Hello once again, yes we're still going, got two more parts to get through. In this second last media spot for the S64 & S65 Toronto Legion we'll be looking at the two defensemen unique to each season, so four total players to cover in this post, there's a lot of writing ahead for me so let's get on with it.
VHLM: Las Vegas Aces
Well to start on a bit of a rough note I couldn't find Lew's VHLM draft position, but he played for the Aces in his one season in the minors, producing above a point per game he scored 74 points, 55 of them helpers and 19 in the back of the net, also worth of note is that 11 of his 19 goals were on the power play. He landed 272 hits and blocked 108 shots. In the playoffs Las Vegas went 8 games deep and Brostein found himself above a point per game once again, 9 points, 8 of them assists.
VHL: Toronto Legion-Moscow Menace
After his one excellent season in the M Bronstein made his way up and thankfully I could find his draft position this time, he was picked 16th overall by the Toronto Legion in season 61. In his rookie season he would have career highs in points and assists, 37 and 28 respectfully with 9 goals. 188 hits and 167 shots blocked with 2 game winners and 5 power play goals. His rookie season really was his career year as he would never quite live up to that performance again, and it's strange for sure, I would say it's a lightning in a bottle situation but 37 points is not to special, yes for a rookie and d-man no less but you would think he could achieve more in future seasons. With no playoffs in S61 we move onto S62 where he would have a career high in goals, scoring 10 which is the only time he would do so, 16 assists for 26 points. 206 hits and 146 shots blocked to go along with his point totals. I would like to note now that in S61 and S62 he had back to back -52 in the +/- stat, in fact he was never on the positive side in his whole career in the M and VHL and in both the regular season and playoffs, but back to back -52 was the worst for him. Again no playoffs so we head into S63 where his point totals would take another noticeable drop, this time just down to just 10 points, 6 goals and 4 assists, 112 hits and 118 shots blocked. Toronto did make the playoffs however, he had no points in two games and landed 6 hits and blocked 5 shots.
We're halfway through his career and things don't long good, despite poor stats Toronto held onto him for S64 Bronstein is lucky they did, 19 points, 14 of them assists, not exactly bringing his career back from the dead but nice to see improvement, 144 hits and 149 shots blocked. In the post season Toronto makes the run to win the cup and Lew comes alive, 9 points in 12 games, 3 goals, 6 assists for 9 points. 28 hits and 45 shots blocked. I imagine Toronto still wasn't very happy with his perduction so they let him go. Lew would sign with Moscow, I would aslo like to note that at some point after S64 he switched to center, but he was a d-man in S64 for Toronto. in S65 he scored 14 assists and no goals, 225 hits and 175 shots blocked were both careers highs for him however. No playoffs for Moscow. In his final season in the VHL would score 14 points again but this time 11 assists and 3 goals, 148 hits and 113 shots blocked. I think Lew Bronstein never really found his game in the big leagues, and his skill just seem to fade each season, I admire him for sticking with it but his career would end two season early of the full eight.
VHLM: Saskatoon Wild-Oslo Storm
Well once again I can't find where a player was drafted in the M, what I do know is he joined part way through season 55, playing 21 games he scored 2 goals, 6 assists for 8 points. He had 76 hits and 25 shots blocked. In the playoffs Saskatoon would actually go all the way and win the Founder's cup in S55, in 10 games Boner scored 10 points, 6 assists and 4 goals, 40 hits and 25 shots blocked. I'd say he played an important role despite joining late in the season. For next season Boner would find himself in Oslo, he scored 61 points, 47 assists and 14 goals. He put up a crazy high 253 hits and 101 shots blocked. Only 2 games in the post season but points, all assists, 4 hits and shots blocked.
