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VHLSC: S42 Rankings #3 - Team Needs


Kendrick
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Every year a lot of shuffling goes on in drafts and it's not always because of the quality of player to be had at each draft position. After last weeks rankings where we got to see the inner stories and battles of each prospects in comparison to each other; this weeks is a whole different theme. The 42nd Seasonal VHL Entry Draft has some impressive prospects that currently seem to be pulling away from their peers. That was further stapled by last weeks rankings in which the bottom half of the draft didn't do anything to boost their stock. This week we get to look at the needs of each VHL team in regards to their franchise makeup going forward. We should mention to the General Managers that this is an outside look at things, as we don't have access to their long term agendas. If a team need is deemed incorrect to a General Manager than they obviously have a different plan and strategy up their sleeve. Luckily in this draft we have several different prospects at each position. Draft order is still to be decided obviously as the regular season is in full swing and nearing conclusion. This specific ranking is more for the draftees to get an idea of what team may call their name on selection day. Before we get underway, below is this weeks graph which differs from last weeks only slightly.

 

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TEAM NEEDS

 

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Calgary is a tough team to read because their organizational depth is a roller coaster of numbers. In that we mean that every year their numbers change because they are very active in the trade market. At this current time in their progression their need has to be on the blueline. With LaMichael Charmander as the only pro roster defenseman and Zach Voss as the only prospect they have on the backend; it's safe to say they need a new rearguard. So with defensemen as their primary focus, Patrick Demko and Ken Anderson become the first players high on their radar. Both are progressing (which is something the rest of the prospects can't admit too). Calgary is also looking to fill a need in goal in the next couple years, so goaltender might end up a need in the later rounds.

 

Draft Picks: CAL 2nd, CAL 3rd & STO 4th

 

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New York is an older team in comparison to the rest of the Victory Hockey League so their immediate need is not going to be on their pro roster anytime soon. That being said a few players on their roster like Connor Low, Matt Bentley and Brick Wahl are nearing the ends of their careers. The first need may be considered to be a young defenseman considering there is a drop off after Matt Bentley on their roster. Much like Calgary we assume Patrick Demko and Ken Anderson would be the two they are eyeing before any other prospect. If they chose to wait until the later rounds they could fill their eventual need of a forward upon the pending retirement of Connor Low.

 

Draft Picks: QUE 2nd, NYA 2nd & NYA 3rd

 

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Quebec is a team that has a lot of aging players but also some very promising young players. Their goaltender position looks to be solid for at least another three years pending any strange decision by their puck stopper Brock Waldron. With Wesley Matthews and Koji Yamazaki in the fold it gives them the chance to focus on developing their forwards. That is where the Quebec City Meute will most likely peg as their need. Depending on where they are selecting they could be in for a good haul with a large group of forward prospects. As it stands now they have a second rounder and could go after someone like Mac MacInnis or Vogon Jeltz who are both right wingers. In addition they have Ryan Cattrall waiting in the wings who is a right winger to add to their top six forwards.

 

Draft Picks: RIG 2nd

 

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Seattle has had their fair share of draft picks recently and we've seen their prospect cupboard full of young players. That being said their needs are getting figured out every day with the regression of some of those prospects. With a goaltender in place and two young defenders in Borje Samuelsson and Nicklas Karlsson solidified, it's apparent that a centre is a need. With five expiring veteran players most likely leaving Seattle, they need to solidify their prospects up front going forward. It looks like they may get their hands on one of the big wigs at the top of our rankings. Bismarck Koenig, A.C. Savage and Joseph Roy III would all look to be right in their wheelhouse.

 

Draft Picks: SEA 1st, SEA 2nd, SEA 3rd & COL 3rd

 

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Toronto could be a franchise on the up and up or a franchise that needs to add a few prospects here and there. The have a couple prospects in their system who may make the jump next year to their pro roster. Their pro roster though is solid down the middle and on the backend. We'd say the winger position is their need except one side seems to be pretty solid and the other non-existent. The glaring need going forward for the Legion is a left winger. With their limited amount of picks and only one in the first two rounds, they have to use it wisely. Benjamin Zeptenbergs has been progressing and could find his name called by the Ontario based franchise.

