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A GM's perspective: S81 VHL Entry Draft


Peace
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One of my favorite articles to write has always been 'GM Perspective' media spots, I feel like they're a great way to engage with some community members and grants me a creative outlet to discuss... well pretty much anything related to Toronto and my time as the Legions' general manager. I've written articles that have expressed my emotions on various levels; frustration with certain situations, situations where I could have been more tactful as I dealt with the cards that were given; anger at some of the users, whom helped or created conflict and drama both here [on the forum] and within the locker room itself; and not to mention my thoughts on trades, the players I've drafted and ranting about the sim engine robbing Toronto's previous core. 

Yeah, yeah, you've heard it before... I still strongly feel like Toronto's S77, S78 and S79 (at the beginning, anyway...) rosters underperformed considering the team we had. Some say we were too bulky on the back end, lacked the offensive firepower compared to other VHL teams as a result, while others suggested that the builds we accumulated simply weren't performing well together inside STHS' whacky decision making formula. Those are essentially ancient history now, but something big for Toronto recently happened. 

The S81 VHL Entry Draft is important, yes, I'll be discussing that for another 2,000 words [I hope] down below. No, no, the big thing for Toronto was MattyIce deciding to stay during his punishment and Doomsday returning to our shared game near the end of S80. Matty's current player was drafted second overall by the Toronto Legion, he had earned an inane amount of TPE prior to his suspension, and since he made the decision to stick around -- quite early in the punishment I will say -- Toronto suddenly has another top earning forward once again. Oh, and of course we've got Lindbergh manning the pipes for us for the foreseeable future, we spent the fourth overall pick on him so I'm elated he returned. 

Those are big. 

Loosing Fire and Lindbergh would have been catastrophic, but like a stalling plane nose diving to gain airspeed, we've recovered and are trending in the right direction. 

Now let's talk about that draft, eh? What a quality draft it was!

 

Cadmael Ixazaluoh - @Vice
VHL: Drafted 5th overall by the Toronto Legion
VHLE: Drafting 6th overall by the Bratislava Watchmen
VHLM: Undrafted; too powerful for the VHLM!

Selecting Vice was perhaps the easiest decision I've made in the last five seasons [at least regarding entry draft selections]; he conducted himself with respect, remained professional and expressed his thoughts in a matter-of-factly way I appreciate. Honestly his draft interview reminded me a lot of another user from a fleeting past, but this article isn't about that person, it's about Vice's Cadmael Ixazaluoh joining the Toronto Legion. You can forget about positional needs, if Cadmael was a forward he'd still be on Toronto. 

I wanted Vice on my team; I shuffled my draft board so many times that Vice bounced between the top spot and I'd say maybe no lower than third before settling atop my chart just before the draft began, and I'm sure there's a bunch of quotes saying he was there or here, that I had him at some specific place... well I'm going on record now, even if I had first overall -- especially considering the crap that happened during the entry draft -- Ixaxaluoh would have been joining the Legion regardless. 

I'm very excited about the future with Vice and where we can take the Toronto Legion. 



 

Harkat Mulds - @hylands

VHL: Drafted 9th overall by the Toronto Legion
VHLE: Undrafted; declared for VHL
VHLM: Drafted 4th overall by the Yukon Rush

When I drafted Hylands to the Legion I had no idea why he was sliding so far, I guess in a way I still don't fully comprehend how he landed at my feet with the ninth overall pick. Here we are though, Hylands and I have talked and I'd like to say we're both looking forward to seeing how both he and Toronto will perform the next few seasons. Toronto was never a destination I thought Mulds would land -- from what I gather neither did Hylands -- so I never took the opportunity to scout my former colleague, perhaps something I should have done.

 

Toronto and Mulds might not have a long future together, or things might develop into a nine season friendship. Regardless of where the future lies between the player and club, there's an absolute fact that lies smack in the middle of every conversation you could have between myself and Hylands: Mulds is a core piece of Toronto now, he'll be joining Fire and Peace as top earners and is complimented by the developing forward core the team already had through previous trades and drafts. 

The future is indeed bright, even if it's just for a while. 

 

 

 

George Sanderson - @SpicyGecko
VHL: Drafted 17th overall by the Toronto Legion
VHLE: Drafted 13th overall by the Geneva Rush

Here's another user I was unable to scout, well actually... for the record Vice was the only player drafted to Toronto that received a pre-draft interview, the rest of these selections were based on hunches by whatever means I developed them. In this particular case, Sanderson was Vice's teammate with the Reapers. Two objectives came together when he dipped out of the first round, I knew that it would be risky selecting someone I never scouted but truthfully it was worth it; firstly he was a teammate of a user I had just drafted, they're familiar with one another and that's important; and secondly he was a positional need, as George Sanderson is a defender Toronto desperately needed at the time. 