VHL: Stockholm Vikings-Calgary Wranglers-Riga Reign-Toronto Legion
With a sold career in the M, Boner would move up, drafted third overall by the Stockholm Vikings in season 57, he would only spend one season with his draft team. In his rookie season he scored 8 goals, 17 assists for 25 points while also landing 341 hits and blocking 195 shots. The goals, the hits and the shots blocked are all career highs, like the last player we talked about. No playoffs and in fact no playoffs in the S50's at all while in the VHL. In S58 his point perduction would be very similar to his rookie season despite moving on to Calgary, 7 goals and 17 assists for 24 points. His hits and shots blocked took fairly big dips though, 273 hits and 144 shot blocked. Season three in his career would once again see 25 points, this time with 18 assists and 7 goals, 310 hits and 141 shots blocked. Entering a new decade in the VHL Boner would remain the consistent point scorer we already know him to be. 27 points, 20 of them helpers. 232 hits and 127 shots blocked. Finally getting to see the post season for the first time Calgary went 9 games far and Boner scored 3 helpers, he put up 24 hits and had 17 shots blocked.
With a deep run things were looking good for the Wranglers, season 61 saw Boner's points drop but not by to much, 21 points with another 20 assists yet again, 215 hits and 114 shots blocked to back that up. Calgary won the Victory cup that season and things were looking good for the post season however Calgary would only end up playing 2 games in the post season, Boner had just 1 goals with 10 hits and 3 shots blocked. Having spent four season with Calgary maybe the team was feeling like it was time for a change, as Boner would be on the move to the Reign for season 62. This season really was lighting in a bottle for Boner, a d-man who you could count on for roughly 25 points a season plus a ton of hits suddenly puts up 52 points, 46 of the helpers 6 in the back of the net. This really came out of nowhere, as you imagine 52 points and 46 assist are both career highs for him. To go along with those 318 hits and 172 shots blocked, the highest they had been since his rookie season. The magic for him would continue to some degree in the post season scoring 3 assists in 3 games, along with 20 hits and 7 shots blocked. Despite the career year in points he wouldn't stay in Riga and would move to Toronto for his final two seasons.
Season 63 saw a massive drop in his play across the board, perhaps having a hard time adjusting to their systems. His points dropped to their lowest ever at just 16, 14 of them assists which again is a career low for him. he had sub 100 hits and blocks with 97 and 57 respectfully. In two games in the playoffs he scored no points and had 4 hits and 1 shot block. Despite this rough start Toronto held onto him for his final season, his numbers would rebound slightly, 21 points, 15 assists and 6 goals. 186 hits and 106 shots blocked. Boner would get his happy ending however, in 12 games the Legion won the cup with Boner only scoring 1 goal and providing 26 hits and 24 shots blocked. It is a good feeling when a playing his able to get that cup win in his finale season, and with Boner it's kinda funny, he won the cup in the M in his first season which wasn't even a full one at that, and has to wait till his final season in the VHL to win the cup, and in the middle there is the victory cup for best regular season team. It all ties together nicely.
VHLM: Saskatoon Wild
We're having a rather terrible string of bad luck with these defensemen huh? Missing draft position or in this case no VHLM stats. All I could find was that he was drafted 4th overall by Sakatoon Wild with a pick they acquired from the Las Vegas Aces. Oh and also he won the Founders cup with Saskatoon in season 60.
VHL: Calgary Wranglers-Toronto Legion
Also drafted 4th overall in the VHL by the Calgary wranglers from a pick they got from Riga in season 60, Johannes would play for the team next season. It is fun to note that for this one season he got to play with Boner. His rookie season was pretty good, scoring 43 points, 29 assist and 14 goals. Johannes is a more offensive d-man so we're gonna skip the hits and blocks this time. Of course as we know Calgary won the Victory cup in S61, in the playoffs he scored 7 points in 14 games, 5 assists and 2 goals. His follow up season would see him hit career highs he would never match and the only time he was above a point per game. 74 points, 56 assists and 18 goals, all of them never to be matched. Again in the playoffs he would score 10 points in 13 games, 6 assist and 4 goals. Calgary won both the Continental cup and Victory cup that season as well. In season three of his career he would continue to score at a good rate, 56 points this time, 43 assists and 13 goals. For a third time in a row they went more than 10 games deep, this time in 12 games he scored 10 points again, 9 of them assists. In his last season in Calgary Johannes managed 50 points, 42 assists and 8 goals. With Calgary missing the playoffs I guess they wanted to shake things up, Johannes was traded to Toronto, sadly missing out on a chance to reunite with Boner if he had gone there one season sooner.
