Steals in Recent VHLM Drafts; S70-71
The VHLM draft is the draft of steals. While the first and second rounds are usually great and consistent players, it's the third, fourth, and beyond rounds that allow teams to stay competitive throughout the next seasons. Some drafts are far deeper than others so we may see some very short sections and some very long ones as well. So let’s take a look at some recent steals in the draft. Note: This is a part one to a possible three part series, the other two will likely be shorter as they will have less to talk about.
Looking at the third round there are two names that jump right out: Jaxx Hextall and Xavier LeFlamant. Drafted 32nd and 30th respectively, both players were strong pieces on their respective VHL franchises, each playing on one team for nearly their entire career. Hextall backstopped the Legion from 71 to 77 with his best season coming in his last with 34 wins, a career high. LeFlamant was a first line right wing for the Dragons for over half a decade with his best season being S75 where he set a career high in points with 94, a career high in assists with 63 and made it to the Continental cup final. Beyond these two the talent drops off quickly which reveals a more top heavy draft than usual.
From only the third round this draft is already a far deeper one than S70’s. From picks 24 to 27, staple players were selected, one with an almost guaranteed hall of fame spot.
Starting out at 24th overall, DeFenz Mann. Mann has been a solid top pairing defenseman for a few teams over his career. He peaked at 70 points in S77 with the Dragons and is still a solid piece on that blueline, able to play some second pair minutes with Philliefan.
The next pick is future HOFer Andrew Su. Andrew Su was the star player in Vancouver from S74 to S77 before being dealt to Calgary. In that four year span he won back to back Campbells and Szatkowskis an incredible feat. Topping out at 121 points Su has been a monster at the pro level and an obvious steal for the Hounds with that pick. Next we have a far less decorated but still incredibly important player in Alex Letang.
Letang was a top pairing on the Menace for four seasons until being dealt to the Dragons. In that time he racked up a solid amount of points, 292, along with 601 shots blocked. With a new start in LA, Letang has another chance to get himself some hardware.
The final draft pick in this little section, though not the last of this draft, is Ziarie Anigbogu. While he is the least impressive of the four, this current season being his sixth and he’s an unsigned free agent, his seasons with Toronto were great. In his sophomore season after putting up 11 points the year prior, he exploded with 81 points, 68 of which were assists.
And we’re not done yet. In the fourth round with pick number 35, the Reapers selected Spencer Elsby. Selsby has had quite the amazing career with 426 points over 6 seasons as well as a Valiq in S77. That season he had a career best in points, assists and goals with 93, 72, and 21 respectively. This performance was enough for him to lead all defenders in scoring that season.
Overall, this draft had far greater depth than the previous one. Even with all the players I’ve mentioned I’m still leaving out John Brewitt who went in the 6th round. And now from one stacked draft to another.
This series will continue with an article on the S72 draft.
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