VHL SEASON 73 MOCK DRAFT
Written by Christopher Miller
With the Season 73 VHL Entry Draft approaching, I have decided to delay my next Historical Battle article for another week. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to drop my final Mock Draft for the rest of the Victory Hockey League.
I do want to make it clear that despite now being the Assistant General Manager for the Malmo Nighthawks, none of my opinions come from any specific knowledge despite my own institution. No draft strategy has been discussed as of now with Frostbeard and therefore, this is a draft from a completely blind perspective despite public knowledge.
Since the Expansion Teams are now properly slotted in, along with their compensation picks, this seemed like the best time to release my three round mock. Get ready to see fifty-two predictions on where these players may fall in line come draft night. Please keep in mind that the TPE totals may not fully reflect your current number in the portal since this article has taken a couple of days to complete.
**Please note that "AVG" is determined by taking the average amount of Capped TPE earned in the weeks ending June 21st, June 28th, July 5th and July 12th. Each stat can be a maximum of 12.0"
1. DC Dragons: LW/C - Groovy Dood (Minnesota, 234 TPE, 12.0 AVG) @bigAL
NHL Comparable - Sean Couturier
Groovy Dude is certainly not the best player available, but I do feel that DC is going to be looking at a forward with this pick. Ultimately, this could very easily end up being someone like Jeffrey Pines, but I do believe that Dude’s agency has really made quite the impression on the league. Enorama sees one of the most active members in the league on and off the boards, and with the professional personality he has shown thus far, Dude seems to be the type that not only will be a great locker room presence, but may also be as loyal as they come. Dude’s VHLM totals this year don’t jump off the page or anything, but consideration does have to be made that he transitioned from a winger to a center and was playing lower in the lineup due to the talent that was in Minnesota. Ultimately, Groovy would finish with 57 points and 88 hits in 72 games, but it was the improvement he made over the course of the season that has gotten so much attention. Ultimately, Groovy Dude will not be the best player in the draft next season, but in six or seven seasons I could see him being one of the best as he has some of the best raw potential in this draft class.
2. Malmo Nighthawks: D - Tyler Walker (Saskatoon, 319 TPE, 11.0 AVG) @Advantage
NHL Comparable - Alex Pietrangelo
Tyler Walker could make an argument for the best player in this draft class (assuming we aren’t counting Frostbeard who will be forced to go later). Unlike Dude, Walker should be able to make an immediate impact in the VHL and was utterly dominant in the VHLM this season. With 115 points, 60 hits and 101 blocked shots in 72 games, Walker showcased his incredible skills against the VHLM best all season. Playing on the eventual Founders Cup Champions, Walker played a pivotal role in the regular season and playoff success of the team. He would lead the league in assists and led all defensemen in points while being the steadying presence on arguably the best blueline in the VHLM. Walker also would record 19 points in 18 games (including 7 goals) to go along with 36 hits and 28 blocked shots, during the playoffs. As the season went on, Walker started to play more physical which has made scouts salivate given the already incredible skating and two-way play that the Canadian defender possesses. With connections in Malmo due to his agency, this one seems like a sure-bet if DC lets him slip past the first overall pick.
3. Vancouver Wolves: D - Micah Adrienne (Las Vegas, 304 TPE, 12.0 AVG) @Poptart
NHL Comparable - Ryan McDonagh
Vancouver is in a pretty good position with the third overall pick. While they will watch Walker go to Malmo, they have to be pretty excited to pick up a defender that matches up pretty well next to him. While Micah Adrienne and Tyler Walker are very different defensemen, it is Adrienne that many feel may be the most ready defensively in this draft class. The pure shutdown defender recorded 72 points, 250 hits and 104 blocked shots in 72 games this season. His offensive performance was actually pretty impressive for the Aces this season, but it was his defensive showings that have vaulted him up to this position. One GM I talked to had this to say: “We have him higher than Walker in this draft. I think he fits better with our team as he is an absolute savage defensively and I love his instincts physically. You need to keep your head up going through the neutral zone, and that is such an intimidating factor that people don’t realize.” Adrienne comes from a reliable agency that produced former star goaltender, Finn Davison, but it is Micah that seems to be getting even more hype. The battle between him and Walker going forward will be interesting, but Vancouver just has to be happy to nab one of them.
