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Next Ones


Introduction: Here’s our column moving forward for the VHLM Mag, it’s called the “Next Ones.” The rundown of this column will be detailing prospects around the VHLM, but not just ordinary prospects. The next big things of the VHL of course some will be recreates or some will be a first generation player that’s making some noise. I’m looking to understand how the VHLM is for prospects in this league. How’s the experience, the people they meet, what draws them to stay, and what draws them away sometimes. Those are the questions that could appear in an article, but don’t sigh at the idea. There’s chances that this turns out to be a great observational project for the VHL especially if we’re lucky enough to have some first generation players that I can detail on. Then we can understand what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong. Let’s be honest, there’s room for improvement because the upcoming draft doesn’t seem to be something to drool over and the only reason the one after seems to be a hype-worthy draft is because of the recent surge of re-creates, which come every seven or eight season. We need to know how we can keep those prospects coming in between those seven or eight season.


This week on such short notice we got down with season 44 draftee, Le’Sean Coutzen. Coutzen’s found himself on the second line with the Brampton Blades, which isn’t something that’s abnormal in the VHLM. Most prospects are found on the second line as the first line’s reserved for the send downs who have been practice for more hours that’s assuming that they are working harder or at the same pace as the rookie. Coutzen’s found his player role as the supporting center on the second line. He’s more of a defensive forward too, so the minutes aren’t bothering him. Coutzen could become the next big thing of the VHLM or VHL. That’s why we need to know if the VHLM is truly a developmental stage for the prospects. Are they getting the right training to become the best talent or have they been forgotten? 


When asked whether or not the VHLM experience has lived up the hyped it receives. He responded with, “I’ve been subjected to the second line for the majority of the season, but that’s my player type, so there’s no problem with it.” Thus proving that VHLM players are found to be on the second line rather than facing top line minutes, but Coutzen’s not the best example as he plays on a championship calibre team, so the fact that he’s facing top six minutes shows that he’s had a great work ethic into the season. There was the final question where we asked him what’d he like the league to improve or remove, he said that the welcoming committee should be revamped that they should be hooked up with the right gear such as good signatures. This would also allow the prospects to get familiar with general managers.



That concludes our first edition of the Next Ones. These are the prospects of the VHL’s future, so we’ll need to make sure their VHLM experience is top notch. 

Edited by Kel
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Next Ones


Another week where we talk sit down with the latest prospects who’re surprising the league with their superb talent. There are numerous prospects who are looked as the next big thing in the VHLM draft approaching and most of them have agents who have either played in the league or have clients who were known to be elite stars. Notable agents conceive of Terrace Fong, Jardy Bunclewirth, Phil Gerrard, and Lars Berger. 


However, there have been prospects who don't have the opportunities that come with an elite agent. Marcel Faux's one that comes to mind. His agent hasn't ever represented prospects who are the superstars of the league, but his clients produced and were good for what they were. Brody Hodgson -- his agent and a former center for the Helsinki Titans, tells the media that this new client -- Marcel Faux has the potential to become a superstar in this league. Faux's one of the finer prospects from the season 44 VHL Entry Draft that's quickly approaching despite being behind the leader in practice hours by more than a 100 practice hours. Faux's ranked third in practice hours in the draft class and he's found himself a prominent role around the league as he's been appointed as a grader. 

Marcel Faux's had a good run with the Bern Royals, but he wasn't always a member of the team. Things weren't always good for Faux. At the beginning of the season he found himself on the Saskatoon Wild - a team that was plagued with players that had no work ethic. While the forward was trying to become the next top talent the team was looking at finishing with another season with a bad performance. That all changed sometime nearing the trade deadline when the team announced that they would trade Marcel Faux to the Royals for Casper Solomon. This move was more for the individual than the team because the situation that Marcel Faux was in landed him in a tough position. He worked hard, he pushed himself, he wanted to win, but the team didn't. 


