We are joined by Riga Reign forward Mikko Aaltonen, a player picked 8th overall in the S66 VHL Entry-Draft, we will be discussing the hottest topic - Expansions. "Good evening Mikko, how was your day?"
It was fine, super busy but busy is good, so I'm good. Obviously you know the topic which we're going to be talking about because EVERYONE in the entire league is talking about this - The Expansions, what are your overall thoughts on the league expanding again?
I'm happy about it, with the current recruitment we're getting, the older teams are almost full with roster spots and in some cases the veterans are battling it out with the prospects for ice time, and with the league getting 2 fresh teams I believe it will benefit not only to the prospects who are anxious to perform and show that they belong here, but also to the veterans to prove that they still have it in them. Also it adds new rivalries, which is always fun. Have you thought about where the locations would be?
Not really, It's not my job so I'm not going to distract myself from an already busy schedule Sounds fair, with that in mind, you were picked in the Dispersal Draft by an expansion team - Philadelphia Reapers, because of that you have an experience of starting fresh, what is some advice you could give maybe for someone out there, anxious, excited or even stressed about getting drafted or picked via expansion draft to an expansion team?
Most important thing I would suggest is that you don't need to overthink things, for us athletes of course it's important to like and enjoy where you play, but when drafts come around, in my opinion, sticking to your game and training even harder is the most important thing, because with hard work you can pull off anything. With that said obviously there are some franchises which tend to start slower and build up with each season unleashing in their 2nd or 3rd season in the league, then there are some that start off with a bang and want to rush for the cup instantly. I was in the first situation, where I landed in a team in Philly, which obviously wasn't a contender the first year, actually that year went pretty bad, but I was never sad or I never regretted being picked by them, sure winning as soon as possible would've been cool, but not everything in life happens as you want it to happen. So I just went with the flow, practiced as hard as I could and believed the process that the GM told us, and look at Philly is now, dominating everyone.
Also on this topic I feel like some people undervalue expansion teams, where some people want to avoid them like the plague because you are not going to be winning everyone instantly, but imagine the ice time and experience you get as a youngster getting top minutes on a team, AND you get to create history with it, which is just cool in itself. 520 words, claiming on week ending 25/08, 6+6 theme week