4. Seattle Bears (via Prague): G - Jacob Tonn (Mississauga, 310 TPE, 12.0 AVG) @MexicanCow123
NHL Comparable - John Gibson
Prague was ultimately likely to trade this pick as they don’t really need defenders or goaltenders and while someone like Pines would help them, there are a lot of quality forwards later on. Therefore, they traded this pick to Seattle to pick up a couple extra picks down the draft. Seattle has to be looking for a goaltender here to replace soon-to-be-retired Rayz Funk. Jacob Tonn has the third most TPE in this draft and is narrowly behind Walker, but as we know, goalies sometimes have to wait a bit longer. Thankfully for Tonn, Seattle springs to action and trades up to nab the BPA and their future star goaltender. Tonn recorded 45 wins this year to go along with a .893 SV% and 2.84 GAA, which is decent but not spectacular. One scout we talked to had this to say on his potential: “We like Tonn a lot. We have him second on our goalie rankings, due to his size, but I can understand why some would have him first. He really is a very well rounded goaltender, but I was a bit disappointed at times with his showing this year. My biggest question for me is his size as he is perhaps the smallest netminder we have ever seen get drafted into the VHL. His talent is there but I do have concerns there. Hopefully he proves me wrong.”
5. Toronto Legion: LW - Jeffrey Pines (Mexico City, 268 TPE, 11.5 AVG) @rory
NHL Comparable - Teuvo Teravainen
“Thank you very much”, should be the words that Peace uses after seeing Pines fall to five. The best forward in the draft (not including Frostbeard) ends up being the second one taken, and honestly this is mainly due to the presence that bigAL has shown in the league thus far. This is a pretty easy pick for Toronto who doesn’t need a goaltender, and while they could look to someone like Glade III, Stansson or Kramerev at defense, I think you just take the best player available here and with it being on-paper the best forward that was available to be drafted by teams that are not Malmo, you have to chalk this up as a huge win. Pines has shown to be a big personality already in the VHLM but he had the performance to back it up, recording 91 points and 107 hits in 72 games. Pines is a pass-first winger that plays a responsible two-way game, but he still managed to score thirty-six goals this season, so the scoring potential is definitely there.
6. Malmo Nighthawks (via Davos): G - Grekkark Gyrfalcon (Saskatoon, 269 TPE, 12.0 AVG) @Sharkstrong
NHL Comparable - Connor Hellebuyck
I am not really sure Malmo was looking at Tonn over Gyrfalcon due to their Assistant GM’s familiarity with the Wild goaltender, but Seattle taking him certainly made this pick a whole lot easier. Gyrfalcon is absolutely the polar opposite of Tonn, standing 6”8 and weighing 230 lbs. He was a brick wall for Saskatoon this year, propelling them to 37 wins, a 2.33 GAA and a .898 SV%. While Tonn has been getting a lot of the press as the top netminder, Gyrfalcon has slowly come along and put himself right in that conversation as well. One scout glowed about Gyrfalcon by saying: “He reminds me a lot of both Brick Wahl’s that played in the VHL. Both were massive goaltenders who had great hand speed and reaction time, and were really huge in key moments.” Gyrfalcon finished the playoffs with a 12-4-2 record, 2.95 GAA and a .890 SV% but really stepped it up for Saskatoon’s wins in the finals.
7. Chicago Phoenix: G - Jean Pierre Camus (Yukon, 256 TPE, 12.0 AVG) @solas
NHL Comparable - Ben Bishop
This seems like a pretty easy selection for Chicago. Having that first pick for Expansion teams seems like an easy attempt to get that franchise goaltender, and with Jean Pierre Camus on the board, this might be the biggest lock in the draft. Camus sits as the third best goaltender in the draft, but is neck and neck with Gyrfalcon, and not that far behind Tonn either. JPC played admirably for a mediocre Yukon team, recording a .906 save percentage despite having a 3.79 GAA and just 21 wins. Yes, he had the best save percentage of any of the top three netminders in this draft. Camus, like Gyrfalcon, is a massive 6”8 goalie with a pretty well-rounded skill set that should serve him well in the VHL. Coming from a pretty well known agency, I can’t see Chicago passing up the opportunity to get their franchise goaltender at this pick.
8. Los Angeles Stars: C - John Merrick (Mexico City, 234 TPE, 12.0 AVG) @Steve
NHL Comparable - William Karlsson
With a few solid goaltenders likely to get to the Expansion teams’ compensation picks, I see the run on goalies ending here. Los Angeles can look to pick up a center to play with the likes of Markus Nygren, Gary Neal and potentially even Sigard Gunner. Merrick is a two-way scoring center that played for a brief time on the Mexico City Kings this season. In 26 games, Merrick recorded a very respectable 6 goals and 10 assists, before having a solid 10 point in 18 game playoff campaign. It is important to note that given the stacked nature of Mexico City, Merrick was hardly the first option on the team and likely sacrificed some of his production because of this. Los Angeles will be nabbing a player from a pretty well-known agency with a build that should serve him well in the Victory Hockey League.
