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Malmo Nighthawks: Offseason "To Do' List


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The Nighthawks started the season off hot, but failed to keep up it, finishing in ninth place. What can this expansion team do to position themselves into contenders?

 

 

Malmo had a tremendous start to their season, with a combination of young talent (Materazo, Glover, Lynch, Garcia, Moose) alongside some veteran players  (Carison,Odinsson, Pajari). Their strong start was short lived, they began to slip down the standings, and eventually found themselves sitting in ninth place, only ahead of Seattle. What can they do this offseason to improve their current roster? Lets take a look at some of their prospects they have coming up to the VHL next season.

 

New Prospects

Malmo will likely be running three forward lines next year, with many new players coming up from the VHLM. They have center Lucas Nygren coming to Malmo, alongside a flurry of wingers coming up from the minors, such as Blake Gaudette, Brian Strong, and Blake Laughton. On defense, MORPHEUS, the crusher of skulls and destroyer of souls, will make his long awaited VHL debut next season, alongside fellow bone crusher Rusty Shackleford.They will also get goaltender Juan Juandice, who put up solid numbers in the minors. We will see what his role in Malmo will be, depending on if they select Rayz Funk or not. 

 

That is a ton of new talent that is being brought up, without much talent leaving the team. Sadly, Vaydar Odinsson will not be returning to Malmo next season, and I anticipate guys such as David Harrison, Sergei Kovalev and Bolt Vanderhuge will be on the way out, since they have not updated in over a month and a half. That leaves Malmo with some key decisions in the upcoming draft, despite only having a few picks heading into it.

 

Draft

The Nighthawks will have the 3rd and 6th overall picks, as well as two third rounders. I can see a few things happening:

 

With their first round pick, they need anything they can get. With the early retirement of Johnny Havenk Carison, taking Rayz Funk to replace Carison is a path that the Nighthawks may consider. They also can try to add a scoring winger, such as Bjorn Scoringsson. They have good center depth, with Nacho, Nygren, and Glover down the middle, alongside an aging Pajari. I would suggest picking Rayz FunkFunk will replace Carison in net, and would be the future of Malmo.

 

With the seventh pick, they should go for a forward, specifically a center. Nygren has made the decision to move from center to defense, so picking up a defenseman holds little use. I think Malmo should reach a little and select Michael Scott with the seventh overall pick. Many teams are high on Scott, so picking him seventh would be an excellent pickup for the Nighthawks. He would complete a center core that features Mikka Pajari and Teagan Glover.

 

With the two third rounders, they could go for another center. Pajari is aging, and having a center that can replace him is important. They should select Zeno Miniti and Danny DeYeeto with their two picks. DeYeeto provides Malmo with another defenseman that can step in if anyone falls to inactivity, and Miniti could be a potential replacement for Pajari when he retires.

 

Stay Patient

Malmo is still in a position where they are a year or two away from being a serious contender. There is no need to go out and make a big free agency splash by signing Veran Dragomir. As long as Malmo doesn't try to become immediate contenders, they will be incredible for multiple seasons in the near future. We saw the tragedy of the New York Americans attempting to accelerate their rebuild and paying for it dearly the last two seasons before falling back into the bottom of the league. As long as Malmo can avoid doing something like that, they could be a top notch team alongside Moscow and Seattle in the years to come.

 

Here is what Malmo could look like next season:

 

Lynch-Pajari-Materazo

Gaudette-Glover-Scott

Strong-Nygren-Laughton

 

Garcia-Shackleford

MORPHEUS-Moose

 

Funk

Jaundice

 

That is a scary lineup. They aren't super skilled, but their physical presence will be well known throughout the league. Pajari finished second in the league in hits, and the additions of MORPHEUS and Shackleford will surely make offenses think twice, and throw them off their game. Malmo probably won't be great next year, but they will be incredible in a few years

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