Marcel Faux finished off the season scoring four goals and 12 points in 11 game in a role where he was the secondary scoring not so much the first option like he was in Saskatoon scoring 45 goals and 85 points. Although, despite the differential for points production, Faux says he's happy to be on a winning team. Bern finished the season atop the league standings and there weren't anymore worries for the team. He calls the time without any activity around the training facilities, in the locker room, or on the ice was something that made him saddened. 

The situation that Marcel Faux faced led the general manager of the team to announce he's resigning at the end of the season, which could be the turning point for the Saskatoon Wild franchise that once was a team that always contended for the Founder's Cup. However, right now they seem to be looking at another early exit from the playoffs as they're down 3-0 to the Ottawa Lynx.


This brings us to the end of our second edition of the Next Ones. Here are some writer's thoughts for this one. The league shouldn't allow teams to be run by general managers that aren't going to take the team to their highest potential. Saskatoon could become an active team with an active general manager, but there wasn't one and for that Marcel Faux didn't enjoy his first state of the VHLM. However, with the general manager stepping down the franchise could be back to its glory days. 

Edited by Kel
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Next Ones


We're back with another article on our future prospects. This week we're looking at the top prospect in the upcoming draft, Edwin Reencarnacion. Reencarnacion's looking like one of the best prospects the league's saw in a while. He's heading into the draft with 271 practice hours. Those are numbers that surpass New York Americans' prospect, Golden Jedtsson and is on the brink of surpassing last season's fourth overall pick, Pablo Escabar's practice hours. Those numbers truly make him a top prospect, but there could be a chance the Reencarnacion abused the system and so are many prospects who are coming up from the season 45 draft. The idea of allow prospects to begin their  road to the VHL at the trade deadline gives those prospects a chance the leap over any prospects that join afterwards making them stronger, more talented, and smarter. Although, he's earned all of this as he's been an active member in the team gym, on the ice, and in the locker room training hard to become the best of the best. 


Reencarnacion's going to be the first overall pick because he's got the talent needed and no general manager's going to pass up on him because he's a low risk pick. If you don't pick Reencarnacion then you're known as the general manager that passed up on him if he reaches his potential, but if he doesn't then you're not shunned because you picked the right player. The media attention that Reencarnacion has gathered may be too much for a young prospect, but he's not focused too much on it. He's aware that he's being rewarded because he put in a lot of work to get to this level. Despite the advantage that comes with declaring for the draft at the time he did he still believes he worked harder than any prospect and he did. 

Finishing the season with 44 goals and 88 points, which was third on the team 60 points behind leaders Kyle Kingma and Travis Willcox -- VHLM regulars. This proves that Reencarnacion was the best prospect in this draft class and having the most practice hours on a competitive team proves that he's worked hard to get to the level he's at, but looking at the draft after Reencarnacion's you're going to see that there are about six or seven prospects who joined at the deadline. Those prospects are all manipulating the system and there's nothing the league can do about it.


 Reencarnacion's not too worried about the media believing that he abused the system as he doesn't think he did. He believes that he waited long enough for the league to declare him eligible to play in the minors, so he thinks his shot at gaining more practice hours than the other prospects is sort of a consolation prize for not playing for so long. Reencarnacion's not surprised that he leads the upcoming draft class by so many practice hours as he claims that he's went above and beyond to become the top prospect that he is now and he's using the developmental league to his advantage. Reencarnacion claims that his VHLM experience has been tainted because of the mid-season general manager change and the team become unmotivated because of that. He states that perhaps it was his job to boost the team's morale, but he didn't have it in him. Perhaps this could be another incident of a team naming a young player captain too early. Reencarnacion was disappointed with his performance throughout the season because being the top prospect he was expecting a more dominant season, but he couldn't reach that next level. Reencarnacion also added that he'd like to see the league move towards more rivalry games and that he'd like the league to shorten the playoffs to two rounds with only four teams, so the competitiveness factor's there and he doesn't believe the Founder's Cup does anything for his career that's why the developmental leagues doesn't always come with a good experience.  