Johannes was able to keep up the point perduction for his first season in Toronto, scoring 54 points, 45 assist and 9 goals. Of course this was the back to back for Toronto, in 12 games Johannes scored 12 points, 10 assists and 2 goals to help Toronto win again. I do think it's worth noting that every time Johannes went into the playoffs the team he was on would make a deep run, in only 4 post seasons he played 51 games and scored 39 points, that's impressive and he only seemed to get better each time. In his final season in the league he would score 30 assists, 7 goals for 37 points. No post season this time sadly. From what I'm seeing he was traded to Seattle but would never play for the team and thus was the end of his journey in the VHL. If anything Johannes was a reliable point scorer on the blue line and a pretty big playoff performer.
VHLM: Saskatoon Wild-Las Vegas Aces
For our final d-man we have Robert Malenko, another player part of the season 60 Founder's cup winners Sakatoon Wild. Playing in 52 regular season games for the team he would score 5 goals, 14 assists for 19 points. He helped in the playoffs by scoring 8 points, 5 assists and 3 goals in 12 games. In his VHLM draft he was picked first overall by the Las Vegas Aces. In his first full season Malenko went on to score 30 goals and 51 assists for 81 points, in the playoffs he scored 10 points in 10 games, 7 helpers and 3 goals. Needless to say Malenko was a big time player and I bet VHL GM's couldn't wait to draft him.
VHL: Toronto Legion-Seattle Bears-New York Americans-Calgary Wranglers-D.C. Dragons
Drafted 7th overall by the Toronto Legion in season 61, Malenko would only stay with the team for his rookie season. Above a point per game, 74 points, 50 assists and 24 goals, 9 of them on the power play,, all of that while also blocking 157 shots. The 24 goals and 157 blocked shots are career highs. While there were no playoffs for the Canadian team Toronto would move on from young superstar rather quickly, I wish I knew why but that's just how the cookie crumbles. Joining the Seattle Bears for S63 would continue to improve his play, scoring 92 points this season, with 71 assists and 21 goals, 10 on the power play, and 137 shots blocked. In 6 post season matches he scored 5 points, all of them helpers and blocked 12 shots. In just his third season Malenko would peak with his point perduction, scoring 106 points, 85 assist and 21 goals with 15 of them coming on the man advantage, as well as matching his rookie season with 157 shots blocked. Points, power play goals, assists, blocks are all career highs. In the post season Seattle would once again play 6 game and match his last season totals plus one goal for 6 points. Seattle won the Victory cup that season and Malenko walked away with the Alexander Beketov trophy as well as the Alexnder Valiq Trophy. Really the only thing missing was the Continental cup.
Well Toronto would trade for him back which isn't something that happens all that often from what I've seen. In his one season return to Toronto he would score 83 points, 65 assists and 18 goals, and for a second time 10 of them on the PP, along with 116 shots blocked. In the post season 7 points in 12 games, 6 assist and 1 goal, 22 shots blocked to. Malenko would finally get his cup and it would be a bit down hill from here. I don't know if Malenko was just feeling a bit spoiled about he would begin to fall back, granted he was also entering his last 3 seasons. These last three seasons would see him jump to a different team each year. Signing with New York in S66 Malenko managed 61 points, 42 assists and 19 goals, and for third time 10 of them with a player advantage, along with blocking 143 shots. In the playoffs he scored just one goal in 6 games and had 11 shots blocked. Following that season he played for the Calgary Wranglers, again posting 61 points, this time with 44 assists and 17 goals, 4 on the power play, along with 133 shots blocked. In his final post season appearance he played 7 games and scored just 2 assists, while also blocking 12 shots. For his final go around he played for the new DC Dragons franchise, scoring 33 points, 20 assists and 13 goals, 6 of which were on the power play, along with 104 shots blocked. Hard to blame him for the points drop considering it was a new team, and like I said earlier, no playoffs. Malenko is a player who peaked early and kinda just fell afterword, he was still a great player but it felt like he didn't have anything left to prove.
(word count 2710, oh my lord)