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Leandro Goncalves, a wondering report.

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Leandro Goncalves

"The Portuguese Wonder"


Position: Center

Place of Birth: Braga, Portugal

Height: 6' 5''

Weight: 220 lb.

Shoots: Right




We're 12 games from the end of Season 82 of the VHLM and one of the stories we saw developing from the start was about the "Portuguese Wonder", Leandro Goncalves. The Portuguese man signed a one-season contract with the Mississauga Hounds in the week before the season was starting, but was traded to the Mexico City Kings 22 games into the season. Not for lack of quality, but for pieces that the Hounds' GM felt were going to help the team's rebuild in the upcoming years. After an adaptation period in Mexico City, Leandro is now tearing through the competition with the Kings, having contributed with 4 Goals and 5 Assists in his last 5 games adding up to 11 Goals, 13 Assists, for 24 Points in his last 18 games.




Did you read that last bit where he scored 4 Goals and 5 Assists in his last 5 games? He continues to make life miserable for goaltenders thanks to one of the deadliest shots in the VHLM. He's big, strong, and knows how to use this to score goals. His shot continues to improve as his body and overall game mature. He is learning to handle the tight-checking and physical play that comes with being one of the VHLM's elite scorers.


Game IQ

Did you read that last bit where he scored 4 Goals and 5 Assists in his last 5 games? Yes, not only does this guy score as a maniac, but he's also the ultimate team player. Although his eyes are in goal, every time, it doesn't mean he forgets to pass. His play away from the puck still needs to improve but he is among the VHLM's most dangerous players with the puck on his stick. Although this doesn't restrain him from being a force in the defensive game, fighting for possession, hitting the opposition, and blocking shots at will. Finally, and maybe even more important is this guy's locker room presence, as he was named Alternate Captain less than two weeks after joining Mississauga's locker room, and in Mexico City seems to be well-liked by his new teams, having been part of multiple media outlet content.


Work Ethic

This is maybe the core of his existence. Since joining the league he has not missed a step concerning his evolution, capped TPE, uncapped TPE, bonus TPE... you name it. If it has TPE in it, he's there. And if you need to know at what time he enters the gym for practice, I can refer you to this article.




Don't get me wrong, Leandro is not a dirty player, but we must look at his progress during the season, and thankfully we have two pools of data to evaluate him from. This point comes only from his time in Mississauga, where he amassed more Penalty Minutes than Points. Was this related to his adapting period? To his poor play? To the teams' poor play? We don't know, because he seems to have turned that part of his game around, not only with more Points in Mexico City but also less PIM in more games played. Let's just keep this in mind, although it does seem to be a long-gone pain.



This improvement in play from Leandro has been a sight for sore eyes. After half a season trying to prove himself and his game in the VHLM, he has found the sweet spot, adapting himself to the North-American style of play. If we evaluate his first 42 games in the minors, we could only see a struggling young man - although showing promise - every time he stepped on the ice, now we see the potential - the true potential - of a player than can, one day, make his mark in the VHL.


Final Thoughts

Leandro is a strong, powerful player who has the ability to make those around him elevate their games. He's an excellent skater with powerful strides and a strong jump. He possesses excellent possession skills, a strong vision, and a stronger shot, which combine with the ability to create plays out of nothing for himself and his linemates. He is also strong defensively, bringing a good effort level and complete game.


See you in the VHLE next season, bud.


Long Range Potential: Elite Franchise Center

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