9. Helsinki Titans: D - Wolf Stansson (Mexico City, 220 TPE, 12.0 AVG) @ahockeyguy
NHL Comparable - Jacob Trouba
Some may be surprised to see Wolf Stansson going this high, especially given that there are defenders like Kramerev and Glade III still on the board, but you shouldn’t be. Wolf Stansson has been absolutely incredible since joining the league. Off the ice, the agency for Stansson has been near perfection when it comes to earning the development time necessary each and every week. On the ice, Stansson was an absolute monster this year for Miami. Stansson recorded 30 goals and 83 points to go along with 143 hits and 138 blocked shots. He was as well-rounded as they came in the minors this year, and I think that is one of the big reasons he jumps into the top ten for me. While he does currently sit fifteenth in development time, I see Stansson being a top ten earner in the long run, and bringing his two-way physical style to a top pairing in the near future.
10. Warsaw Predators: D - Shawn Glade III (Mississauga, 229 TPE, 6.0 AVG) @ShawnGlade
NHL Comparable - Matt Dumba
I do have to admit that I have Glade III falling a little bit due to him rubbing some people the wrong way in the past….but it’s time for that fall to end. Glade III projects as a talented two-way defender who doesn’t really dabble into the physicality as much. He was excellent for Mississauga this year with 83 points in their 72 game campaign. My other reason for Glade III falling slightly is a bit of inconsistency in his updates as of late (as seen by the average rating above). There is certainly a chance that he has just not updated everything yet, but it may be a cause for some pause on draft night. Ultimately though, the high-end potential is there and if anyone is going to take a risk, I think an Expansion team like Warsaw could use the experience and a potentially safer pick than some of the first-gens on the board.
11. London United: D - Kosmo Kramerev (Miami, 228 TPE, 10.25 AVG) @Mongoose87
NHL Comparable - Jaccob Slavin
The league voted that Kosmo Kramerev was likely to go much higher than I have him selected, but ultimately I think this will be closer to reality. Kosmo Kramerev had a marvelous year for Miami this season, finishing with 106 points, 94 hits and 142 blocked shots. Kramerev is a shoot-first defender that plays responsibly enough defensively that he should be able to transition fairly well to the Victory Hockey League. His style of play is actually eerily similar to projected second overall pick, Tyler Walker. However, my main concern isn’t his ability to produce or his on-ice skill set. My concern is that he doesn’t max his development time like Wolf Stansson does. Now, with that being said, I definitely could see him jumping ahead of Glade III, but I do think some General Managers will value Shawn’s experience in the league, so ultimately I have London being thrilled to start their draft off with a first-gen defender.
12. Calgary Wranglers (via Seattle): RW - Patrik Laine (Houston, 201 TPE, 11.5 AVG) @PatrikLaine
NHL Comparable - J.T. Miller
When I originally was predicting picks in this draft, I had Patrik Laine slipping out of the first round. After all, there is a ton of talent that will go in the top fifty-two selections of this draft. However, after closer inspection I felt that Laine’s enthusiasm on and off the ice, to go along with his definitively impressive development time, was enough to see him slip into the first round. Since coming into the league, Laine has shown to be one of our most active draftees on the site. He’s also a force on the ice, finishing the season with 59 points in 58 games for Houston. The goal-scoring winger could be a great fit on a first line one day, or even anchor a second line by using his shot, size and two-way play to make an impact. With Calgary having the likes of General Zod, Latrell Mitchell and Edwin THE Encarnacion on defense, I see them focusing on forward and adding a potential star in Laine.
13. Moscow Menace: D - Matty Socks (Las Vegas, 187 TPE, 10.5 AVG) @fishy
NHL Comparable - Jared Spurgeon
“But Advantage, he is 22nd in TPE in the draft class”.....I do not care. Matty Socks should be a first rounder come draft night. Socks plays a very defensive style of play but has the ability to jump in when necessary, as demonstrated by his 57 point campaign with Las Vegas this year. Why the jump? Socks is one of the top earning players per week of late, and I think his impressive development will vault him over a few other options. Additionally, other than maybe one other defender, the draft pool at that position is about to fall off, and one look at Moscow’s roster will tell you that they need to look for a defenseman. Alex Letang is the only defenseman in their entire franchise that is young and has any future in the Victory Hockey League. After that, you are mainly looking at players already in their prime or past it. Therefore, I think Victor puts a premium on defense here and given that he is, in my opinion, arguably the best player available to be taken, I think this is a slam dunk selection.
14. Vancouver Wolves (via New York): C - Andre LeBastard (Miami, 225 TPE, 10.25 AVG) @Andre LeBastard
NHL Comparable - Bo Horvat
Andre has actually impressed me quite a bit since coming into the league. His 76 point campaign was very respectable and his two-way playmaking build should serve him quite well once he reaches the Victory Hockey League. LeBastard is a pretty consistent earner and really capped off his season with a tremendous showing in Miami’s one series. With 11 assists and 12 points in their 7 game series, LeBastard showed that he has the stuff to compete with anybody when the moments are at their biggest. LeBastard could look to stall and play another year in the minors, which could set up Miami for a potential Founders Cup run. Then look out cause I think LeBastard has the potential to be a high-end second liner and maybe even a first liner if his development continues to trend upward.
