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VSN Presents: Under 250 - S79 VHLM Season Preview


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Greetings, VHL, and welcome back to VSN Under 250, where we cover everything VHLM. Today, we'll be looking at the current VHLM rosters and their season outlook.

Make sure to check out some other awesome VSN content!

VHL Draft: All-Time Best #6 - #1 |  VSN Presents: S78 World Cup Recap


Western Conference:

The western conference has perhaps had an even larger shift in the power dynamic between teams than the east with Mexico City, and Las Vegas taking a huge leap forward, whereas all of Yukon, San Diego, and Houston are left with somewhat barren rosters as their top players from last season move on the the VHL. Expect to see Saskatoon right up there as well as the return with a very similar roster to that of last season.



Mexico City being the early season favourites in a much weaker conference than previous seasons, expect to see a Mexico  team lead by a potentially deadly first line of Deke Rike, Sunrise van de Schubbekuteveen, and longtime Kings winger Watson Stonebridge, on the blue line Mexico is still a favourite as they are lead by Rhys Trenton the 17th overall pick in the S79 VHL draft. In goal Bastian Greiss hopes to return to playoff form where he posted a 0.923 save percentage in 5 games against the eventual Founder’s Cup champions.



The Las Vegas Aces  will look to rebound as well this season after missing the playoff the past 2 seasons. With an abundance of forward depth, featuring Mats Zucarello who’s coming off of a season where they put up 85 points and 30 goals, as well as new additions Taylor Carter, and Bill Nye who will surely have a massive impact as the season goes on. Another team with a top 1D and goalie in this league expect to see Zdeno Chara  and Anime Protagonist nullify opposition's offence all season long. 



After losing scoring leader Griff Mackenzie as they moved on to the VHL, many thought the Saskatoon Wild may take a step back this season but GM @Doomsday held fast and built another team that could challenge for the top spot in their division. Led by former 100 point scorer Jordan Heavens, Brian Schmigel,  and new-addition Kyle Peace this team should be able to put up goals. Additionally, Raphael Sonier will look to finally crack the point per game mark this season as they have been inching closer every season. In net Saskatoon boasts possibly the best goaltending tandem in the league with Leroy Johnson and Orion D H Chiester.



The Houston Bulls are left in the middle of their conference, where they likely won’t challenge for the Founder’s Cup but, also will likely sneak into the playoffs. A team composed of primarily S79 VHLM draft picks, with the lone exception of Drakon Zabastovka who will hopefully be able to lead this team into the playoffs where anything can happen. Offensively expect to see Omi Aberg lead the way as they will hope to improve on last season's point total of 47 points in 72 games. Most of Houston’s playoff hopes fall on the goalie Xavier Booberry, who in 1 game with Houston last season posted a 0.900 save percentage after turning away 27 out of 30 shots. 



The San Diego Marlins are one of a couple teams in this division that are a couple of trades away from contention and their future will really depend on the direction that GM @thadthrasher decides to take, with pretty much their entire roster returning from last seasons playoff run, the lone exception being goalie Elijah Mikaelson who was acquired during the draft for a S79 5th (Jerome Reinhart) and a S81 4th. This season's edition of the Marlins could be very interesting to follow along with as 5 of their players are near the cap and will be leaving for the VHLE next season.



Your S78 Founder’s Cup champions are left rather depleted, as they only have 6 total players left. These 6 do form a solid starting lineup and new additions Kyosi Karjalainen and Ryan Vidot should progress quickly. Following the former GM (@Juice) stepping down, @Domg5 was handed the keys to the team and was left with all the draft picks a new GM could possibly want as Yukon has 3 first round picks and 2 second round picks in the S80 draft and are poised to be right at the top of the league next season. Expect to see Yukon shipping out their veteran players this season for draft picks and players who will be in the VHLM next season.


Eastern Conference:

Similar to last season where 3 teams took off from the rest of the conference, we  may have a similar situation here with Mississauga, Miami, and Philadelphia looking ready for 1 more run before the introduction of the VHLE. Ottawa has seen some improvement in the off season and will likely challenge for the 7th seed in the playoffs. Halifax and Minnesota appear to have taken a step back, both stripped near clean of past players by either movement up to the VHL or inactivity.



