ISSUE II // SEPT. 9, 2018 // SEASON 62
Staff List Editors
1st - Halifax 21st 71 Points
2nd - Ottawa Lynx 64 Points
Writers @DaftRaincloud @McWolf @OilMandan
VHLM at wjc @DaftRaincloud Page Three
Quik, also known as Matt Bailey, new GM of the Helsinki Titans, talks about
3rd - Las Vegas Aces 62 Points 4th - Oslo Storm 41 Points 5th - Saskatoon Wild 30 Points
On The Cover
6th - Yukon Rush 29 Points
Lightning rookie profiles @McWolf Page Five
League Leaders Points Karl Von Moltke (HFX) - 84
the future of his team and his
thoughts on the S63 Draft class as we
Roctrion King (OTT) - 31
head into and exciting time for VHLM
players, the VHL Draft. Photo illustration by @SidTheKid87. Further coverage on page X by @OilMandan.
Quik Talk @OilMandan Page Six
Karl Von Moltke (HFX) - 56
Forward Points Karl Von Moltke (HFX) - 84
Defense Points Shawn Glade (HFX) - 60
Wow this is a mess. Managing staff
Jose Gonzalez (LVA) - 52
that doesn't communicate or do their
work actually blows. I'd like to thank
Daft, McWolf, and OilMandan for
@OilMandan Page Eight
staying active and being people I can count on throughout this process,
Julian Borwinn (LVA) - 30
Shots Blocked Magnus Backlund (SSK) - 78
especially OilMandan who wrote
Lukas Novacek (OSL) - 181
several articles this issue to cover
slack. We can only hope to improve
Cole Mertz (HFX) - .904
as time goes on. Thank you,
Cole Mertz (HFX) - 1.9
Views from vegas @ColeMrtz21 Page Nine
Shutouts Alexander Pepper (LVA) - 5
VHLM at wjc A look at some of the "young guns" at the World Juniors Championship @DaftRaincloud This defenseman is the Fairy Godmother to the Cinderella story that is the Halifax 21st expansion team. He is rated as the #2 defenseman in the entire VHLM and has scored 45 points in 36 games in the league. He’s second in shots blocked, sixth in points, and tenth in assists. With his superior defensive abilities he is hoping to make a splash and hold off the offensive talents of teams like Team Canada and Team Asia. When asked about America’s chances in the tournament Glade responded “I think the USA will do great.” Shawn Glade may be the #2 defenseman in the VHLM, but say hello to #1. Lando Baxter plays for the Ottawa Lynx and finished the season with the most points on the entire team. Hailing from Ireland, this big and burly defenseman is ready to shut down any forward that dares get near Europe’s goal. Statistically speaking Baxter is second in assists, third for overall points, and tenth in shots blocked. Lando Baxter’s ability to find the open man and get the easy assist sets him apart from the competition as he is a natural playmaker. I asked him about his feelings towards the tournament and he said “It was a great honor to represent my homeland and make Ireland proud of me.” Noticing a pattern here? Kastelic is yet another defenseman from our league full of defenseman that have superstar potential representing Team World on the international stage. Ryan Kastelic is from Slovenia and played for the Yukon Rush before being traded to the Ottawa Lynx partway through the VHLM season. Kastelic is the #5 defenseman in the VHLM and his 26 assists earn him the seventh overall spot for all players in that category. He is also seventh in blocked shots. Kastelic is a pass-first player and he is extremely skilled at getting the puck through the opposing defense and onto the stick on his forwards. With Team World being the proverbial David on the world stage of Goliaths, his passing ability could be invaluable. And he knows as much “I may not be up there on the scoresheet every night, but if I’m opening up some ice for other players to contribute, I’m happy.”
Roctrion King is the third player from the Ottawa Lynx to make this list, and the first forward we will be shining a spotlight on. King is a right-winger with amazing skating and scoring abilities. Roctrion King should consider wearing #2 in this competition, because you’ll notice this theme in his statistics. King is the second overall forward in the VHLM and is second in goals as well as points. King is yet another amazing scoring option for Team Canada, who isn’t lacking firepower by any measure. On his expectations King said “My expectations for my self and Team Canada is go big by winning the tournament. If we don’t … Hey it was fun anyways for all of us.”
Graphics done by @Enorama
Joining Shawn Glade as the second player from Halifax to make this list, Ryuu Crimson is a strong scoring option playing on the left wing. Crimson was the first overall pick in the VHLM draft for season 62, and he didn’t fall short of his expectations during the regular season with his 20 goals scored slotting him in at #5 overall in that category. With his scoring and skating ability he needs to be watched at all times when on the ice for Team Asia. Ryuu however, is being very modest about the position he’s in. “Well, I mean, I can’t get too confident or cocky, but I think we can make it to the Medal rounds. Hopefully even the finals. When it comes to the role of my team, I’m not much. Don’t think just because I am the first overall pick or some shit, that I will carry this team. I am lucky to be here and have this team.”