I can't say too much about the discussions we've had, some DMs back and forth so I'm excited the avenue to communicate is officially open. Of course Sanderson instantly became one of our top prospects, I anticipate him joining the Legion within the next few seasons in order to join his teammate Ixazaluoh on the blue line. Build wise I've noticed that Gecko is building what appears to be a physical, disciplined defensive specialist and they generally work pretty well at the VHL level. It's not glamorous, you don't generate a whole lot of points, but turnovers do occur in the sim and those lead to offensive opportunities.

Ixazaluoh - Sanderson pairing in 83, maybe? 

 

 

 

Weenuk Warrior - @KnightRiley
VHL: Drafted 24th overall by the Toronto Legion
VHLE: Drafted 24th overall by the Oslo Storm
VHLM: Drafted 12th overall by the Halifax 21sts

Here's a user I know very little about! This was absolutely a pick I made based on an article I read -- which stated an interest to play for Toronto -- so when Toronto was on the clock for the twenty fourth overall pick in the VHL Entry Draft I chose to make this selection over drafting scouted users, which weren't many to begin with. While I don't know much about KnightRiley, I'd love to learn more about this user and their interests moving forward together as members of the Toronto Legion. 

As for Weenuk Warrior's arrival in Toronto, I don't expect WW joining the Legion anytime soon. With a season of VHLM play, following a season of VHLE play, we're likely to see Warrior join Toronto in S83 or S84. The great thing about this new system [in my opinion] is how it pushes regression back the longer you're away from the VHL. The downside is you don't get a full VHL career, but the positives of not worrying too much about daunting regression means you can make the most out of every point you earn. 

Of course I give my players the option to join the team when they're eligible, so perhaps we see Warrior on the Legion sooner than I think!

 

 

 

Ashton Komaryk - @Komaryk
VHL: Drafted 29th overall by the Toronto Legion
VHLE: Drafted 32nd overall by the Cologne Express
VHLM: Drafted 62nd overall by the Houston Bulls

At 29th overall I was torn with who to select, I could have gone with Salo here but ultimately I decided to go with Komaryk for two reasons; he was a Houston Bulls prospect, a team I played for with Killinger; and they're earning a steady six capped TPE every week. Not to say Salo isn't earning steadily, the deciding factor was mostly the Houston Bulls connection, but I noticed Salo dipped to just four capped TPE a week [meanwhile earned up to ten on other weeks]. I'm not sure what the safer pick will end up being, I'm not really here to dwell in hindsight, I'll do everything in my power to help Komaryk develop Ashton the way Komaryk wants Ashton to develop. 

If Komaryk can make the VHL roster sooner-than-later, assuming no additional right wingers are acquired through a trade or the entry draft, there is a natural RW availability between the deep stack of centers and strong left wingers Toronto already has on the roster. With some elevated work ethic Komaryk could dominate the depth chart along the right side of the ice, perhaps even overtake some of the overfill we currently have. Toronto will be operating with numerous centers on a line, particularly the first line where Fire and Numminen/Calamari will be skating together, so there's a lot of room to grow for Ashton.

Future top six winger?

 

 

 

Harry Hagel - @jasplunds
VHL: Drafted 31st overall by the Toronto Legion
VHLE: Drafted 26th overall by the Bratislava Watchmen
VHLM: Drafted 32nd overall by the Halifax 21sts

 

Drafting Harry Hagel was a positional selection for the Toronto Legion, truthfully I was leaning towards another user that was earning more but decided to trust my gut. There's room for Hagel to develop with Toronto, while drafting a forward to an already cluttered forward group just meant less opportunity for growth. With Hagel being a defender, there's plenty of room to replace inactive D on the Legions' roster without having to worry about someone taking your job. 

Hagel won't join the Legion for quite some time, Jasplunds is slowly developing his player and we'll likely see a competitive defender for the minority of his career. Hagel will join Toronto somewhere around S84/S85, but as I covered above that means he won't have to worry about regression. Unfortunately the career clock exists, Hagel won't see much VHL ice but his potential successes at the VHLM, VHLE  and VHL levels of competition are pretty much endless. When he does join the Legion, I expect Hagel to slot into the top four and help Toronto chase some championships. 

Nothing wrong with gut instinct!

