, NCAA Div. III – ECAC East
  • John Ryan – 2013-2015: Committed to SUNY Potsdam, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Andrei Svistunov – 2012-13, 2014-2016: Committed to Buffalo State, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Tanner Bennett – 2014-2016: Committed to Wisconsin-River Falls, NCAA Div. III – WIAC
  • Matt Beranek – 2015-2016: Committed to Lawrence University, NCAA Div. III – NCHA
  • Blake Busch – 2015-2016: Committed to Wisconsin-River Falls, NCAA Div. III – WIAC
  • Zed Dietrich – 2015-2016: Committed to Milwaukee School of Engineering, NCAA Div. III – NCHA
  • Tim Gelatt – 2015-2017: Committed to University of Wisconsin River Falls, NCAA Div. III – WIAC
  • Stephen Kelly – 2015-2016: Committed to Buffalo State, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Carson Knop – 2015-2016: Committed to Lawrence University, NCAA Div. III – NCHA
  • Zach Remers – 2012-2016: Committed to Buffalo State, NCAA Div. III – SUNYAC
  • Joe Schuler – 2016-17: Committed to Colby College, NCAA Div. III – NESCAC
  • Elijah Latimer – 2007-17: Committed to St. Thomas University, NCAA Div. III-MIAC
  • JP Natishan – 2012-2018: Committed to Kings College, NCAA Div. III – UCHC
  • Michael Morrissey – 2007-2018: Committed to Colby College, NCAA Div. III – NESCAC
  • Bryan Whelan – 2017-18: Committed to Framingham State Rams, NCAA Div. III – MASCAC
  • Tyler Watungwa – 2017-2018: Committed to Finlandia University, NCAA Div. III – NCHA Conference
  • Curtis Carlson – 2015-2018: Committed to Nichols College, NCAA Div. III – CCC
  • Paul Cimilluca – 2016-2018: Committed to Wilkes University, NCAA Div. III – UCHC
  • Mike Gelatt – 2016-2018: Committed to Skidmore College, NCAA Div. III – ECAC East
  • Matt Kidney – 2016-2018: Committed to Salve Regina University, NCAA Div. III – CCC
  • David Pfoestl – 2015-2018: Committed to Anna Maria College, NCAA Div. III – Independent
  • Thomas Walker – 2017-2019: Committed to Albertus Magnus College, NCAA Div. III – Independent
  • Tyler Uravage – 2012-2015: Committed to St. Olaf University, NCAA Div. III – MIAC
  • Alex Rowella – 2011-2015: Committed to Manhattanville College, NCAA Div. III – UCHC
  • Tino Alunni – 2010-2016: Committed to Lebanon Valley College, NCAA Div. III – UCHC

ACHA:

  • Zach Gielarowski – 2016-17: Committed to Robert Morris University
  • Nate Chuckran – 2017-2018: Committed to Stony Brook University
  • Jared Stahel – 2017-2018: Committed to Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Louie Kuka – 2016-2017: Committed to William Patterson University
  • Austin Weber – 2017-2018: Committed to University of Alabama

This diagram will show the progression of a skater at the Revolution Ice Centre. Skaters can progress from learn to skate, to in-house leagues, to the WBS Knights youth program, to juniors, to college, and then to adult leagues all in one facility.