Lightning prospect profiles A quick look at potentially underrated prospects for the upcoming VHL Entry Draft
Kisshan Shan Oslo Storm Right Wing
@McWolf Jorgon Weyed Las Vegas Aces Right Wing
Chace Trepanier Ottawa Lynx Left Wing
TPE 88 Class Rank 19th
TPE 84 Class Rank 20th
TPE 121 Class Rank 13th
Kisshan Shan joined the Oslo Storm as a free agent 15 games into the season and has been the team’s silver lining since. While the team struggles to win games, the Russian right winger has been scoring at a decent rate for a rookie, amassing 9 goals and 10 assists in 30 games. I have the feeling some VHL general managers might sleep on him for a while and I’m here to tell them they shouldn’t. He looks to develop into a prime sniper. He has a great wrister, a powerful slapper and he possesses the speed and the stickhandling ability to give him those scoring opportunities to make him a dangerous asset for any team, really. He’s currently projected to go in the 4th round, but he would make it worthwhile for the team that takes a chance on him sooner than that, as future 1st line goalscoring wingers don’t usually drop that low in the drafts and what his current progression rate suggests he might end up as.
Weyed, just like Shan, joined the VHLM through free agency after the start of the regular season. Through 36 games, he scored 4 goals, added 7 assists and recorded an impressive 45 hits. Playing for one the three contenders for the S62 Founders’ Cup, the Las Vegas Aces, means playing among a deeper roster and having to fight with more teammates for ice-time. Weyed is currently on the Aces 2nd line, with no powerplay or penalty kill time, which I think is a mistake, considering his aboveaverage defensive talent. At the rate he grows right now, I expect him to spend another year down in the minors. He should enter the next Dispersal Draft as one of the most interesting wingers available and he should play a great role in hopefully another Founders’ Cup hopeful team. As for the VHL, Tagger’s mock draft placed him at the backend of the 2nd round, as he looks to develop into a fine 2nd linetalent defensive player.
Chace Trepanier joined the Ottawa Lynx through postdraft free agency. He began his VHLM career on the 3rd line of their deep roster, but quickly climbed to the 2nd after an impressive start to his season. The move proved effective, as he is ranked 10th in the league with 20 goals, also adding 23 assists for 43 points in 46 games. Tagger’s mock draft had the Canadian goal scorer go to the Americans in the middle of the 2nd round, which seems about right for him. He’s developing quickly and scoring a lot more than he was at the start of the season, but there are still a couple of guys above him with more talent. That being said, the team that selects Trepanier can expect him to become a top-tier left winger. He is currently developing his offensive abilities more, but I think at some point in his career, he will be one of those complete forwards that other teams just hate to play against.
quik talk Helskinki Titans GM Matt Bailey talks rebuild, VHLM, and more @OilMandan With the VHL season in full swing and with teams beginning to separate between buyers and sellers, we caught up with 1st year and 2nd stint GM of the Helsinki Titans Matt Bailey to catch up on what's been a whirlwind return to the league and what's to come in the months ahead.
to make the trades, when I first signed on as GM. Ron and Shephard have both been incredible Titans in their careers, who've accomplished great things in their time here, but with the organization heading in the direction it is, while they are in the twilight of their careers, it wouldn't make sense for them to waste their final shots at cementing VHLM magazine (VHLM): Thanks for joining their legacies on a rebuilding team. With the us Matt on such short notice, I'm sure you're way the market presented itself, it also didn't pretty busy getting used to the new office make sense to wait before pulling the trigger and surroundings so we'll on those deals, as get right into it. You're teams are gearing up returning to manage for their stretch runs, he fact it's largely first Helsinki whom you and I am extremely previously worked for. generation players leading the charge happy with the returns What made you want to that I got when come back, especially is incredibly encouraging as well, and considering what this when your first task will draft is looking like. adds to the fun of drafting and be a major rebuild? VHLM: The Titans have Matt Bailey: Thanks for developing with these players in their been known as a team having me. Honestly, the of many dynasties and first forays into the VHL. timing of it just worked sooner or later out well. Higgins had been looking for a everyone needs to start over, with the moves replacement, and while I had been previously you've made so far and have lined up for hesitant to jump back into the manager's later this season, will it be a long rebuild or chair, things just kind of...fell into place. I'm at do you think you can get things turned a point in Johnsson's career where I needed around quickly? to start looking at the next step of what I'd MB: I think with any rebuild, the key is to let want to do, and I knew that the position in it run organically. Looking at a couple of Helsinki was available. That I'm starting with a teams who started their rebuilds around the rebuild made the job even more interesting, same time, Seattle is already seeing signs of as the league is the healthiest it's been in being competitive next season, whereas ages, so helping the next generation