Predators Sign OHL Draft Pick Ushakov

Provo, Utah. – The Provo Predators announced today that the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) Premier club has signed forward Yuri Ushakov for the 2022-23 junior hockey season.

“Since joining Provo last season, I instantly fell in love with the city and Utah, in general. It was a whole new experience playing over a thousand miles away from home, but I loved it", Ushakov said. "I chose to return because it feels like a second home to me. I am confident in the new management to not only help improve my game but experience great success as a team as well this coming season.”

Ushakov, 19 (2/20/03), led the renamed Provo Riverblades of the USPHL Premier in scoring with 13-11=24 points and 8 penalty minutes (PIM) in 31 games during the 2021-22 season.

Head Coach Nick Dreyer's signing of Ushakov, the team's top winger from 2021-22, signals the Predators' desire to not only survive but thrive in the Mountain Division this season.

“Yuri is a dynamic skater with powerful strides as he moves around the ice. Extremely difficult to move off the puck and plays his best offensive hockey when he drives wide with speed and then cuts towards the crease. His addition brings an edge to the Preds this season and we will look to surround him with similar attacking forwards to disrupt the division.”

A native of Clifton Park, NY, Ushakov was selected by Peterborough Petes in the 11th round (213th overall) of the 2019 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Priority Selection.

“The Mountain Division is without a doubt one of the toughest to play in", Ushakov recalls. "Competing in high elevations is a challenge, the adoration from fanbases that prove to get rowdy -- It’s a division unlike any other and I am ready to take it on. I want the season to begin already as my patience is already spent. I am excited to begin this journey with new teammates and continue to develop my career in hockey.”

The 5-10, 170-pound forward had a brief stint with the Seacoast Spartans of the Eastern Hockey League (EHL), recording seven points (3-4=7) in nine games. He led all Spartan skaters in scoring through nine games before departing to join Provo in October last year.

“Knowing I am a Predator and to be given the privilege of signing first with the organization is a tremendous honor. Right out of the gate, I am ready to go all the way and win a championship this season. I am confident with Coach Dreyer and the players he brings to our team will have the same mindset.”

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