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Claimed:S46 World Cup Preview Pt.1 - Team Canada [Final 6/6]


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With the World Cup coming at the end of Season 46, it time once again to look ahead at each team’s chances in the tournament. Last tournament, I made several 2000 word articles about the prospects of each team in the tournament, but ultimately ended up horribly wrong as Team Western Europe ended up winning after I had predicted them to not even win a medal. I won’t be going into quite so much depth this year, so at least the positive there is if I do end up wrong again, at least I’ve not wasted as many words in the process. For the first instalment we’ll look at Team Canada, a team that have disappointed in their last two World Cup appearances after winning the tournament in Season 37.

 

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Team Canada looking dejected after being eliminated by Team Mercenaries

 

Last Tournament

Coming into the Season 43 tournament, the one big advantage that Team Canada had was at the goalie position. While three of the six World Cup teams were starting a goalie with a season or less of professional VHL experience, Team Canada were starting Mike Szatkowski Jr, playing the final games of a career that has seen him listed on the Hall of Fame ballot as a potential inductee. Coupling that with a deep crop of forwards (none of their six selected forwards had less than 400 TPE), it looked like Canada were set to put up a good fight for the Gold Medal. However, they found themselves competing in the Quarter Finals after failing to beat both Western Europe and USA to the bye spots, as they posted  a 5-5 record in which they recorded one win and one loss against each team. Finishing in third place in the round robin phase, they were handed the easiest matchup of the playoffs against a Mercenaries team that had never previously made the Semi Finals of the World Cup. In an unexpected twist though, the Mercenaries (helped by a hat-trick from Marcus Hurley, who was rejected by Team Canada) were able to send Team Canada packing in a surprise 4-2 win.

 

Star Player

The player who should be the best performer for the team

Lloyd Light

 

We’re currently in an era in the VHL where there are very few elite defensemen, so Team Canada can count their lucky stars that one of them is on their roster. Light, who is the reigning Sterling Labatte Award winner, has been a phenomenal creative presence from the blue line for the Stockholm Vikings over the last two seasons and Team Canada played noticeably better when Light was on the ice in Season 43. With a few question marks surrounding the other defensemen on the team, it will be up to Light to perform to the level he has done for his VHL team if Team Canada are to achieve success in Season 46.

 

Biggest Loss

The player who played in the Season 43 World Cup but cannot play in this tournament that the team will miss the most

Mike Szatkowski Jr.

 

While Sachimo Zoidberg was the team’s best performer in the previous World Cup, Team Canada have managed to keep a strong core of forwards, so the impact of losing a player of Zoidberg’s quality will not be as big as the impact of losing their starting goalie from the Season 43 World Cup. While Szatkowski’s performances during the last tournament left a lot to be desired, those performances are still likely to be much better than what we will get from Atticus Von Braxton IV in Season 46. Von Braxton will be joining the New York Americans in Season 47, which means that he won’t have played a single minute of professional hockey before the tournament starts. While having the strongest goalie in the last two tournaments hasn’t exactly helped them win anything tangible in either of those, starting Von Braxton in the Season 46 tournament could be enough on its own to take Team Canada out of medal contention.

 

Potential Surprise Exclusion

The player who you would expect to make it onto the roster but may actually end up being left off

Marcus Hurley

 

It’s not usual for an active player to miss out on all three of their opportunities of representing their home nation, but that’s exactly what could happen in the case of Wranglers captain Marcus Hurley. While Hurley has consistently been active on board, his work ethic has not been as strong as other players on the Canada roster and, despite being the second oldest forward on the roster, currently ranks seventh in TPE. While Hurley’s board presence may see him favoured over someone like Brady Stropko (who has more TPE but displays no activity), he still should be concerned about the younger players who are just behind him in TPE taking his place as they have not faced the regression that Hurley has. For example, Marcel Faux is only 90 TPE behind Hurley and hasn’t faced any regression being a Season 44 player, so there’s a good chance that Faux may actually be the better player once the tournament comes around.

 

Best Upcoming Prospect

The best player from the nation to be eligible for World Cup selection for the first time in their career

Tom Lincoln

 

While Zach Parechkin has a better chance of making Team Canada’s roster for this tournament and Jon Sleeman will likely become an elite defenseman for the country, we’re going to say the player that will eventually have the biggest impact is center Tom Lincoln, who will replace Bruno Wolf as the Quebec City Meute’s franchise player in Season 47. Lincoln, who has already picked up over 100 TPE prior to the start of Season 46, looks likely to follow in the footsteps of another former Meute franchise player in Aksel Thomassen as an excellent creative presence on the forward line.

 

Projected Roster

 

Forwards

Tyler Cote

Nicolas Caprivi

Bronson Faux

Shadhu Rathod Jr.

Brady Stropko

Jackson Miller (If Miller doesn’t retire at trade deadline)/Marcus Hurley

 

Defensemen

Lloyd Light

Francis York Morgan

Pablo Escabar

Bubba Nuck

 

Goalie

Atticus Von Braxton IV

Chris Fekete

 

Conclusion

 

When I was writing my Season 43 World Cup articles, I remember saying that Team Canada could have a real chance in Season 46 as a lot of the players that were set to play in that tournament were Season 40 and Season 41 players that should have been at the peak of their ability by the time this tournament came around. However, those players that looked to become the stars for this tournament have simply stopped improving; Tyler Cote has gone missing, Sachimo Zoidberg has retired and both Gifford Shock and Brady Stropko haven’t even updated since the last tournament. Add that lack of improvement to a goalie situation that will see them start a player who won’t have played a single VHL game prior to the tournament and it’s really difficult to see Team Canada bringing anything home.

 

NO MEDAL

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Yeah the goalie issue hurts, but I feel like von Braxton will at least be serviceable after a season of updating, and it's not like the VHL currently features a ton of goalies with like 1,000 TPE. With that offensive firepower, I wouldn't be surprised to see Canada medal at all.

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Content 3/3 You didn't need 2,000 words, this was more than enough to give a great overview of Canada's team for the next WC. I've always been a big fan of the World Cup, so I'll like the rest of these, I'm sure.

Grammar 2/2 The first paragraph had some goofs, but nothing worth taking off over.

...it time once again... - it's time
instalment - installment
...a team that have disappointed... - has disappointed

Appearance 1/1 Two pics is fine, especially with a roster breakdown

Total 6/6

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  • Hybrid1486 changed the title to S46 World Cup Preview Pt.1 - Team Canada [Final 6/6]
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