of Toronto is a bit further behind right now, members is a fun challenge that I'm happy to despite starting their rebuild a season earlier. take on! That's not to say one is doing better than the VHLM: That sounds pretty exciting! In your other, as Toronto has some real nice pieces first few days as GM you traded two away in place, but it just shows that you can't really long term Titans in Ay Ay Ron and Jack put a timeline on a rebuild, or you start to Shephard. Was it important to start the back yourself into a corner. makeover immediately, instead of letting VHLM: With that being said were starting to these stars ride into the sunset as members look ahead to the draft, and it looks like a of the Titans? very deep pool, with many active players MB: I actually didn't have a timeline on when available, what are some of your thoughts on
the S63 draft? MB: The draft is looking fantastic. The fact I've got 7 picks, in the top 25-27 of the draft, I'm very excited and think I can pull nearly an entire roster out of this draft alone! The fact it's largely first generation players leading the charge is incredibly encouraging as well, and adds to the fun of drafting and developing with these players in their first forays into the VHL. VHLM: What's the draft day strategy? Will you try to move up or keep the picks you have and hope for all the picks turn out as well as they have developed so far? MB: Until the draft arrives, I can't really tell you what the strategy is, since there's so many moving parts. I'm happy with the picks that I have, currently. If something comes up that makes sense, either trading up or trading down, I'll definitely be willing to listen, but until the draft picture is clearer, I couldn't tell you if I was going to trade up, down, sideways, what have you VHLM: What's the priority with your first pick? Best player available or do you have a certain type of player in mind? MB: No matter where my pick falls, whether it's 1st overall, 2nd or 3rd, I'm looking to add someone who will be a pillar for this organization for the next decade. It'll be someone who wants to be a Titan, and wants to take on the responsibility of being a leader on this team. It will be the most important pick since 56, when Ay Ay Ron went 2nd overall (if you do want to take a look at that draft, don't look past his selection, it's a scary scene after that) VHLM: With such a deep draft ahead, is the plan to try to sell off more pieces this year to get more picks come draft day? MB: Trading Shephard is probably my last move until the off-season. At this point, the only players on my roster who have value are highly valuable to me, and I'm not looking to move them, as Mongtomery and Mulligan look to be cornerstones of our offence for years to come! Both have shown dedication to this franchise already, in their brief time here, and I'll be looking to build around them as the team becomes more competitive.
VHLM: Any guess on who will be taken 1st overall? MB: There's about 3 or 4 players currently in the mix for that top spot right now, so it'll definitely be interesting for you guys to ponder who goes where, once the lotto balls fall where they may. I've got an idea who I'll be taking if they fall Helsinki's way, but even if they don't, there is no consolation prize, each player in the top 4 is going to be fantastic in the VHL! VHLM: What type of rebuild will you employ? The 50 year Leaf rebuild? The Oilers draft 1st overall forever and hope someone sticks? Or the Blackhawks method of fluking into 1st overall and then building smart towards a few championships? MB: Hah, I'd like to think it'll be somewhat similar to the Shanaplan with the Leafs. He joined the organization with a clear vision of assembling the most talented group possible, with great scouting and quality asset management. There were a couple lean years right when he arrived, but the talent pool started to grow right away, and after a bit of lotto luck, the pendulum has started swinging in Toronto's favour pretty hard! I'd like to say that I won't rely on luck, but having the ability to pick up a 1st overall pick goes a long way to putting a rebuild on the right track. Otherwise, acquiring the most assets I possibly can, and growing to a point where we become a competitor is the goal. If we become an attractive enough location along the way, that we can sign a big FA, all the better! It looks like the Titans GM has his hands full, but luckily he has plenty of experience to draw upon to once again turn Helsinki into a dominant force in the VHL
Chasing Gold A recap of the World Juniors round robin games and some insight into the upcoming medal round @OilMandan The S62 World Junior Hockey Championship is in full swing this week, with the round robin action finishing off yesterday. The hot temperatures in Las Vegas have not deterred fans from taking time out of gambling to watch these young kids perform. There have been plenty of upsets and surprises as the six teams jockeyed for positions heading into the medal round which starts today. Early gold medal favourite Team Europe struggled to get much chemistry in the tournament and skidded to a 3-5-0 record. Team World also had high hopes with a stacked roster, but they finished with a 26-0 mark. The two teams will meet in the quarterfinals to decide who faces Asia and the USA in the semi finals. Europe took both games against World 3-1 and 4-3. Both games were not as close as the score indicated as team world scored a goal in each third period to tighten the end result. Team USA finished tied with Europe for third place, earning the higher spot with a better goal differential. They were also the only team to beat team Canada in one of the final round robin games. Team Asia was the big surprise in the early going and they cruised to a 5-3-0 record. They rode a powerful top line that included the top two leading scorers in the round robin to being the highest scoring team. Canada appeared to dominate just about everyone they faced with a balanced attack that overwhelmed teams and beat them into submission. They rolled to an easy 7-1-0 record, earning them a bye in the early matches of the medal round. Other than a 31 loss to the Americans at the end of the round robin, Canada didn't face much difficulty. They will be very rested and full of
