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Not VSN: S78 VHL Re-Draft


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What's up folks! Back in October 2021, @MattyFired and I re-drafted the S77 VHL Draft as part of VSN Scouting to see how the draft class fared, and whether teams would make different selections knowing what they know today. It did pretty well, and I had been thinking of doing a new redraft for a bit, so I'll be moving on to the next draft class - S78!


S78 at the time wasn't considered to be a very top heavy draft outside the first two selections, but rather a decently deep class. Players selected in the 4th round of the draft are still active on VHL rosters today! However, 5 seasons later, there have been clear shifts within the draft class, with both very pleasant surprises, and also extremely disappointing letdowns.


Although I don't have Matty collaborating with me on this redraft, the ground rules will remain the same. I will not be redrafting based on what the team needed in S78, but rather what they could use today. In addition, any potential changes to Moscow selections are NOT what I would have done on draft day. I am very happy with my lads ❤️.


Anyways, on to the draft!



:cal: 1st Overall - Calgary Wranglers - Original Pick: Nils Tallinder - C :cal:

New Selection:  Hard Markinson - @STZ - D

Original Draft Position: 2nd overall


Selecting first overall was honestly quite a difficult decision to make. Both candidates, Markinson and fellow defenseman Tui Sova, are top defensemen in the league, and any team would be salivating to have either. Calgary already sports a very impressive roster, with very few holes to necessarily fill. The only major issue on their roster is a lack of a 4th defensemen, likely for salary cap reasons. However, in an idealistic world such as this, I will still give Calgary a max-contract tier defenseman and pretend the salary cap doesn't exist. Or if you would like to still acknowledge the cap, I could see a defenseman here being the younger and more offensively talented replacement for impending retiree Greg Eagles. At the end of the day, I selected Markinson over Sova for both the individual accolades Markinson has received (Stolzschweiger and Labatte), and also because Markinson has remained on a single team for his entire career - while Sova had his rights traded to the team he desired to join in FA.


:mos: 2nd Overall - Moscow Menace - Original Pick: Hard Markinson - D :mos:

New Selection: Tui Sova - @v.2 - D

Original Draft Position: 7th overall 


Despite being shunned as the new 1st overall pick of the redraft, I don't think there's any chance that Tui Sova slips past 2nd overall. With Moscow losing Markinson to Calgary, a hole has opened up for a new offensively minded defenseman with a physical side to him. Notedly, Sova has nearly 250 fewer PIMs than Markinson, but also around 130 fewer hits. Not much of a downgrade from the physical side, with an added benefit of fewer penalties. Sova would slide in seamlessly on Moscow, taking over as a surefire top pairing defenseman and complementing Aurelian Moreau very nicely. The hope from Moscow management would be that Sova would choose to remain on a team that has made the playoffs for the past 3 seasons, reaching the finals twice. Despite losing a team favorite, there's no question that Sova would provide an equal level of play as Markinson. No shame in moving 5 draft slots up!


:mos: 3rd Overall - Moscow Menace - Original Pick: The Seabasstard - C :mos:

New Selection:  The Seabasstard - @Seabass - C

Original Draft Position: 3rd overall


While The Seabasstard just cracks the top 5 for TPE, and wingers Alex Johnston and Anze Miklavz eye a draft spot upgrade here, the fact of the matter stands that Seabasstard is arguably the top center in this draft class. He has filled a huge role as part of the Menace squad that went to back to back finals, and is currently just one win away from reaching their third finals in a row. The Seabasstard is already 7th in all-time points for Moscow and 5th in all-time goals - there is very little chance that Moscow allows him to slip away in a redraft. 


:dav: 4th Overall - HC Davos Dynamo - Original Pick: Luc Tessier - C :dav:

New Selection: Alex Johnston - @Alex - RW

Original Draft Position: 8th overall


I suppose it's convenient that Alex is the Davos GM now as well, but his player, Alex Johnston, gets selected to Davos as the pure best player remaining on the board. With Davos going through a scorched earth rebuild, there's little reason to pick for need here. Davos simply gets the best player possible, and can either choose to trade him as well for more assets, or keep him in hopes of anchoring a rebuild around him. From the Helsinki trade when he originally moved, it seemed like the veteran winger preferred to join a contending roster, so it seems most likely that Davos would flip Johnston for as much value as possible. 


:ldn: 5th Overall - London United - Original Pick: Sven Reikkinen - D :ldn:

New Selection: Nathan Powers - @JB123 - D

Original Draft Position: 9th overall


London made a very surprising run to the top of the European Conference in S82, shattering expectations that they'd finish outside the playoff race. With the emergence of rookie defenseman Juice Box and a trade for veteran Rolf Fizzlebeef Jr, London's defense corps took a nice step forward. With Sven Reikkinen declaring his intent to retire at the conclusion of the season, he's no longer a viable selection in a redraft - even if he never left London via FA. Nathan Powers is honestly one of the most underrated defensemen in the league, and spent most of his Prague career in the shadows of other defensemen such as award-favorite Battre Sandstrom. Giving Powers a leading role on London could help the young London team take a step forward in their growth, maybe even winning their first playoff series as a franchise.


