Pittsburgh, PA – The Esmark Stars AAA Hockey Club of the Tier 1 Hockey Federation (T1HF) have announced that Esmark Stars 16U AAA Hockey forward Vitaliy Ulianov has signed a North American Hockey League (NAHL) tender agreement with the Johnstown Tomahawks.

The 17-year-old forward from Yavoriv, Ukraine, has recorded 15 points (7 goals and 8 assists), including three power play goals and one shorthanded goal in 19 T1HF games to date (Jan 20, 2024).

Overall the 5’11” / 175 lbs. forward has tallied 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists), including seven power play and one shorthanded goal, in 44 games played for Esmark’s U16 AAA Midget Minor squad (through Jan. 20).

The 2023-24 season is Ulianov’s third season overall with the Esmark Stars program.

During the 2022-23 season, Ulianov tallied 37 points (23 goals, 14 assists), including five power play goals and one shorthanded goal, in 40 T1HF games played for the 15U Stars squad.

Overall the 2022-23 season, Ulianov tallied 58 points (29 goals, 29 assists), including four power play goals and six shorthanded goals, in 55 games played for the 15U Stars squad, helping lead Esmark to the U15 AAA Midget Minor T1ER Dixon Cup Championship.

During the 2021-22 season, Ulianov tallied 75 points (45 goals, 30 assists), including eight power-play and one short-handed goals, in 56 games played for the 14U Bantam Major Esmark squad.

“Vitaliy is an extremely gifted forward who mixes a combination of Eastern European skill with the North American style,” said Esmark 16U head coach Yuri Krivokhija. “Similar to McClaine, Vitaliy’s continued development will provide Johnstown with a high-ended talented forward with the promise of being a solid offensive threat.”

Ulianov becomes the second member of the 2023-24 Esmark Stars U16 Midget Minor team and the sixth overall 2023-2024 Esmark Stars player to sign a tender with a Junior A club for the upcoming season.

Ulianov joins 16U teammate Emmet McClaine in signing a tender with the Tomahawks and joins U18 Esmark Stars Alex Thomas (Colorado Grit), Max Rutkowski (Oklahoma Warriors), Timur Naletov (Danbury Hat Tricks) and Mykyta Yalovyi (Lone Star Brahmas), who had all previously signed tender agreements with the NAHL teams.

Johnstown, who is in the NAHL’s nine-team East Division along with the Danbury Hat Tricks (CT), Maine Nordiques, Maryland Black Bears, New Hampshire Mountain Kings, New Jersey Titans, Northeast (MA) Generals, Philadelphia (PA) Rebels and Rochester (NY) Jr Americans, play in the Johnstown War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, PA, and are led by Head Coach Michael Letizia.

As always, the Tier 1 Hockey Federation is committed to celebrating and supporting the success of talented young athletes. If you have a player whose achievements you would like to see featured in our announcements, please fill out the form here. We are eager to share the stories of these rising stars as they advance in their hockey careers.