15. Prague Phantoms: C - Dakota Lamb (Miami, 199 TPE, 12.0 AVG) @dlamb
NHL Comparable - Brayden Schenn
For those that have not been following Prague, they want forwards. They have really no need for defense in the early rounds and they are set for goaltending at the moment. Therefore, I have them looking at three players here in Lamb, Volchenkov and Baillie Jr. Ultimately though, I know how much Jason loves selecting new talent to the league, and I believe the enthusiasm Lamb has shown will certainly serve him well. Another member of Miami that could return next season, Dakota will be looking to build off of his 37 goal, 93 point campaign. Lamb projects as an elite second line center who plays effectively in all three areas of the ice and boasts a heavy and accurate shot when found in the offensive zone. Another one of those really consistent updaters that could very well go higher than many expect come draft night.
16. Malmo Nighthawks (via Riga): LW - Marshall James Frostbeard (Mississauga, 328 TPE, 12.0 AVG) @FrostBeard
NHL Comparable - Leon Draisaitl
This is obviously the pick given that Marshall James Frostbeard is the selected player of the General Manager. Frostbeard has to be taken with one of Malmo’s first rounders, and since this is the last pick of the first round, this is really the only pick that is 100% set in stone come draft night. To many, MJF is the best player in this draft and is coming after a tremendous 39 goal, 87 point and 259 hit campaign. Frostbeard is the top developer in the draft, and will be a future franchise player for the Malmo Nighthawks going forward.
17. Prague Phantoms (via Malmo): C - Alec Volchenkov (Saskatoon, 201 TPE, 11.5 AVG) @SirRupertBarnes
NHL Comparable - Paul Stastny
Remember when I said that Prague wants forwards? After selecting Lamb with 15th overall, I think they look for another top forward at 17th overall. I’m not too worried about positions here with how flexible our league is in that regard, but I just think that Volchenkov is the best forward available. Despite a rather mediocre campaign with Saskatoon that saw Volchenkov record just 15 points in 60 games, many scouts have indicated that they believe Volchenkov has the raw potential to be a first round selection in this draft. He is a solid faceoff taker to go along with being one of the best skaters and playmakers in the entire class. His scoring ability leaves a lot to be desired, but I think with continued development, we could see Volchenkov flourish on whatever team drafts him in the VHLM this off-season. Then you can expect him in Prague who is looking to continue stocking up at forward in this draft.
18. Helsinki Titans (via DC): RW - Dan Baillie Jr. (Saskatoon, 214 TPE, 8.5 AVG) @wcats
NHL Comparable - James van Riemsdyk
I’ve seen a lot of people suggest that Baillie Jr. should go in the top ten in this draft, but I just can’t agree with it. I know the member has history with his last player in the league and is generally very well liked, but I do believe he doesn’t quite cut it compared to some of the forwards I have going ahead of him. In fact, I’d argue there are a couple I have going behind that I would probably look to first, but I do think his reputation will see him go here to Helsinki. With 44 points and 150 hits this season on Saskatoon, Baillie Jr. showed that he can play in every situation but is an extremely dangerous sniper who can skate with the best of them. However, my main concern is that his average updating totals for capped development time do fall slightly behind some of the other forwards that will go between ten and twenty, and that’s why I don’t have him as high as some.
19. Vancouver Wolves: RW - Oh Sens (Miami, 192 TPE, 12.0 AVG) @osens
NHL Comparable - Jake Guentzel
Oh Sens is one of those forwards that I think I would have ahead of Baillie Jr. going into this draft. He has been as consistent as anyone in this draft and brings a very solid two-way scoring build to the winger position on Miami, as demonstrated by his 28 goals and 61 points this season. While he will be entering into the VHLM Dispersal Draft, I think Sens will be one of the best scorers in the minors next this season, and be someone that can explode for them. With Vancouver having back-to-back picks and already selecting Micah Adrienne with the third overall selection, I believe we will see them go forward with both of these, especially given the talent available.
20. Vancouver Wolves (via Prague): C - Kevin King (Las Vegas, 173 TPE, 11.75 AVG) @IamMOOSE
NHL Comparable - Tomas Hertl
Kevin King is ranked twenty-fifth in development time but I have him slightly jumping here due to his consistent activity. He is another that is updating at a near-perfect rate and has been very impressive off the ice as well. With a build that supports a goal-scoring center that can bring intangibles to the game, I do think that King’s lack of production this season should not hurt him. Despite only recording 2 goals and 8 points in 30 games, I believe that Kevin King has the potential to still be an excellent second line center, and maybe even better than that if he keeps it up. There is another winger that could go here, but given that they already took Sens, I think King makes a lot of sense with this selection.