 

Draft Picks: TOR 2nd & TOR 3rd

 

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Cologne has little in their prospect cabinet to help them going forward. With some duds in the farm and some studs on their pro roster, the needs actually do show up. They seem to be set in between the pipes as it stands now and have a pair of blue liners who are young and promising. The need falls up front at the right wing position where Godavari Yumalatopinto won't be skating forever. They are in need of someone to play opposite side of Logan Laich and besides Thomas O'Malley. Mac MacInnis, Vogon Jeltz and Paul Ready all look like good fits for the area in which Cologne may be selecting from.

 

Draft Picks: COL 2nd

 

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Davos is the hardest team to find a need for because they've used all their most recent draft picks quite wisely. They are certainly stocked down the middle with multiple centres. Their blueline has a couple blue chip prospects who are currently on their pro roster. Their glaring need as it stands right now is left wing and goaltender. With no true goaltending prospect emerging in their organization, they need to get a netminder. It appears Jax Barnstormer and Callum Sinclair will both be on their radar for the goaltender position. The left wing position may come down to Wolfgang Strauss or a complete switch of sides within their organization.

 

Draft Picks: DAV 1st, CGY 1st, DAV 2nd, DAV 3rd & QUE 3rd

 

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We arrive at our first franchise that holds no prospects in the system. That isn't necessarily a reflection of poor drafting, it's more of a progress and promote style in Helsinki. Currently the prospects have been promoted and are helping their pro roster. Their blueline looks to be a shining reflection of solid drafting and their forwards seem to be progressing well. It is in the crease where this franchise needs help. Kimmo Salo has been slacking for the past two seasons and it isn't helping the franchise. The goaltender position is a need they need to fill and luckily they have the picks to do it. Callum Sinclair and Jax Barnstormer have to be on their radar at this point. If not, Blake Campbell may here his name called when the Finnish capital takes a deep breath.

 

Draft Picks: HSK 1st, TOR 1st & HSK 3rd

 

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Riga doesn't have much in their prospect pool (not a surprise) because they seem to compete every season. Selling the farm may be their way of staying above water, but they do need to address it soon. Their pro roster is aging and they will have quite a few gaps soon. Aging blue liners have caused them to have a big need going forward in that department. The defensemen in this draft will most likely stay focused when Riga gets to the podium to announce their selection. Sadly that selection will come in the third round and they will most likely miss out on a high ranked prospect. This is where Cap'n Crunch or Artemis Fowll may hear their names called. Both are prospects that need some direction, but they have shown signs of improvement in the past couple weeks.

 

Draft Picks: RIG 3rd

 

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The newest team in our league in Stockholm has a bright future but also have some needs to fill. With a couple failed draft selections of goaltenders, they may end up looking at that position once again. Stockholm boasts a large number of draft picks, the only question is will cap issues hit them going forward. We see them grabbing multiple selections in this draft but focusing on the goaltender position. One of Jax Barnstormer or Callum Sinclair have a high chance of being in the Swedish city next season. The Vikings may look at acquiring a top six forward from this draft as well but that depends on all the areas they draft from.

 

Draft Picks: STO 1st, QUE 1st, COL 1st, RIG 1st, NYA 1st

STO 2nd, HSK 2nd & STO 3rd

 

 

The Team Needs is actually a very hard article to write and hard to scout. Every team has a different view of where their team is and what each prospect has to offer. We are (like every week) hoping the prospects compete and progress as much as they can to ensure a better draft position and a better draft as a result. In the next couple weeks it will be crunch time before the draft and we surely will see more movement. Hope you enjoyed this rankings and tune in next week for the fourth edition of the Season 42 VHL Entry Draft Rankings brought to you by VHLSC.

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It has been made public, and even more in depth in private (to those who've asked) my career plans - so it is clear that if Seattle truly is the team that takes me for their team need, it isn't because of them, it was already in the cards.

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