Edited by Kel
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Prospects in the World Cup & Looking Ahead
It's a special off-season because this one comes with the World Cup tournament, which only makes its appearance every three seasons. The best of the best attend this tournament to answer the call of playing for their national teams. However, there are some times where a team's lacking at a position and calls for a prospect or a send down to help the team battle for gold. This season there are nine prospects who are playing in the tournament and played in the VHLM this season. The most successful prospects are Biggu Kynanon and Bernie Gow. Kynanon's assisted on two goals, dished out eight hits, and blocked five shots. However, he's playing on the worst team in the tournament, so the talent isn't as strong on the team. Gow's had .900% save percentage and a 3.50 goals against average while playing on one of the weaker defensive group in the tournament as he's faced the second most shots in the tournament, which is 140 shots. The other seven prospects haven't scored a point and their performances have been dominated by the bigger competition from the big leagues, but that arises a possible solution. Every off-season that there is a World Cup tournament there are prospects who feel like they were denied a chance to play some off-season hockey. The league could turn to a World Juniors Cup tournament every off-season where the best prospects fight for gold, but how much work would be needed for this tournament? That's the thing that could stop the league from implementing this idea, but it'd be a great opportunity for the league to give prospects a taste of top competition before they enter the big leagues or the developmental league. It'd be a fun off-season tournament that could benefit the league in so many ways. 
However, another thing to look at is that many of the weaker or middle of the pack teams should see a better tournament once th next one rolls around. For example the Scandinavian roster should be the favourites in season 46 as the team's going to have numerous season 43, season 44, and season 45 prospects who have dedicated agents. That's an interesting thing to look at because the top team -- the U.S.A's likely to fall after this tournament as many of their top players hit the final seasons of their careers, so it'll be interesting to see which prospects those agents will represent next. Of course the next few tournaments should see more talent from the goal line as the next wave of goaltenders will be nearing their prime by then and there's already a few goaltenders who are starting in this tournament, Sinclair and Wingate to name a few. It'll be interesting to see how these draft classes can take over the tournament, but there's still the chance that many of the prospects don't continue with their work ethic and fall off before the next tournament, but we'll stay optimistic and say everyone's that's working hard will continue to work hard. 
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  • 2 weeks later...

With the VHLM moving it's 44th season the league now has some unfamiliar faces atop the standings such as the Saskatoon Wild -- a team that has struggled for a few season and now is preparing to dominate the league this season. The move to success hasn't been easy for the Wild as the team has experienced some tough times resulting in low attendance rates at home games and low merchandise sales. The owner and general manager of the Wild decided to step down after a few seasons as the top guy. The league decided to bring in a former VHL star, Brody Hodgson despite Hodgson having little to none experience in the field. Hodgson's success at the job has been more than expected when he stepped in to take over the job. The team has turned around their sluggish starts to the season and sits with 12 points as they've won all six of their games to start the season, which was expected as the team is viewed as contenders for the Founder's Cup this season by experts. With the help of third overall pick, Biggu Kynanon the team has rose to the top of the Eastern conference as Kynanon leads the league with three goals and 15 points as a defenseman. The team's going to expect their hot start to continue through the season, but the league should notice that it took a team three seasons to rise to competition again. What message does that bring to the fans and players? That isn't to blame on Hodgson as he's turned the team around, but it's more to blame on the previous general managers and perhaps the commissioners on their selection process. 