21. Warsaw Predators (Compensation Pick): RW - Jesper Norberg (Las Vegas, 172 TPE, 11.5 AVG) @jpsd
NHL Comparable - Viktor Arvidsson
Speaking of that winger, I have to think Warsaw would be thrilled to select Jesper Norberg with this pick. There are some pretty impressive goalies left and a really talented defenseman, but after taking Glade III in the first round I can’t really see them going back to the blueline. Additionally, they have another compensation pick at 24 and with multiple talented goalies left, and Chicago still to pick (not looking for a goalie after drafting Camus), they are still pretty much guaranteed to get one of the top goalies available. Therefore, Jesper Norberg is an easy pick especially given the impressive consistency he has already shown to developing in the league. While he still has holes in his game, mainly defensively, Norberg seems like a contender for one of the most improved forwards next season in the VHLM. It would not shock me if we are talking about how Jesper Norberg is a steal in five seasons, let's put it that way.
22. Chicago Phoenix (Compensation Pick): D - Mikeal Keef (Minnesota, 209 TPE, 6.5 AVG) @RStar
NHL Comparable - Alec Martinez
Chicago will say thank you very much for having Mikeal Keef fall right into their laps. The defender is ranked nineteenth in the draft for development time and is coming off a very successful season with Minnesota, that saw him tally 67 points, 127 hits and 89 blocked shots over the course of the season. Keef is a defense-first blueliner that doesn’t mind throwing his weight around and will jump into the play when necessary. His skating still needs to continue improving and I would like to see him handle the puck better before making the jump to the VHL, but I do see Keef being a real solid player down the road. My only real concern with him, and the reason he did drop for me, is that while he is a consistent developer, I do believe his ceiling is not as high as some of the players I have going ahead of him, like Matty Socks.
23. Los Angeles Stars (Compensation Pick): G - Ajay Krishna (Ottawa, 207 TPE, 12.0 AVG) @Hooperorama
NHL Comparable - Jacob Markstrom
With Los Angeles not having another pick until 28, I see them getting their choice of goaltenders here and letting Warsaw take whoever the Stars don’t want. Krishna definitely is a step up on the rest of the goalies for me and probably has the fourth best ceiling of any goalie in this draft. After a really successful campaign on Ottawa (36 wins, .891 SV%, 3.58 GAA), I am looking forward to seeing if Krishna can take the next step for the Lynx. Ultimately, Los Angeles will need their goalie and this just seems like a no-brainer here with Warsaw on deck and likely looking for a netminder themselves.
24. Warsaw Predators (Compensation Pick): G - Calvin Harvey (San Diego, 174 TPE, 7.5 AVG) @Mrpenguin30
NHL Comparable - Petr Mrazek
Calvin Harvey is one of the more interesting prospects in this draft. I do think he is a pretty safe pick to become a VHL goaltender one day, but my main concern is that he ends like goalies like Clayton Park did in the past, and just maxes out as a decent goalie but not really the type of netminder you want to build around. He had a pretty tough campaign playing for the atrocious Marlins, winning just ten games and recording a .889 SV% and 4.45 GAA. However, that really isn’t indicative of his potential as they were barely a VHLM team at times. However, my concern is that I don’t believe his ceiling is as high as needed to become someone to build around. With that being said, if Warsaw feels that Harvey can at least be a solid goalie then I think they take a shot here and hope for the best. I do think Harvey should become a decent goalie and while I don’t see him as an elite goalie one day, the league has shown that you don’t necessarily need to have an elite goalie to find success.
25. New York Americans (via Toronto): RW - The Terrible Trivium (Minnesota, 203 TPE, 5.0 AVG) @der meister
NHL Comparable - Michael Ferland
One of the biggest drops in the draft for me is Trivium mainly due to his limited potential. I see his ceiling as a solid second liner that can score goals and play pretty good defense. Ultimately, there is a pretty good chance that he does go higher on reputation alone, but as the member behind him as already stated, he isn’t going all-out like he has in the past. True to his word, Trivium has been developing slower than some of the others in this draft, but has been consistently developing as well. He would be a great fit on any team looking for a guaranteed top six winger in the future but I don’t really see first line in the cards on a championship contender.
26. New York Americans (via Davos): D - Victor Grachev (Philadelphia, 157 TPE, 10.5 AVG) @KaleebtheMighty
NHL Comparable - Nick Jensen
Grachev is a late bloomer that has been flying up the draft charts for some. The defenseman played limited minutes on Philadelphia, recording 3 points, 46 hits and 22 blocked shots in 26 games. He plays a no-nonsense defensive style that relies on his above-average skating and occasional physicality. Grachev has a huge frame and will still need to grow in it, but has the potential to be a steady presence on a second pairing one day soon.
