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S35 Draft Talent Dwindling


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When the general managers of the Victory Hockey League sat down to talk with their scouts about the S35 Entry Draft, it was clear around the league that it wasn't very deep with prospects. The top end talent was great but it didn't even seem that there was enough quality to fill out the first round alone. So far the pre-draft analysis has been spot on.

Out of the top five picks alone, three are already on the path of failing to reach their potential. RW - Tony Stark was selected 4th overall by HC Davos Dynamo and looked to be a stud to lead the team out of their rebuild. Not long after, however; he stopped showing up to practice and his development stinted. At 5th overall, D - Edwin Encarnacion was selected to yet another rebuilding team the Riga Reign. He looked like a future number one defenseman but was traded mid-season to the Seattle Bears and is just going through the motions out there, no effort to be seen at all. Most recently the Vasteras Iron Eagles' 3rd overall pick LW - Leon Leitner has all but quit. He's a serviceable player but the Iron Eagles needed the superstar that Leon was set to be and it doesn't look like they'll get that.

It was a tough choice between the top two picks of G - Lennox Moher and C - Naomi Young. When people spoke of Moher, they spoke of the next big thing. He broke draft combine records and was on pace to break records all over the VHL. Ultimately he was the perfect pick for a bare Dynamo team. Young was also a promising forward and the best one in the draft. The Helsinki Titans lucked out with a pick from the Legion and were able to snag her 2nd overall. Although these two are still on the path to stardom, they've even slowed down compared to the pace they were on.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, selected with the 6th and 7th overall picks, D - Conner Low and LW - Brennan McQueen have really pushed their development to the top. Low leads a young American team from the back end while McQueen was traded to the Reign and leads them at the forward position. Both are captains of their respective teams in their first season in the VHL.

Beyond these top 7 picks, no one stands out for becoming a VHL star. However, slowly improving is RW - Queen Latifa of the Toronto legion. She was selected 14th overall and will spend another season in the VHLM but should look to crack the roster come S37.

Looking back it has turned out to be a pretty poor draft but you never know what can happen in a player's mind and maybe some of these ones will turn it around.

Edited by Jamie
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