The league should set the record straight that there shouldn't be tanking allowed because the minor leagues are a developmental stage, so the teams should remain competitive to help those prospects who join the league to have a fun experience. The main thing is that the league has been proven that you don't need to tank to have success as the Brampton Blades' general manager, Terrance Fong does a great job of showing that success can be consistent in the minor leagues. However, last season there were four teams that weren't competing and made it clear that they weren't. Nearly all of those teams are leading the league now, but there's one team that finds itself at the bottom of the league with zero points and this has been a common occurrence for the franchise as Moscow has experienced these type of starts and finishes for some time. The league stepped in and hired a new general manager, Blake Campbell. However, it's still the same for the team and some wonder can the minor league teams remain competitive for more than two or three seasons? Do the general managers need to sell all their valuable assets dropping the season to possibly have a chance to win the Founder's Cup next season? It'd be interesting to see if teams could create dynasties in this league and Brampton's the closest thing to a dynasty that the minor league has saw in seasons. It's time for more teams to continue to compete rather than dropping the season after all their stars make it to the big leagues and Terrance Fong could be the revolutionist who begins it all. 

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This league's the greatest for producing high level prospects and that doesn't stop, but the one thing that's interesting about these prospects are the numbers that their face-off percentages are at. The league's top face-off man -- Le'Sean Coutzen who takes 266 of his team's face-offs has a face-off percentage at 74.81%, but there are two other face-off men whose numbers reach the 70% plateau, which shows the league has some of the most elite centers. There's a lot that centers need to learn before they become experts at winning face-offs, but some things cannot be taught such as strength and timing. It comes natural to many, but to others it's something that they have to work hard at. 
There are three Oslo Storm centers -- Le'Sean Coutzen, Hunter Backenbauer, and Wesley Babiy who find themselves among the elite of the elite for face-offs combining for 536 face-offs taken and these centers all garner a face-off percentage that's higher than 65%, which are some respectable numbers. Oslo's strong face-off team helps them have such a demanding record so far into the season with an 8-3 winning record. The team's been successful on the dot allowing them to have the puck a lot more than your opponents. These prospects don't do much other than work on their timing on face-offs as they all have put in 50 or more practice hours on the ice training with their coaches and each other on their face-offs. It helps that their competition isn'[t the best as there are many teams without a true number one center or their center hasn't developed to his potential yet, which allows the talented prospects to take advantage of that, but that's what the minor leagues are kind of about. Neither of these three centers work out much and aren't spotted around the training facilities too often, which tells us that the team doesn't really pay attention to their strength, but the prospects should be worried when they reach the big leagues as the centers are stronger and have a better hockey sense than them that could lead to a tough start for their careers.
The are other statistics that the more talented prospects have led this season such as goal scoring where there are four prospects with 10 or more goals scored this season, which for some is a goal per game pace. Those prospects are Marcel Faux, Simon Valmount, Aleksi Koponen; all three have scored 13 goals and are tied for first in goals scored, and Maxime Perron who's scored 10 goals. All four of these elite goal scorers find themselves on different teams and three of them play in the North American conference for their respective teams. Marcel Faux, one of the elite goals scorers has precise shooting this season as he has a 20.63% shooting percentage and another prospect, Alexander Davidson who hasn't reached the 10 goals plateau yet, but has scored nine goals, which is impressive has a shooting percentage of 19.15% that's sixth best in the league. 
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  • 2 weeks later...


This season has some of the goaltender numbers dropping as the leader in saves percentage currently has a .915%, which is the Oslo Storm’s starter, Sandro Clegane. It’s not much of a surprise to see that Clegane’s leading the league in most goaltender numbers as he’s playing behind one of the best defensive groups in the league if not the best defensive team in the league as they’ve only allowed 55 goals, which makes the best defensive team in the league as no one else has allowed less goals. Clegane’s faced 627 shots this season only allowing 53 goals and some experts are discrediting his work because of the defense that plays in front of him. It’s not enough to discredit him though because if you look at Saskatoon’s goaltender, Ariel Weinstein who’s started the season with a .897% save percentage and he’s only faced 525 shots. He’s allowed 56 goals on those 525 shots and he’s being called out as the weak link that’s holding the Saskatoon Wild back from running the league albeit the team has a .865 winning percentage, so there’s not much that can hold back the team this season.