:que: 6th Overall - Vancouver Wolves - Original Pick: Aike Van Giersbergen - G :que:

New Selection: Anze Miklavz - @kelvi - RW

Original Draft Position: 15th overall


There's not much you can realistically say the defending back to back cup championships really need, especially as they're back in the finals for a third straight season. Take away meta exploitation as the root cause of their success, and they appear to sorely need another elite winger to pair with Jerome Reinhart and Henry Tucker. Anze Miklavz, overlooked at the time of the draft, has flashed very strong offensive potential. Despite only having a single point per game season, Miklavz has 112 goals in 288 games, and has recently developed a strong physical side as well. He'd be an ideal complementary piece on a top scoring line, and therefore the selection for Vancouver here at 6.


:mal: 7th Overall - Malmo Nighthawks - Original Pick: Tui Sova - D :mal:

New Selection: Bogdan Trunov - @qripll - C

Original Draft Position: 22nd overall


Trunov is the first player in this re-draft to have originally been selected outside of the first round - a testament to his work ethic and overall success in the league. Frankly, without the strong run on defense and drafting for BPA, Trunov has the potential to go even higher in a redraft. A loyal player, spending his entire career on Warsaw, Trunov exploded into an offensive weapon as a sophomore, jumping from 37 points to 81 points, and then following a great S80 up with back to back 100+ point seasons in S81 and S82. With Malmo seemingly headed into a rebuild, and apparently due to lose Nathaniel Minion who has been very vocal about leaving the organization, Trunov would be an appropriate upgrade at the position. Perhaps having Trunov would have helped Malmo avoid getting bounced from the playoffs at the hands of Moscow for the past three seasons as well. But that's just speculation. From a current day perspective, Trunov is the best center and player available, and Malmo would be wise to snap him up.


:cal: 8th Overall - Calgary Wranglers - Original Pick: Alex Johnston - RW :cal:

New Selection: Tobias Reinhart - @Spaz - G

Original Draft Position: 32nd overall


After selecting Hard Markinson at 1st overall, there really is no clear upgrade for Calgary that wouldn't just be overkill anymore. Sure, Calgary could snap up another strong center in Luc Tessier, or a gritty winger in Henri le Massif. Instead, I have Calgary looking at life after Sirkants Klamasteris here, which is admittedly quite a reach for S78. It seems foolish to draft a replacement 5 seasons in advance, as it would seemingly waste most of Tobias Reinhart's career. However, Reinhart was only a full time starter for two seasons, which in the grand scheme of things, could be bearable. However, Calgary would be very happy to have a replacement for Klamasteris as most of the league struggles to fit a franchise netminder between the pipes for S83 and beyond.


:prg: 9th Overall - Prague Phantoms - Original Pick: Nathan Powers - D :prg:

New Selection: David Tavau - @Ahma - D

Original Draft Position: 11th overall


Yes, I know. Ahma belongs on Davos. But unfortunately, defensemen were the focus of this draft, and remain to be. With Powers gone to London earlier in the draft, Prague needs a new defenseman to lead their blue line. With Powers gone, and both Reikkinen and Sandstrom no longer on the team, Tavau would be the ideal choice for Prague to slot in on their blue line as they hope to compete in S83 again. Losing Powers with no replacement would put Asher Reinhart at the forefront of the charge, which is a massive task for just a single defenseman. Tavau would slide in with the playmaking skills Reinhart lacks, and the combination of a passing oriented defenseman with the offensive brilliance of Asher Reinhart would give Prague a very formidable blueline again.


:rig: 10th Overall - Riga Reign - Original Pick: Milk Jugs - D :rig:

New Selection: Aike van Giersbergen - @enigmatic - G

Original Draft Position: 6th overall


Milk Jugs seems to have been.....well....a dud. The first true "bust" of this class, but potentially replaced with another player who has underperformed in their career. Aike van Giersbergen was tabbed to be the future in net for Vancouver before the organization chose to set their sights on other netminders. However, with Tobias Reinhart heading to Calgary in a redraft, van Giersbergen would be the ideal goaltender selection for Riga here - giving them at least a starter in net. AvG has put up strong numbers in her career, with 24 wins and 20 losses, but sporting a nice 0.917 SV %. With a strong Riga roster on the ice, it could be enough to help Riga stay in playoff relevance.


:dav: 11th Overall - HC Davos Dynamo - Original Pick: David Tavau - D :dav:

New Selection: Luc Tessier - @KC15 - C

Original Draft Position: 4th overall


Despite losing out on David Tavau to Prague, Davos redrafts their original selection from 4th overall - adding Luc Tessier back to their roster, this time with a strong winger in Alex Johnston as well. With both Johnston and Tessier on the roster, there could be speculation that Davos wouldn't need to go through the scorched earth rebuild that they did in S82. Even if they did though, they already received a nice haul in return for Tessier the first time. It'd likely occur again.


