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Flowers Hot Out of the Gate for NY


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Manhattan, NY -- Nearly a third of the way into the VHL season, we’re beginning to see some clarity into some of the league’s biggest trophy races. Following a stacked draft class, one of the most watched is the Rookie of the Year race. Unfortunately, there’s currently no easy way to see who is a rookie on the league’s statistical leaderboards, particularly for S67 and older players making their VHL debuts. But among S68 draftees in the VHL, New York Americans defenseman Lance Flowers is rising to the top.


So far this season, only three S68 rookies have more than 11 points: Prague teammates Willie Dredge (18) and Wolf Stansson Jr. (16), and Flowers’ 19 in 22 games. Both Dredge (-6) and Stansson (-16) have a negative +/-, while Flowers’ +5 puts him far ahead in that category. Comparing apples to apples, Flowers also tops fellow defenseman Stansson in both hits (77 to 13) and shots blocked (44 to 41).


While it’s not a perfect picture of the Rookie of the Year race, given the prevalence of other, older rookies, Flowers’ early play has him feeling good early in the season. There are surely areas to improve upon—sitting second in overall penalty minutes is not a good look—but he’s happy being part of a New York team that is improbably currently tied for third in North America and 2 points behind second.


“I actually thought this year would be more of a struggle than it has been, so I’ll take it,” Flowers told reporters after the team’s recent win over Moscow. “I know some regression to the mean is likely coming, but still, I’m glad the work I’ve put in is being reflected on the ice. Especially with my linemate [Guy LeGrande] playing out of his mind as well, I think there’s bright times ahead in the New York defensive core.”

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