27. Chicago Phoenix: LW - S Kuchar (Ottawa, 145 TPE, 10.75 AVG) @S. Kuchar
NHL Comparable - Anthony Duclair
Speaking of late bloomers, Kuchar is another that has really shot up the mock drafts after a brief but very impressive 28 game campaign for Ottawa this season. Kuchar recorded 23 points and 26 hits in the stretch of games, and really showed off his elite shot and above-average skating. The sky is the limit when it comes to potential for this kid and we do see him as the type of guy that could even find his way onto a first line one day. With that being said, while it was an impressive run by him, there is some risk involved in trusting in that small sample size.
28. Los Angeles Stars: RW - Jeremy Lin (Mexico City, 158 TPE, 8.5 AVG) @jman9theman9
NHL Comparable - Tanner Pearson
While I do believe that his potential isn’t as high as someone like Kuchar, I do also feel that Jeremy Lin will find himself being selected at some point in the second round. Lin is a consistent earner that doesn’t necessarily max his development, but should be able to put himself in the position to be a more-than-adequate second line player. This season with the stacked Mexico City Kings, Lin recorded 12 goals and 36 points during the 72 game campaign. With Los Angeles already taking a center and a goalie in this draft, I think they will see Lin as a potential replacement for guys like Gunnar and Nygren in the future.
29. Calgary Wranglers (via Helsinki): RW - Gary Rush (Las Vegas, 137 TPE, 7.5 AVG) @G_Rush
NHL Comparable - Connor Brown
An earner in a similar mold to Lin, Calgary will look to add another forward to their team to join Patrik Laine after they took him in the first round. Rush is similarly built to Laine with a large frame and a big shot to accompany it. While Rush only recorded 21 points in 72 games this season, he did have 13 goals and was a threat anytime he had the puck on his stick. I project Rush to be a glue-guy second liner that has the potential to score 20+ goals in the VHL one day.
30. Warsaw Predators: D - Han Jae Kuk (San Diego, 152 TPE, 6.0 AVG) @Dtayl
NHL Comparable - Victor Mete
The draft is starting to fall off in talent with only a handful or two of active developers left. Han Jae Kuk is one of them with a defensive style anchored by his skating and puck handling. Kuk recorded 34 points in 68 games last year on the abysmal San Diego Marlins, but did impress with 114 hits and 140 blocked shots. His defensive game has turned some heads and it will probably bait a team like Warsaw or another Expansion team who will be looking for future top four blueliners for their lineup.
31. London United: G - Drew Minott (Houston, 140 TPE, 9.0 AVG) @DreMin15
NHL Comparable - Thomas Greiss
Not Cal Conway? I really feel that Minott has passed him at this point for me. I even think there is an argument that Minott has passed Harvey, but I went with more of a sure thing there. Drew Minott is still updating at a pretty strong rate and despite not being the best goalie available on paper, does possess the best potential of any goalie left. As stated already, I feel his peak might be just behind someone like Krishna. Minott spent the year backing up in Houston and recorded a 6-24-2 record to go along with a .858 SV% and 3.98 GAA. Don’t let the numbers fool you though as Minott is certainly a project pick. He is the type of goaltender that needs at least one season more in the minors, potentially even two, before being ready for the big time. With that being said, his development time could be accelerated in London that will look towards Minott being their franchise goaltender.
32. Seattle Bears: D - Kirishima Wakaro (Mexico City, 152 TPE, 5.5 AVG) @Snussu
NHL Comparable - Ben Chiarot
Wakaro is from an agency known for their dabbling in football and basketball. Now they are representing a player in Kirishima Wakaro who played last season on Mexico City and recorded 40 points, 144 hits and 77 blocked shots during his 72 game campaign for the Kings. Wakaro projects as a defensive defender that boasts a hard and accurate shot that he gets off a lot. I see him being a potential fourth defender on Seattle one day and someone that can be counted on in their rotation as while his ceiling isn't high, he is another that seems like someone you can count on to still develop consistently.
33. Moscow Menace: D - Jiggly Gumballs (Houston, 142 TPE, 8.0 AVG) @JigglyGumballs
NHL Comparable - Brad Hunt
Remember when I said Moscow needs a defense...well here we go again. I actually do believe that Jiggly could go earlier in this draft as he is one of the only players remaining that records a point task every week. If whoever drafts him can show him some of the other easy point opportunities, there is a chance he could become a max earner. Well who better to do that then the Victator himself? Gumballs projects as a defensive defenseman that could anchor a second pairing one day but just as easily could be a borderline second pairing defender if not guided well by management.
