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VSN Presents: The S76 VHLM Awards Show

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The book finally closed on Season 76 of the VHLM and before we look towards the VHLM Dispersal draft tomorrow, it’s time to take a moment and highlight the best teams and players from our past campaign. Before some of our league’s top stars go off to their respective pro teams next season, let’s celebrate their accomplishments. 


This past season will always be remembered as a three-horse race from a competitive perspective. Houston made their mark at the draft by having an unprecedented first round that immediately stacked their roster. Then you had Minnesota, who really stocked up on early-to-mid round picks in the draft and put together a formidable squad from top to bottom. And last, but certainly not least, the Mexico City Kings. 


The Kings brought back some decent players from their prior year, and complemented them well. In addition they signed some decent players from waivers, and made a key trade or two. The end result was them redeeming their Season 75 Founder’s Cup loss with a triumphant win of their own. While some considered them heavy underdogs in a best-of-seven series versus the Houston Bulls, the Kings used their high-powered offense to brute for a six game series win. Congrats to @Hylandsand @Juice both of whom have taken well-earned promotions this offseason!

Before we hand out the voted-upon awards, let’s briefly highlight the statistical award winners of this past season!


:mck: Championship - Founder’s Cup: Mexico City Kings :mck:

1st Founder’s Cup in Franchise History 


:hou: Best Regular Season Record - Prime Minister’s Cup: Houston Bulls :hou: 

61-10-1/ 123 Pts


 :ott: Leading Points - Ethan Osborne Trophy: Theodore Hoffman :ott:


77 G, 82A / 159 Pts


:ott: Leading Goals - Alexander Chershenko Trophy: Dolant Theodore Hoffman. :ott:


77 Goals / 159 Pts


:phi: Leading Assists - Vladimir Boomchenko Trophy: Kjell Nilsson :phi:


84 Assists / 143 Pts



Congrats again to the Kings on capturing their first ever franchise Founder's Cup! Additionally, a big congrats to Theodore Hoffman and Kjell Nilsson on having absolutely monster seasons with their respective clubs. The offensive onslaught both of you showcased this season was nothing short of spectacular. Without further ado, let's start handing out the rest of the hardware.


First up will be the Ryan Sullivan Trophy which is awarded to the Top Defenseman in the VHLM


Edited by Mr_Hatter
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Top Defenseman Award "Ryan Sullivan Trophy"
The Ryan Sullivan Trophy goes to the league’s top blueliner. There’s a lot that goes into playing defense. While supplementing your team’s offense is all well and good, a defender is called upon to block shots, not to get caught out of position, and to shut down the opposing team’s offense. 
Our runner-up is a VHLM veteran who just finished his fourth and final season in the M with the Saskatoon Wild. Gabriel Johnson has been a mainstay for the Wild for quite some time now, and over the years he has proven time and time again that he was more than up to the task of playing in a top defenseman role for his team. He put together an impressive 92 point season (40 G, 52A) and also threw in 132 hits, 160 shot blocks and 86 PIM to boot. Johnson produced in every metric you could hope for, and in most other seasons he would have probably won this award. Nonetheless, congratulations to @GeckoeyGecko on an amazing campaign.  



Our winner of the Ryan Sullivan Trophy goes to a player who was actually in the running for it last season as well. Clinton Giftopoulos went from a middling Halifax squad last season to playing for a contender- and eventual cup winner - in Mexico this season. Acquiring Giftopoulos proved to be essential in the Kings title run this season. He matched his goal total of last year with another 30 goal performance, but he truly unleashed his playmaking abilities this year, putting up 72 assists which was a 40 assist improvement. After celebrating his cup victory in the offseason, it will be off to the Americans training camp in New York this fall for Giftopoulos. Congrats @Thranduiland all the best in your rookie campaign next season!
Next up - Top Goaltender - Benoit Devereux Trophy!

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Top Goaltender Award "Benoit Devereux Trophy"

 Any team that hopes to be competitive in this league, or any hockey league for that matter, needs to rely on good goaltending from time to time. In a season that saw an ungodly barrage of offense unleashed in the league, many goalies had years they would probably want to forget going forward. The goalies I am about to mention managed to stave off enough pucks and keep their teams in games to collect wins. 
 Our runner up is Trent Gibson from the Houston Bulls. Despite having a playoff finals to forget, Gibson showed he was very capable and enjoyed a very successful campaign with the Bulls by posting a 61-10-1 record. Having finished his third year of service, Gibson will be off to Helsinki’s training camp where he will have to battle for a backup spot next season. Hopefully with his excellent performance in the M this year, he may have a slight edge over his competition.  Good luck @Caboose30
The winner of the Benoit Devereaux trophy is a player who was steady, calm and collected from the start of the year, right to the finish. Matt Sovick Jr was a real difference maker for his team. He put up a 43-21-8 record with an .897 save percentage and a very nice 2.77 GAA. He also led the league with five shutouts in the regular season. What’s more impressive is that Sovick managed to put up these kinds of numbers with a weaker team than runner-up Gibson. Time and time Sovick would come up with clutch saves to keep his team in a game. Sovick will be graduating to the pros next season with Riga, and hopefully he can earn the backup position in camp and get his career started with a bang. Congratulations @matt sovick
Next up - Top Two Way Forward - Matt Bentz Trophy!

