Flyers Trade Berube to Pave Way for Ustimenko
Lehigh Valley, Pa. - The Philadelphia Flyers, parent club of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, have announced they have traded goaltender J-F Berube to the New York Rangers in exchange for future considerations, according to President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, Chuck Fletcher. In addition, promising rookie goaltender Kirill Ustimenko has been reassigned to the Phantoms from the Reading Royals.
Berube, 28, is in his first season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and has amassed a 12-11-4 record in 29 games with a 2.56 GAA and 0.906 save percentage and three shutouts. He was signed to a one-year, two-way contract with the Flyers on July 1, 2019. He made 32 saves in a win tonight against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
A native of Repentigny, Quebec, Berube has played in 34 NHL games over parts of three seasons with the New York Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks, going 9-10-4 with a 3.39 GAA and a .898 save percentage. He was selected by Los Angeles in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He has appeared in 197 career AHL games with a 111-66-13 record and 2.49 GAA and 0.909 save percentage and he led the Manchester Monarchs win the Calder Cup in 2015 with a 13-3 playoff record in 17 appearances.
Ustimenko, 21, is in his first professional season and made his AHL debut for the Phantoms on February 8 in Wilkes-Barre, making 38 saves to earn his first AHL victory. He has played 31 games for the Reading Royals this season and has amassed an impressive 19-4-5 record with a 2.40 goals-against average and a 0.919 save percentage. He was recently named the ECHL Goaltender of the Month for January after he went 6-1-1 with a 1.87 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage in eight appearances during the month. Ustimenko is currently sixth in the ECHL with 19 wins while ranking sixth with a 2.48 goals-against average and tied for sixth with a .916 save percentage.
A native of Gomel, Belarus, Ustimenko was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round (80th overall) of the 2017 NHL draft, and spent the previous three seasons in the Junior Hockey League (MHL) in Russia for Dynamo St. Petersburg. Last season, he led all MHL goaltenders, and set an all-time MHL record, with 12 shutouts, bettering his previous best of 11 from 2017-18. He won a bronze medal with Russia at the Under-18 World Junior Championships in 2016-17.
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