Timing or Skill

There’s not much skill that goes into being a general manager in the VHLM it seems. It’s a timing game instead of a strategic game. There aren’t any teams who are going to stay at the top of the league as every team has its window of championships. It’s that simple. If you’re a general manager you trade all of your assets for future picks and then with the cycle that the VHL has as they force their players to retire you’re guaranteed at least a few good prospects. If you’re lucky you can draft a first generation player that’s been progressing well too. It’s a timing game and you have to wait it out. At least, that’s what it looks like.



Ottawa Lynx’s starting goaltender has faced 1211 shots this season. He’s playing on a team that has six wins this season and it’s pretty obvious that the Lynx are tanking this season, which brings up a problem that the head office should look at it -- teams shouldn’t be allowed to tank in seasons and should be forced to at least do something that allows them to do more than win six games. One of the prospects we spoke to about this, Biggu Kynanon told us that he doesn’t like that many teams aren’t competing this season although that’s ridiculous because this is one of the season where we’ve had more than two or three team really contending for a championship.



Sandro Clegane and Teuvo Rinne have started in 38 games this season for their respective teams. Rinne and Clegane were traded for one another earlier this season, so that’s why both of them playing 38 games makes sense. Rinne and Clegane are playing on teams that have different approaches to the game. One team wants to win and the other seems like they want to lose.



Yukon Rush’s starting goaltender, Greg Clegane has 30 wins this season while the Ottawa Lynx’s starting goaltender, Teuvo Rinne has 30 losses. Again, this shows how cyclical the teams are as the Rush was a team at the bottom of the league last season while Ottawa was second in the North American conference. It’s not good for the league too because the minor league should be where you try to impress the prospects and playing on a team that’s losing wouldn’t be a good first impression. 

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Most of the minor league’s best top lines consists of second year players. The names goes on and on the greatest players of the league currently are Marcel Faux -- second season player, Akeksi Koponen –- here’s a situation that’s weird with Koponen, but the amount of hours he has put into the league would make him a second season player, and Maxime Perron – another second season player. It’s no doubt that the pattern’s similar and there’s not much room for new players to find immediate success, which isn’t a big problem, but it’s something interesting to look at. However, the thing with the league it’s not like it’s that competitive. That’s not the players faults more the general managers and the players that they surround those who are talented, but that’s another topic for another week.


Saskatoon Wild -- Casper Salomon - Max Molholt – Marcel Faux: 73 goals, 184 points

Max Molholt’s centering this top line and most of the points are coming from him and his winger, Marcel Faux who’s having another great season. Marcel Faux’s proving that he’s a top prospect and will be a great addition for Helsinki next season as they try to construct a quick rebuild. Molholt’s a Toronto Legion prospect and it’ll be interesting if his agent can help him train to become like his earlier client, Jarkko Olsen or his most recent client, A.C Savage who was a disappointing player. Salomon hasn’t helped much on this line scoring 11 goals and only having 26 points right now as he’s been allowing the more talented players to take control of the season. Salomon’s talent is good enough for him to be the top player, but with his performance this season on such a stacked team he could be one of the worst player.


Yukon Rush -- Josh Merica – Aleksi Koponen - Marquis Hyvarinen: 94 goals, 181 points

Here’s another line that’s centered by another top prospect. Aleksi Koponen’s a Helsinki Titians prospect and he’s going to be their franchise player for the future. He’s one of their key pieces for their rebuild. Koponen’s has the most points in the league with 91 and he’s scored 47 goals, which is the most in the league. Koponen’s numbers are pretty interesting compared to his teammates as he’s scored more than half of the line’s points. This team likely wouldn’t be where they want to be offensively without Aleksi Koponen because he’s leading the team in scoring by 23 points and the closest player, Phil Hamilton only has 68 points. He’s carrying this line and he’s definitely helping Josh Merica and Marquis Hyvarinen have respectable season, but their numbers are a little low. Hyvarinen has only scored 22 goals this season, but has registered 45 points with 23 games to go. Merica finds himself with 25 goals and 45 points, which has been a little of a drop for the forward. Merica can now be considered a disappointment as there were some high hopes that he’d become a good player in the VHL as his agent’s well known in the SHL. 

