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Witherup Selected Peak Performer by NAPHL

By DLG, 10/08/18, 6:00PM EDT


15U Esmark Goaltender Recognized

The North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) has announced that Michael Witherup, a goaltender with the Esmark Stars U15 team, was selected as the Apex Learning Virtual School Peak Performer U15 Number One Star - Goaltender for the month of September.

The award was based upon player performance at the first NAPHL event of the 2018-2019 season which took place in Blaine, MN, Sept. 20-23.

Witherup, a native of Hampton, PA,  (6'2"/175 lbs.), stopped 42 of 45 shots he faced in two games as the U15 Stars skated to a 2-1-0-1 record at the league's first regular season showcase.

Witherup, 15, played well in the first event of the season, a performance that included 16 saves in a 1-0 loss against the TPH Thunder 15U team and 26 saves in a 5-2 win over the Arizona Bobcats.

"Michael had a strong showing," said Esmark 15U head coach Derik Gaworski. "Our goaltending tandem is certainly one of the strengths of our squad."

After each NAPHL league event, the league's central scouting staff selects top performers (three stars), for the 18U and 16U divisions, as well as the 15U division for events in which they participate, for offense, defense and goaltending.

The NAPHL's 15U AAA High Performance Division, in which Esmark participates, is comprised of three regular-season events leading up to its Championship Tournament, the Dixon Cup Playoffs. The next 15U NAPHL event of the 2018-19 season will take place from Oct. 19-22, 2018, at the Super Rink in Blaine, MN.

Now in its tenth season, the NAPHL is composed of Midget Major (18U) and Midget Minor (16U & 15U) teams from across North America that compete at the Tier I level.

The NAPHL provides an organized and competitive experience with an unrivaled scouting presence guaranteed to benefit all of the participating student-athletes and programs and has established itself as the premiere training ground for development and exposure.

Not only have players in the NAPHL gone on to play in the National Hockey League (NHL), they received recognition from NHL Central Scouting each year, dozens receive scholarships to NCAA Division I schools and hundreds more have been drafted and tendered by North American Hockey League (NAHL) and United States Hockey League (USHL) teams.

The NAPHL, which is sanctioned by USA Hockey, is designed to maximize the exposure of all the participants through the NAHL's high-profile recruiting events that attract hundreds of college, junior and professional scouts.

For more information on the NAPHL, visit