34. Vancouver Wolves (via New York): G - Cal Conway (Saskatoon, 181 TPE, 3.0 AVG) @Shaka
NHL Comparable - Jack Campbell
What a fall right? Frankly, it is deserved and one peek above to his average capped TPE total over the last four weeks will tell you why. Conway was one of the most talked about goalies going into this draft, even ahead of the likes of Harvey and Krishna, and was coming off an incredible campaign as the backup goalie on the Saskatoon Wild. Many saw him as next years best goalie in the Minors, but unfortunately Conway has tailed off of late. Whoever takes him will need to reach out and get him back on track but this pick certainly becomes more risky than expected, which is why he falls to 34 for me. Vancouver can afford that risk as they aren't in desperate need for a goalie with Spyro in the prime but may want to take a run at him with their team philosophy to start looking a bit younger.
35. Seattle Bears (via Calgary): LW - Rocket (Miami, 152 TPE, 7.5 AVG) @Rocket
NHL Comparable - Jesper Bratt
With one of the more interesting names in this draft class, Rocket is the sleeper pick that someone like Seattle would love to pick up. He is another forward that possesses a lower ceiling but a pretty high floor with a style centered around his skating and shot. Rocket should be one of the better performers in the minors next year on whatever team picks him up in the VHLM Dispersal Draft.
36. Vancouver Wolves (via Riga): D - Fat Palloon (Yukon, 142 TPE, 7.0 AVG) @UnkemptCL4PTP
NHL Comparable - Brendan Smith
After having a pretty wild season that saw the defender record 68 points, 186 hits and 220 blocked shots on the lowly Yukon Rush, whats not to like about the potential of a guy like Palloon. After going to forward and goalie with their last few picks, I see them going back to defense and taking the best player available. Palloon's game is built around his skating, passing and puck handling to go along with his physical defensive style. Always a threat to take the puck up the ice, Palloon will look continue to develop consistently in the VHLM next season.
37. Malmo Nighthawks: RW - Vlad Imir (Miami, 90 TPE, 8.0 AVG) @Big Dee
NHL Comparable - Ryan Hartman
Sitting 45th in TPE for the draft, this is another big jump for a forward on Miami. Vlad Imir was a late bloomer that struggled throughout the campaign with Miami, but really started to develop consistently towards the end. He is the guy I peg to be one of the most improved next year with his defensive play style serving as his foundation for success. I could definitely see a team in the draft look at him as a project pick that will develop into a solid VHLer if he continues his current trend.
38. DC Dragons: RW - Jeff Odinson (San Diego, 101 TPE, 3.5 AVG) @GoldGear88
NHL Comparable - Jesper Fast
Jeff Odinson joined this draft less than a month ago which makes him one of the newest members to this draft class. With that being said, his 18 points in 30 games to go along with an unsteady but weekly development should serve him well enough to be selected either late in the second round or early in the third. Odinson is an interesting player due to his style of play that sees him as average at everything but not elite or bad in any area. If he can develop some higher end skills in some specific areas like skating, scoring or defense, you could be looking at a future VHL player. He is exactly the type of player that someone like Enorama could mold.
39. HC Davos Dynamo (via Vancouver): C - Empty (Halifax, 116 TPE, 1.0 AVG) @StamkosFan
NHL Comparable - Casey Cizikas
I was ready to not even have Empty get taken in this mockup. Despite being represented by a pretty recognizable player agency, Empty hadn't really taken the steps forward required to be selected in the draft...until recently. Empty is the opposite od someone like Odinson as he is really only good at two things. That is scoring and playing good defensively. And he is elite in both of those areas. Empty is a liability in every other regard but those skills alone get him drafted and if moulded properly, he could be a darkhorse to have a productive VHL career.
40. Helsinki Titans (via Prague): C - Janiina Juutila (San Diego, 109 TPE, 4.0 AVG) @Jansgasm
NHL Comparable - Nathan Gerbe
A Finn being taken by Helsinki? Yeah this wasn't a hard pick to make. Juutila has slightly fallen off in development but has the scoring ability to still make an impact and turn a few heads. This is a low risk pickup at this point in the draft with a decent reward id Juutila becomes more consistent again.
41. DC Dragons (via Toronto): RW - Bobbie Cheechoo (Miami, 107 TPE, 2.0 AVG) @Sharkie
NHL Comparable - Martin Frk
Not unlike Juutila, Bobbie Cheechoo has been a bit inconsistent in development late. With that being said, the Canadian winger is still progressing and has an impressive two way goal scoring play style that will prepare him well if he is to make it to the VHL. DC takes this low risk player as he is one of the only players left that is still developing.
42. HC Davos Dynamo: RW - Joromir Jagr (Ottawa, 115 TPE, 5.5 AVG) @Temppi
NHL Comparable - Tomas Jurco
Joining less than a month ago, this massive winger possesses the skating and scoring ability to be quite a threat in the future. While he doesn't have the potential of someone like Laine, Jagr should fit well on a second line one day if he can work on maintaining consistent updating to his development. At this point you need to go best player available and I believe Joromir Jagr is that guy.