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Top Two-Way Forward Award "Matt Bentz Trophy"
 As important as it is to have elite scorers and playmakers on your team, you also need to have forwards who can play the full 200-foot game and play responsible defensive hockey. The Matt Bentz Trophy is awarded to the forward who best fits the description “swiss army knife”. Players that can do it all. Offense, defense, physicality. All aspects of the game are on display when highlighting players worthy of this trophy!
 Thomas King of the Philadelphia Reapers had one of the most fantastic seasons you could ask for yet criminally has no hardware to show for it. King was the heart and soul of a Reapers team that had lost a ton of talent after their Founder’s Cup run the previous season. How many players have you seen put up 65 goals and over 100 penalty minutes? King also averaged over six shots a game, and on top of that he laid out 281 hits on the year. The winger will be taking his talents to HC Davos next season where he will look to make a similar impact with his pro team. Best of luck @Duddy
Much like the runner-up King, our winner excelled in pretty much every category, and was unquestionably the most valuable player to his team. Theodore Hoffman was an unstoppable force for the Lynx this year. His offense has been well documented (77G, 82A for 159 total points), but he was so much more than that. Hoffman averaged a whopping 7.37 shots per game which was by far the most in the league. He also finished top 10 in hits with 262, making Ottawa a tough opponent to face night in and night out. Hoffman will be off to the D.C. Dragons training camp this  coming preseason where he will surely be a welcome addition in the nation’s capital. Congratulations @snackhero 
Next up - Regular Season  MVP - Mitch Higgins Trophy!

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Regular Season MVP Award "Mitch Higgins Trophy"
The Mitch Higgins Trophy is awarded to the player who is most valuable to their team during the regular season. If you were to take the player in question off of their respective team, how much of a difference would it make? These players are the catalysts that drive their teams and without them they’d be left without an identity. 
As mentioned in the last award, Thomas King literally did everything he could this past season. He can truly hold his head high and know he left everything out on the ice and should be proud of his performance.  With King’s 139 points this season, he was part of 58.9% of his entire team's offensive production. He lives up to his name, as he was indeed a king in Philly this season. @Duddy saw a 100 point jump in his performance from last year to this year, and without him the Reapers wouldn’t have had a shot at the playoffs.
To nobody’s surprise, the hardware keeps coming in for the man of the hour, Theodore Hoffman. There’s not much more you can say about the performance of Hoffman this season. His 159 points accounted for 59.3% of his team’s total offense. Ottawa finished the season by sneaking into the playoffs  by a hair, but without Hoffman, it would be another season in the lottery for the Lynx. His presence will be sorely missed going forward. Congrats @snackhero
Up Next - Playoff MVP - Skylar Rift Trophy!

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Playoff MVP Award "Skylar Rift Trophy"
The Skylar Rift Trophy is awarded to the player who was most valuable to their team during the postseason. Every playoff run has memorable moments and players that can be labelled as difference makers. What player put their team over the edge and made them bound for glory?

This one was a landslide, and with good reason. Clinton Giftopoulos quite simply found another level for the Kings during their postseason run. To lead your team in scoring as a defenseman is pretty insane. And it wasn’t all assists either, he also had the most goals. With 12 goals and 16 helpers, Giftopoulos’ 28 points led Mexico City. He was an undeniable beast on the ice and when it came down to the finals versus the Bulls, Giftopoulos was the undisputed X factor of the series. Congrats to @Thranduil on yet another piece of hardware in what was an amazing send off to his minor league career!

Lastly - Top Executive  - Jack Reilly Trophy!

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Top Executive Award "Jack Reilly Trophy"
Teams in the VHLM see a lot of constant turnover and constant moving pieces. It takes strategy and advanced planning to be able to construct a winning on-ice product. The Jack Reilly Award is given to the general manager who is deemed to be the best amongst their VHLM GM peers.
Houston put on a show at last season’s VHLM Dispersal Draft by snagging six picks in the first round. The management found a loophole in the system that allowed them to engineer an unforgettable draft that resulted in one of the best regular season franchises we have seen to date. While rules state you can only own three first-round picks, there is nothing written about acquiring more picks mid-draft. It was quite impressive to see unfold and clearly it impressed the other GM’s seeing how Houston’s GM has come away with the award Aside from that, the Bulls also had an impressive amount of returning talent that helped them succeed this year in such dominating fashion. While the Bulls came crashing out the gate, they did end up falling in the finals to the Mexico City Kings, but that doesn’t take away from a great regular season. Congrats @rjfryman
That wraps up another year-end award show for the VHLM. Hopefully you all enjoyed it. VSN will be back at the start of the season to cover anything and everything VHLM. Be sure to tune into the VHLM Dispersal Draft tomorrow night to see where the next batch of young talent end up!

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  • Mr_Hatter changed the title to VSN Presents: The S76 VHLM Awards Show

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