The Mississauga Hounds, GM @Zetterberg has them right back at the top of the league and as early favourites for the S79 Founder’s Cup. Already having 5 capped forwards and soon to be 7, the biggest challenge for the GM will be balancing everyone’s minutes to keep them all content. The forward group is led by recent top draft pick AJ Williams and returning center Nathaniel Minion, expect this pair to be complimented nicely by Sigard Petrenko. On the blue line this team is looking just as dominant as they will likely have 3 capped players by playoffs. The biggest question mark for the Hounds squad comes in goal as Luke Spinelli is coming off of a season with Philadelphia that saw him record a 0.88 save percentage in the playoffs.



This season’s Philadelphia Reapers team will likely contend very closely with the Miami Marauders all season long, we will quickly know where these 2 teams sit as they have their entire season series of 8 games within Philadelphia’s first 10 games of the season. Darth Kaprizov and Tobias Reinhart, both returning from last season’s Reapers both, will look to both have breakout seasons. GM @KaleebtheMighty has done an excellent job bringing in players to build the roster around these 2, including offseason additions Miroslav Tsarov, Shawn Glade V, and free agent acquisition Gabby Dugan. One other major acquisition for this reapers team was bringing back Connor Wilson in the draft who will look to have a breakout season of his own after recording just 1 assist in 26 games during their waiver season.



GM @InstantRockstar has brought this team full circle in a very short amount of time from S77 champions, to S78 rebuild, and back to being contenders in S79. During S78 InstantRockstar shipped out every player who was close to the cap for first round picks and lower TPE players who would be around for another season, in doing so Miami is in a great position to contend for the next 2 seasons. This current team will only get better as the season goes on as many of their players will grow quickly, the current top line of Matty Fire, Roberts Stuzle, and Mikey Makarov will be one of the top goal scoring lines in the league. Miami’s defense also shows lots of potential with future VHL top picks Alessandro Nano, and Hari Singh Nalwa. Miami is one of the true contenders this season and we’ll look for them to be in the mix all season long for the top seed in the playoffs.



The Ottawa Lynx are more or less locked into the 4th spot in this conference and I would expect them to be there the entire season, barring a big trade. With several up and coming players like Armani Calamari, John Baard, and Alex Parise, all of which will likely be moving onto the VHLE next season. In the short term this team's outlook could be whatever new GM @16z decides, will they sell or buy? Only time will tell.



@Brewins15 will have their work cut out for them turning this Halifax team around, good news is that they have a few high TPE players that will allow for the new GM to shape this team their own way. For this team to have a chance at playoffs David Davis will have to put together a miraculous season, as well as they will need to acquire more defensemen as right now it all falls on Kirby Pandora. Offensively they do have a nice group of offensive forwards lead by Jlloyoid Blloyoiderson, and Bryn Yrwy. Although playoffs aren’t completely out of reach for this group as they could be in contention for the 8th seed, expect the GM to start to sell off pieces at any time.



Following their finals run last season the Minnesota Storm appear to be on the down swing, as most of their top players left for their respective VHL clubs. This teams fate falls squarely on the two remaining members from the S78 team Caleb Gaudette, and Jocke Jockesson both of who could find themselves on new teams by the trade deadline. Minnesota also has a solid duo in net who could serve them well in the future with Alexei Volkov, and Emiko Spector. This season’s Storm is completed by a handful of promising forwards who will look to S80 for their chance at a Founder’s Cup.


Thank you for tuning into this week's edition of Under 250, stay tuned for our upcoming piece where we take a look at the reemergence of the Mississauga Hounds!


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Saweet article!  Well thought out with insights into each team with both opportunities and challenges.  A deep dive summary around what teams and players alike should expect in S79 of the VHLM.  Based on the in-depth view with specific stats for players on each team this article is well written and should marry up nicely for what everyone should expect this season.  Will be interesting to look at this article again as S79 concludes to see how accurate the outlook is from this article.  I give this a 10 out of 10!  like a steak, well done!1952498850_DK6.thumb.JPG.15d7179ad6b44f5adad12f6807043d36.JPG 

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