43. Chicago Phoenix: D - Rick Osman (Halifax, 116 TPE, 1.5 AVG) @dylanjj37
NHL Comparable - Matt Benning
Rick Osman hasn't updated recently but he was on quite a role there just a few short weeks ago. Possessing a very one dimensional defensive game, Osman recorded 36 points, 163 hits and 177 blocked shots for Halifax this season. Hes a longshot to make it but hes also pretty low risk given his production and the pick he is going at.
44. Los Angeles Stars: LW - Florent Vericel (Miami, 128 TPE, 0.0 AVG) @dart
NHL Comparable - Charles Hudon
Vericel, like Osman, has fallen off late and will need contacting after the draft for the pick to work out. With that beind said, Vericel had done quite a bit of developing prior to plateauing over the last month. Vericel is a two way scoring winger that with the right moulding, could be one to watch if he gets back on track.
45. Helsinki Titans: RW - Wayne Jetski (Halifax, 91 TPE, 0.5 AVG) @namanert
NHL Comparable - Reid Boucher
Bonus points for having one of the best names in the draft, Helsinki takes Jetski as he is one of the only players still earning development time every week. It isn't much and it's really just been showing up at the practice facility, but Helsinki will look to grab him and see if they can broaden his developmental horizon.
46. Warsaw Predators: C - Kevin Sterk (Houston, 82 TPE, 0.0 AVG) @TenZi
NHL Comparable - Byron Froese
Basically read above but it is Kevin Sterk going to Warsaw. Sterk is a consistent participant in practice but has not been able to really develop anywhere else. He is a pure scorer who will continue to try and take that next step. Unfortunately for Sterk, he could be a few years off of making the VHL and has a long ways to go to do so.
47. London United: RW - Theodore James St. Louis (Yukon, 96 TPE, 3.0 AVG) @Nick Kirkpatrick
NHL Comparable - Logan Shaw
Theodore is probably the second last player that will be taken that has even developed over the last few weeks. He is a winger that recorded 36 points in 50 games for Yukon this season. The defensive forward has a big frame and a big shot that when he decides to shoot, can find the back of the net with velocity. Probably have him a bit overlooked here compared to a few that went before, but I think the guys just doing practice facility have more potential than shown.
48. HC Davos Dynamo (via Seattle): D - Tim Kamashev (Halifax, 68 TPE, 0.0 AVG) @Ninjaboi
NHL Comparable - Xavier Ouellet
Like Jetski and Sterk before, Kamashev is a consistent participant in practice but has a long way to go if he wants to make it to the VHL. Kamashev has showed off some impressive skating but really is incredibly raw in a lot of other areas. With the right mentorship, maybe Kamashev can make it and I trust Gus as much as anyone with managing that one.
49. Seattle Bears (via Moscow): D - Zachariah Kisslinger (Mississauga, 68 TPE, 0.0 AVG) @Kisslinger
NHL Comparable - Joshua Didier
Despite not being an active developer of his skills lately, Kisslinger was seen recently hanging out near the practice facility. He garnered some attention given that we hadn't seen him in quite some time. The physical shutdown defender will look to build on this past season and hope to use it as momentum to make it to the VHL in the next few seasons.
50. New York Americans: RW - Keno Wolf (Philadelphia, 99 TPE, 0.0 AVG) @aCrypticPancake
NHL Comparable - Curtis McKenzie
Keno Wolf hasnt really been seen in a while but after putting up a respectable 31 points and 63 hits, he should find himself selected in the top three rounds. His development prior to disappearing was solid and if he can get back to that, then New York will have quite the pickup on their hands.
51. Prague Phantoms (via Calgary): C - Antti Paakkarinen (San Diego, 76 TPE, 0.0 AVG) @SeamusSv
NHL Comparable - Liam O'Brien
Paakkarinen was seen a little more recently than someone like Wolf but didn't put quite as much development time in prior to leaving. Paakkarinen is pretty well rounded but doesn't possess any above average skills that stand out to scouts. Time will tell on this one but we are at the point where we are far less likely to see future VHL talent.
52. Malmo Nighthawks (via Riga): C - Kirk Holloway (Ottawa, 86 TPE, 0.5 AVG) @ebay12
NHL Comparable - Laurent Dauphin
The final pick of the third round and this Mock Draft is Kirk Holloway, a center who played for the Ottawa Lynx last season. He too disappeared of late but has shown some flashes of potential prior to doing so. He is another average everywhere and elite nowhere player, but still managed to record 22 points and 96 hits in 46 games this year.
Word Count - 7576 @Members (Ya'll can enjoy the effort put in)