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Why Can't I Hold All These Draft Picks?


Renomitsu
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Secret VHL Scouting Base, VHL - I don't know if you've taken a look at the pick tracker recently, but there's a huge pick imbalance between teams right now. From Seattle with 8 1st+2nd round picks in the S67 draft alone to Toronto with literally zero for the next three seasons, some teams' front office strategies are clear as day - and really run the gamut from pick-heavy to "literally nobody is coming from the VHLM to us."

 

But there are a few curious teams - Davos, Vancouver, and Riga - who have excellent chances at playoff contention over the next two to five seasons because of excellent young cores of players... but they also have a large number of picks. Davos has 22 selections in the next three drafts (with 7 in the first four rounds of this draft), Riga has 14 (2 in this draft), and Vancouver has 17 (5 in S67's first four rounds). Let's be clear about something, however - Helsinki's run this season with a compact, high-quality roster is what has been shown to work. These three teams need to make serious moves in the next couple of seasons to either (1) offload their picks for win-now (i.e. in S68-S70) players or (2) significantly delay their championship aspirations, because several consecutive large draft classes don't play nicely with contention.

 

By hoarding many of the league's picks onto four teams (we're going to throw the Americans on this list too, but they're in a different spot roster-wise), teams in absolute, must-win-now mode like Toronto essentially have their pick of the litter. Teams fitting the bill right now (Toronto and Helsinki in particular) have significant leverage over other teams because they have excellent players up and down their roster enough to fit the league minimum rather than good ones, with the ability to wait a little while before handing off key pieces and starting a rebuild. And with no likely roster minima in sight, stretching the role of your stars far and wide while minimizing rookie/sophomore ice time is going to be the key to playoff wins. Unlike in real life, it's not likely that a rookie will be better than most veteran players or even have a place at all in a championship squad: there's a tidy little number that gauges roughly how 'good' a player is, after all.

Edited by Renomitsu
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