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Autograph: New Faces, New Places [1/2]


BluObieZ
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The stars of a league will always grab the headlines, that’s just how sports work, but at the same time there’s an undercurrent pinning society at the moment where people like to find out about things “before they were cool” so to speak. That’s where New Faces, New Places comes in. We tell you who the stars are going to be, the next level guys, and even the busts, before they have a chance to become household names. That way, you can impress your friends when in five seasons, you’re talking about Colton Rayne’s rookie season or Keaton Louth’s time before his agent took the GM role, when they only know them from their primes.

 

Speaking of Rayne and Louth, those two are where we’ll start. Louth is the perfect example of a guy we’d typically revisit in the Where Are They Now segment at the end, just to kind of lay out what the format will be (rookies, then revisiting the rookies in their second season). He did well, led Quebec in points with 57, and looks set to make a career of it. Rayne (an actual rookie) actually split the vote with his teammate Aksel McKnight for rookie of the year, where he put up 41 points, 178 hits, and 129 shot blocks as a defenseman. Obviously his game will have more defensive stats than teammate McKnight, who outscored Rayne with 50 points (14 of which were on the power play, where he made a solid contribution) but lacked the all around game of Rayne. Both these guys are set for success. A teammate of theirs, however, Kriztof Mueller, was also a rookie and made a much smaller impact. 22 points was the smallest total on the team outside of the journeyman VHLM-level player, Vaclav Hrdina - and Hrdina’s P/20 was higher, so he did more with the ice time he had (which was still not much because Hrdina was a junk player). Mueller has plenty of time to turn it around and likely will do so in the upcoming seasons - he’s still probably going to be good in the long run, but S58 was one to forget.

 

Speaking of VHLM-level players like Hrdina, someone who should probably not have made a debut, especially several seasons after he was drafted, was Augustus Gloop. I mean 36 points, that’s not the worst total in the world, but on Riga? Everyone on Riga scores points, that’s just how that team works. They had the only two guys in the league with 120+ points when the next closest was 113, and they had a third guy over 100. Comparatively, 36 might as well be 6. Gloop has some work to do to even get to a mid tier guy. He can get to a mid tier guy, not that it should really be the goal to be “not the worst” but I don’t see stardom in this guy’s future. Every team needs role players, especially on defense, so Gloop can find his niche. It’s just that his niche won’t be the guy whose name is on the back of all the fans’ jerseys. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have a 35 point performance from Launchpad McQuack, another guy who was filling a role. He was a forward so 35 wasn’t great, but it was also on a comparatively point-sparse New York team. Note the key word twice in that sentence though: was. McQuack suffered a few concussions and was forced to retire, derailing what was maybe another not the worst career.

 

Next week we’ll look at the other rookie of the year nominee Jasper Canmore and a few other guys, none of which are Canmore. If you were just a rookie and you think you’re set for success, say so and we’ll tell you if you’re right.

Edited by BluObieZ
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  • DollarAndADream changed the title to Autograph: New Faces, New Places [1/2]

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