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Dustin Funk Trophy - Season 78


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To start off, I'm not bashing the winner of the trophy Brendan Telker. I just felt that Lose should have been considered in the race with the group. Justin Lose's career is a rocky road. He was given the chance to be on the 1st line and was never able to hold it. Compared to Telker who had first-line minutes for both seasons he was in the VHL. Let's compare how Telker did to Lose. 


Brendan Telker
Season 77 - 24G - 26A - 50P - -7 - 6PIM - 24 Hits - 24 Shotblocks
Season 78 - 43G - 47A - 90P - 8 - 29PIM - 34 Hits - 48 Shotblocks


On paper, this seems like a huge improvement in Season 78 compared to Season 77. Malmo at the end of Season 77 was the 5th seed going into the playoffs to face off against Prague in the play-in to face off against Warsaw. They had 67 points and were tied with HC Davos Dynamo in points but edged Davos by the tiebreaker. Malmo went on to get swept by Prague in the play-in series 3-0. This was the rookie season for Telker. According to the regular-season index, Telker was on the first line alongside: 
Druss Deathwalker (LW) - Arthur Dayne (C) - Brendan Telker (RW). 


Going into Season 78, Malmo didn't make any major changes to the top line. They switched Deathwalker and Telker's wing positions. Brendan Telker (LW) - Arthur Dayne (C) -  Druss Deathwalker (RW). Somehow this caused Telker to explode and be the leading scorer for the Malmo squad. Telker went from 50 points in Season 77 to 90 points in Season 78. With such a big jump in production, it was voted that he would win the Dustin Funk trophy.


With Telker only being in the league for 2 seasons, it doesn't seem right to give him the Dustin Funk trophy. It seems obvious if you are getting top-line minutes you would be improving next season. Now for Justin Lose. Lose already had his rookie season in season 76, so by the time season 77 rolled around he was a key part of the Riga squad. Lose came in 2nd in team scoring that season. Riga missed the playoffs too. Lose would be on the 2nd line for the majority of the season: Justin Lose (LW) - Isau DaMoose (C) - Artair McCloud (RW)


Justin Lose
Season 76 - 23G - 41A - 64P - -11 - 36 PIM - 83 Hits - 19 Shotblocks
Season 77 - 23G - 35A - 58P - -7 - 12 PIM - 32 Hits - 35 Shotblocks
Season 78 - 37G - 45A - 82P - -7 - 17 PIM - 67 Hits - 27 Shotblocks

Season 78 was a big push to get to the playoffs that ultimately failed. They were ousted by Malmo on the final day. Lose would finish 3rd in team scoring and 2nd in forwards. He was on the first line for the first time in his career for a majority of the season. Lose went from a mediocre 2nd line forward to a 1st line staple. The first line, which changed during the season due to trades, was:

Oh Sens (LW) - Cabe McJake (C) - Justin Lose (RW)


Looking at the overall picture of multiple seasons it shows how Lose has grown as a player and improved to gain the attention to get 1st line minutes. Which brings up the question: should the GMs look at the overall career and how they improved over time or should it only be from one season to the next?

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When an article has that passion behind it it always makes it more enjoyable to read. Making the stats centered and very noticeable really made this article come together for a perfect 10/10. Great job!

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