:ldn: 12th Overall - London United - Original Pick: Bastian Greiss - G :ldn:

New Selection: Darth Kaprizov - @Darth Kaprizov - C

Original Draft Position: 34th overall


Darth Kaprizov is the largest riser of this season's redraft, going all the way from 34th overall to 12th overall, a whopping 22 spots. Originally selected to Calgary, London now snaps up the sophomore superstar. Despite being a bit of a late bloomer, spending two full seasons in the VHLM and then a season in the VHLE, Kaprizov's rise to the VHL times up perfectly with the youth movement London has in place right now. Kaprizov and That Dude would make up a strong one-two punch down the middle, avoiding the need for Nils Godlander to switch to center from his natural wing position. Kaprizov deserves a lot of praise for his growth, but the best I can do is to make him a first round selection in this redraft.


:la: 13th Overall - Los Angeles Stars - Original Pick: Henri le Massif - LW :la:

New Selection: Henri le Massif - @Garsh - LW

Original Draft Position: 13th overall


In hindsight, LA made the absolute correct choice at 13th overall with Henri le Massif. The versatile winger can slot onto either the first or second lines, and his gritty play style endears him to his teammates, with 212 points and 1,167 hits in 288 games. The team that once couldn't make the playoffs at all rattled off four straight playoff appearances with le Massif, with the French winger notching 30 points in 39 playoff games. LA is home for Henri - and I won't be removing him from his home.


:war: 14th Overall - Warsaw Predators - Original Pick: Tynan Sylvester - D :war:

New Selection: Nathan Minion - @Minion - C

Original Draft Position: 20th overall


Tynan Sylvester would make a lot of sense to redraft here for Warsaw, as he would be a cost-effective defenseman who would help keep Warsaw in the playoff picture. However, Warsaw has been struggling to ice a consistent playoff threat, so in my eyes, Warsaw would take the player with the highest value here in order to trade him off in a rebuild. That play is Nathaniel Minion, another sophomore player who jumped out onto the VHL scene even as a rookie, with 222 points in just 144 games. A candidate for Most Improved Player, there's reason to believe that Minion could be highly valued on the trade market despite being a slight tier behind Tessier and Kaprizov for centers in this draft class. However, he's got the potential to be one of the most individually successful centers in the draft class, while also fetching a decent price on the open trade market.


:rig: 15th Overall - Riga Reign - Original Pick: Anze Miklavz - RW :rig:

New Selection: Nils Tallinder - @Patrik Tallinder - C

Original Draft Position: 1st overall


After all that in the draft, and after all the seasons since S78, it seems Nils Tallinder ends up where he currently resides - on the Riga Reign. Despite being one of the surefire top 2 prospects of the class and going first overall, it seems the Swede just never put it all together until he was traded to Riga in S82. Failing to even crack a point per game between S78 and S81, Tallinder exploded for 118 points in S82 on Riga. For that reason, I see no reason why Riga wouldn't try to get that kind of production from him all the way back at draft time in S78.


:hel: 16th Overall - Helsinki Titans - Original Pick: Damien Salducci - D :hel:

New Selection: Jannik Nylen - @DreMin15 - D

Original Draft Position: 26th overall


With the final pick of the first round, Jannik Nylen makes a nice jump in the rankings to go 10 slots higher than his original selection to D.C. Helsinki sorely needs VHL caliber defensemen, and Damien Salducci never panned out - even retiring in S82. Nylen started off slow in D.C, only posting 7 points in S79 before being sent down to the VHLE to play for the Bratislava Watchmen. By the end of his time in Bratislava, Nylen was traded to Toronto where he could take his growth and learning to a new team. Through 144 games in Toronto, Nylen has recorded 163 points - production Helsinki would love to have on their blue line as they hunt for a playoff spot.




Overall, I hope you enjoy this redraft. Let me know where you agree and disagree! And yes, I know Ahma would only play for Davos.


Shameless pings for minor mentions for views:


2,737 words - claiming for a while

Edited by Spartan
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Before we drafted @v.2 to Malmo at #7 I told him I thought he was the best player in this draft.. I still feel that way tbh.


Great lookin draft, nice to see the MOS boys holding their stock up lol!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/21/2022 at 1:06 PM, Spartan said:

:la: 13th Overall - Los Angeles Stars - Original Pick: Henri le Massif - LW :la:

New Selection: Henri le Massif - @Garsh - LW

Original Draft Position: 13th overall


In hindsight, LA made the absolute correct choice at 13th overall with Henri le Massif. The versatile winger can slot onto either the first or second lines, and his gritty play style endears him to his teammates, with 212 points and 1,167 hits in 288 games. The team that once couldn't make the playoffs at all rattled off four straight playoff appearances with le Massif, with the French winger notching 30 points in 39 playoff games. LA is home for Henri - and I won't be removing him from his home.




2,737 words - claiming for a while





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