 

 

 

Boris Tsezar - @comrade cat 
VHL: Drafted 41st overall by the Toronto Legion
VHLE: Drafted 27th overall by the Rome Gladiators
VHLM: Drafted 28th overall by the Mexico City Kings

 

I've been honest to a fault up to this point, so I don't see why I should break that streak. Sadly this pick was a BPA made by the staff team during the VHL Entry Draft, I had a family dinner I kept excusing myself from and by this point in the draft I was getting the wondering judging eyes from family as I floated away back to my computer in between two bites of chili. I asked the team ensuring an orderly draft to BPA my picks with anyone active from this point further, which means Simeoni below was also a BPA. 

 

That being said I'm excited there were active players in the third and fourth rounds, normally there's usually a few but the majority -- if memory serves me correctly -- have fallen into inactivity after leaving the sim league entirely or sometimes temporarily. I've reached out to Comrade Cat and they've accepted a Discord invite, so communications are now open and I'm eager to learn more about the user behind the player as time goes on. Sim wise though it's unlikely we see Tsezar in Legion blue for a while, but I'll be following the 'tenders career in the VHLM and VHLE until they're ready for the big leagues. 

Backup roles aren't immediately interesting, but hopefully Toronto is a championship team at that point and the experience is enough to have some fun.



Alessio Simeoni 
- @Alesime
VHL: Drafted 60th overall by the Toronto Legion
VHLE: Drafted 44th overall by the Oslo Storm
VHLM: Drafted 26th overall by the Saskatoon Wild

Seemingly struck gold three times with this selection, er, you know... despite not actually making the selection. Sadly I was committed to my family dinner when the staff BPA'd Toronto's sixtieth overall pick, but holy crud was it a good one [I might be biased] for a few reasons; one: they'll be playing for the Saskatoon Wild, and god damn it I love that franchise; two: Vice, Gecko and Alesime were all teammates with one another during their time with the Reapers; and three: I believe Simeoni could be the steal of the S81 draft, I really really believe that's a possibility. 

At current pace Toronto won't see Simeoni until S84/S85 most likely, but again that conflict has both a positive and negative charge; on one hand you've got little to no depreciation, on the other you've only got four-five seasons with a VHL team. With a little more effort -- say perhaps a VHL.com article and press conference questions -- there is little doubt in my mind Simeoni would be the steal of the draft, I can't express that enough! I'm excited for that potential, okay, there's nothing wrong with that considering this was ultimately a best-player-available pick. 

Simeoni!



 

That about wraps it up! 

I hope you enjoyed the read. 

 

2,000 words!

Edited by Peace
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If Weenuk ends up anything like Gee, you'll get a lot more out of that pick than you prob expect. Great locker room guy, interested in his player, and Gee was a huge asset to Prague so I expect Weenuk will be the same for you guys

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review: Hey Peace, happy to see another one of these posts, I do really enjoy your insights on the draft, the way you see it. You got the usual with using bold, italics, tagging the user and even some color coding in there. It just makes it more enjoyable to read, seeing the effort and small details you put into it only makes me want to keep reading it more. Lot's to read here and it's all separated very nicely, easy to keep track of where you are. Overall really freaking good bud!! 10/10

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REVIEW:

Extremely good piece overall! The use of Italics and Bold makes the words stand out a lot. Plus it is a great way to separate sections. I like the idea of writing over 2000 words so you can use the article multiple times, but I could never push myself farther then maybe 1000. Each analysis is extremely detailed as well. I am super excited for the future of Toronto!

 

10/10

Edited by WildfireMicro
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@Peace A really good read. Especially as a new player. It really managed to put a lot of things I've been wondering about into perspective. About what the expected TPE/development of players looks like, and how a GM at the VHL level looks at said prospects. It's always hard to know where you slot in as a new player with lots of ambition. But reading this has me pumped to push for a high pick in my draft class.

 

Formatting, grammar and overall content was the best I've read so far in media spotlights, and it's honestly not even close. So big kudos for that. Also obligatory this isn't a review, but it's a review so I'll stick a (sqrt(361)/2)/sqrt(4(5^2)) as the score, just to be annoying.

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24 minutes ago, Shindigs said:

@Peace A really good read. Especially as a new player. It really managed to put a lot of things I've been wondering about into perspective. About what the expected TPE/development of players looks like, and how a GM at the VHL level looks at said prospects. It's always hard to know where you slot in as a new player with lots of ambition. But reading this has me pumped to push for a high pick in my draft class.

 

Formatting, grammar and overall content was the best I've read so far in media spotlights, and it's honestly not even close. So big kudos for that. Also obligatory this isn't a review, but it's a review so I'll stick a (sqrt(361)/2)/sqrt(4(5^2)) as the score, just to be annoying.

That is a 9.5/10 if I am not mistaken. You are welcome.

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