confidence when they play again. Some of the highlights of the round robin included a 6-5 come from behind victory for Canada over Asia. Asia took an early 2-0 lead as well as a 5-3 late second period advantage before Canada came roaring back to win the game with just over 100 seconds left in regulation. Canada and Asia also met later in the tournament in a 5-4 Canada win where the teams combined for 99 shots. Another exciting game saw Team World score 3 third period goals including 2 in a span on 48 seconds to beat Asia 5-4. There ended up being only one shutout with the USA blanking World 4-0. Ismond Kingfisher was stellar stopping all 20 shots in the win. Sergei Kovalev led Team Asia offensively scoring 12 goals and 20 points. Linemate Vyacheslav Smirnov added 8 goals and 17 points. Jake Davis of Canada rounded out the top 3 in scoring with 7 goals and 9 assists. Kevin Weekes led all netminder with 7 wins, while American backstopper Ismond Kingfisher dominated the crease with a 2.52 goals against average and a sparkling .937 save percentage. Other than Canada bullying its it's way through the round robin, the rest of the field seems fairly even and competitive. Will Canada be rusty or run out of gas with the time off? Will Europe and World play up to their potential or were they saving all their bullets until the games really mattered? The medal round is just ahead and we will have all these questions answered. It'll be a wild ride and we'll keep you up to date on all the action.
Views from vegas Las Vegas Aces assistant GM Jubo talks about the team's success and the future of the program @ColeMrtz21 The Las Vegas Aces are currently 64. The win now mentality is no secret for sitting as the 3rd best team in the VHLM, a the 21st. All three clubs have their sights set mere 2 points behind the Ottawa Lynx. on the Founder's Cup and I'm sure every GM Names like Julian Borwinn and Alexander and every player could make an argument for Pepper stud the roster. We were able to get either team as the clear favourite. in touch with the AGM of the Aces and see CM: Who would you consider as the key what he had to say about his team’s success. components to your teams success? J: Our entire roster with few exceptions have Cole Mertz: Thank you for such a quick excelled right from the start of the season. response Jubo, now Vegas has had a lot of Borwinn - Gonzalez on the left was never a success this season, how do you expect this question-mark, but we had depth issues in all trend to change or even improve? other positions. Acquiring Weyed, Thomas Jubo: Jacob and I set out to revive the and Boucher via free agency were crucial to Vegas Franchise and we have had great giving us three solid RW options but the #1 success thus far. This team had a serious lack component was acquiring a second of depth prior to the season opener. Weak centerman. Scott Shawinganen has been down the middle, weak on the right side and nothing but solid. At 51 points and in talks to a defensive core dependant on one player being selected in the top 5; Shawinganen has (Saint). We've managed to not put ourselves been the strongest addition to Vegas post in a bad place draft pick wise all while draft. acquiring strong active players; Crosby, The combo of Revchenko/Borwinn wasted Thunderfist, Lombardi etc. Our free agent no time in finding chemistry combining for signings have been strong, lead by Scott 107 points thus far and a +53. Rookie Jose Shawinganen complemented by Weyed, Gonzalez has been a constant producer, and Thomas and Boucher. Going forward we will goalie Alexander Pepper with 29 wins and 5 look to add some depth but we believe we shutouts is showing that he will be a star are improving at a favourable pace week to goalie for seasons to come. week and will remain a serious contender going into the playoffs. After the interview I walked away with the CM: I believe for the first time all season you impression that the big names really weren’t have been knocked out of the second place what was pulling this team together. Vegas position. Does Ottawa’s increasing presence had a lot of young talent who really grew into worry you? their roles. Just talking with Jubo I heard J: Halifax remains our top competitor. Ottawa names like Scott Shawinganen and Joey has certainly made a name for themselves Boucher more than I heard the teams top and by no means are being overlooked. With three point leaders. The Aces management the additions of Nguyen and Crimson saw holes that needed to be filled and filled (Halifax) vs Kastelic (Ottawa) it is obvious them with some incredible, albeit sometimes Halifax made the greater stride and is going overlooked ability. The depth this team has all in. They are without a first and second in may be the key to seeing them succeed the next draft as well as no second in season come playoffs time.
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