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  • 1 month later...

Season 45 VHLM Dispersal Draft Recap: First Round


Most of you should know by now that the draft has concluded. I expect you to know this if you're in the minor league at least and if you haven't then go check it out here: http://www.vhlforum.com/index.php?/topic/23372-s45-vhlm-dispersal-draft/. If you were drafted then congratulations and if you weren't then contact a general manager to get on a team unless you've recently joined then you'll be placed in the minor league's waiver system. Either way, good luck to all.

1. :ber: BERN ROYALS: Zach Parechkin

This is an easy selection. Parechkin's by far the best forward in this draft class and it's no surprise that he was taken this early with the reputation he has as well. His agent, Zach Boychuk was an excellent forward most known for his time with the Quebec City Meute. Parechkin should be in the VHL by season 46 to the team that drafts him first overall.


2.  :ber: BERN ROYALS (FROM OTTAWA): Ryan Miller

With their second pick in the draft and their second straight pick, Bern selects a goaltender. It's a good pick because Miller will be the only active goaltender in the VHLM, which then makes him the best goaltender because mos to of the other teams will have to keep their 50 TPE computer goaltenders. It's a good pick, but right now it's not really a game changer. It'll be a game changer about 20 games in through the post-season.


3. :mos: MOSCOW RED WOLVES: Shawn Muller

Moscow's general manager secures his own player here. It's most likely that he'll stay active, so it's a guaranteed sure player. He now has full control over his player and he gets to see his own player succeed on his own team. It’s a good move and Muller should excel with Moscow, so he wins this one.


4. :ber: BERN ROYALS (FROM BRAMPTON): Jordan Maverick

Maverick’s been an active member recently and his work ethic’s great. He’s coming from a talented agency that’s known to have clients that are always working hard and trying to perfect everything they do. Maverick’s a good pick here and he gets to come home to the team that he was on last season.



Mengsk’s the best player in this draft class. He’s coming from an agency that’s well know, so that’s a great confidence booster for Moscow’s general manager. Mengsk can come in and fill the role of the number one defender for the Moscow Red Wolves. Mengsk has been a hard worker throughout the season and currently sits 31 practice hours away from the VHLM cut-off limit that’s enough to show how hard he’s been working.


6. :ott:OTTAWA LYNX (FROM YUKON): Lucas Zhukenov

Zhukenov’s one of the top defenseman from this draft class. However, here he’s going to the Ottawa Lynx -- a team that won’t be that competitive this season. It’ll be interesting to see what their general manager does with Zhukenov, but it’s better that he doesn’t waste his talents. Zhukenov’s returned from a hiatus from the gym and he seems to be returning to the same pace he was at previously earning a lot of practice hours.


7. :mos:MOSCOW RED WOLVES (FROM OSLO): World B. Free

World B. Free’s coming from the stevo agency. You cannot go wrong with this pick as stevo’s a class act and he’s been a great agent. He’s known to have clients that turn out to be the top of their classes in their respective leagues. World B. Free shouldn’t be an exception, so it’ll be quite interesting to see how he fares beside Arcturus Mengsk on the backend this season.



The third straight defensemen taken here. It’s not surprising that defensemen were taken so early. Hackett’s easily one of the better prospects for the upcoming season 46 draft. He’s shown a lot of potential and seems to be promising. He’s been hard at work in the gym and he’s gained a lot of practice hours, it’s true that hard work pays off. Hackett should be a great number one defenseman for the Brampton Blades as he returns to the team after being on there for the previous season as a waiver claim.

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