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Taking a Look at the new Yukon Rush GM

 

     While Austin Gow’s VHL career was relatively average, one thing his coaches appreciated was his knowledge for the game and his leadership abilities. These skills helped Gow earn a job in the VHL after he retired as a player, as the Ottawa Lynx GM heard of Austin’s knowledge and decided to hire him as an assistant GM during Season 33 (It also helped that Ottawa’s GM is Austin’s brother).

As a VHLM assistant GM, Austin was in a unique position as he performed many of the typical GM duties while taking a behind the scenes role. Gow was delegated the task of head scout as he scoured through film to find potential waiver wire or late round steals. The most famous of Gow’s waiver wire steals may be Boone Cassidy, a once promising young prospect who reached 135 practice hours before unfortunately becoming inactive a season later. Waiver wire pickups like Cassidy became instrumental to the team’s success as Ottawa made it to the playoffs every year Austin was an assistant GM even though they had a lack of draft ammunition as they were gearing for a Season 35 cup run.

 

 

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     Gow’s most important late round draft steal during his tenure as assistant GM was his second round pick in Season 34, Brennan McQueen. McQueen showed great potential in Season 34, and became Ottawa’s Season 35 captain for his leadership and possibly being the most skilled player on the team. McQueen became instrumental to Ottawa’s cup run in Season 35, and is currently a star player on the Riga Reign. The Lynx also selected three star players during the Season 35 draft in Mike Szatkowski, Robin Gow, and Robert Gow III. However, Austin can’t take any of the credit for these three amazing picks, as Ottawa’s mean GM didn’t trust him with the team’s top picks. In fact, it is rumored that Austin did not wish for Ottawa to select Mike Szatkowski due to his last name being so hard to remember how to spell.

 

     After the Lynx won the Founder’s Cup in Season 35, many VHLM owners became interested in the team’s success and decided to interview Austin for his own GM position. It is rumored that Bern, Minot, and Yukon were all interested in Gow’s services and offered him a job as GM. However, Gow wound up signing with Yukon because he had some great conversations with Yukon’s owner, Carter Pewterschmidt (Someone had to negotiate the return of Brian Griffin).

 

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     Austin’s first big move as Yukon’s GM was a trade with his mentor and brother, Jim Gow. Yukon traded two second round picks to Ottawa for Frederick Ernst, a defensive minded center who has been moved to defense this season. Soon afterwards, Austin made some aggressive moves in free agency, signing winger Jeevan Samuelson and goalie Zach Fucale to multi-year contracts. Unfortunately for Yukon, Samuelson was signed by a VHL team, resulting in the signing of Chop Cho to replace him.

 

     Heading into the Season 36 VHLM dispersal draft, few experts were expecting Yukon to obtain quality players due to their lack of first round picks. However, Austin’s years of experience in scouting low round draftees paid off as two of Yukon’s second round picks look to be steals. Kyrie Knight was drafted with Yukon’s 13th pick, and is already logging first pairing defenseman minutes along with quarterbacking Yukon’s powerplay. The Rush’s next pick, center Bennett Wahl, also has become a surprising steal as many thought his agent, Munk, had become inactive. Wahl has been a great locker room influence and will become Yukon’s first line center if his development continues. The only other Yukon draft pick of note is goalie Santeri Heikala. Heikala has shown a lot of potential in goal so far, and hopefully his agent doesn’t become inactive so he can continue his development. Lastly, Yukon got a steal off waivers in winger Marcus Bjorkstrand (another name I can never spell right). Bjorkstand is currently playing second line winger, but has shown a lot of promise and should be a first line winger for the Rush by year’s end.

 

 

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     Overall, Austin is very pleased with Yukon’s progress this year as the Rush seems to be developing a very solid core. If this core continues to develop, Yukon should be in playoff contention for the next few years.  

 

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Content: 3/3 - I never knew you did so much as Assistant GM of the Lynx :P. You were helpful though with scouting some of the lower ranking prospects and helping out with free agency when I was down the shore last summer. It looks like you've had a solid draft this past off-season and with your multiple first round picks next season, Yukon should be a force to be reckoned with in the North American Conference.

 

Grammar: 2/2 - You disappoint me.

 

VHLM assistant GM = VHLM Assistant GM

Mike Szatkowski = Mike Szatkowski Jr. (x2)

Season 36 VHLM dispersal draft = Season 36 VHLM Dispersal Draft

 

Appearance: 1/1 - Those drop letters look familiar...

 

Overall: 6/6

 

FINAL: 6/6

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