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Analysing the Expansion teams Part 1/2


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Analysing the Expansion Teams Part 1/2



The Victory Hockey League's 68th Season is almost complete as all of the teams have just a little over a dozen games left to play. Season 68 has introduced us to two new franchises, the D.C. Dragons and the Prague Phantoms and a whole lot of new players as this year we've seen a drastic jump in rookie debuts thanks to the expansion. However, as you'd expect from expansion teams they're both set to finish the season in the bottom two positions in the VHL standings. In this week's media spot i'll be covering both expansion teams and analysing their respective rosters and moves throughout the season. 




Currently sitting in the last position in the VHL Standings with a record of 17 wins and 42 losses, the Dragons have taken the approach to this season by fully embracing the tanking role as it became obvious almost right away that the team was going to tank this season when they left many potential roster players to dominate in the minors while putting up a poor product on the ice in the VHL for their fan's first season. Risky move, but it just might pay off for this team as their future players are developing at a faster rate dominating  in the VHLM than being part of the pile of shit that is this year's D.C. Dragons not to mention they got 2 extra first rounders in next year's draft and one more extra first in the next one after that. 


Anyways lets take a peek at  this season's D.C. Dragon's Roster


1st Offensive Line   ----- LW Dan Gles --------------- C Kaspars Claude ----- RW Mikko Aaltonen

2nd Offensive Line ----- LW Kaspars Claude ----- C Dan Gles ---------------- RW Mikko Aaltonen

3rd Offensive Line ------ LW Devin Gabella -------- C Kaspars Claude ----- RW Mikko Aaltonen

4th Offensive Line ------ LW Dan Gles ---------------- C Mikko Aaltonen ----- RW Devin Gabella


1st Defense Pairing 

Luciano Valentino ----- Charles Drumm


2nd Defensive Pairing

Sven Hitz ----- Charles Drumm


3rd Defensive Pairing

Luciano Valentino ----- Robert Malenko


4th Defensive Pairing

Sven Hitz ----- Charles Drumm



Pekka Pouta



As you can see on paper, the forward group is so thin for the dragons that it mainly features the same three players (Claude, Gles and Aaltonen) on all the lines but simply in mixed positions with Devin Gabella mixed into the bottom two lines, so in total they're only icing 4 forwards. In this season among those 4 forwards you've only got a total of 68 goals produced and 159 points while posting a combined -142 in plus/minus. If it wouldn't be for Mikko Aaltonen's 33 goals that goal total would seem very sad now wouldn't it. Aaltonen seems to be the only shining star there as he's still managing to put up a point per game season while playing for this shit team.  Aaltonen is currently the top point scorer among both expansion teams and is currently sitting with 63 points in 59 games, not too shabby.


On the back end the Dragon's are dressing as many defensemen as they are forwards with 4 guys being rotated through the pairings. The majority of the ice time gets eaten up by Luciano Valentiono and Charles Drumm. Valentino was highly touted after the Dragon's had trading up for him in the S68 Draft, trading away their first and 2nd rounders to be able to nab Valentino with the 5th overall selection to complete that draft's top 5 picks. The offensive side of his game seems to be chugging along nicely as he's set to break to 40 point mark this season, but it's his defensive game that has a lot to be desired as he's a league worst -52 so far this season, ouch. There's a lot of time for Valentino to improve however so I wouldn't be too worried yet. The other minute cruncher, Charles Drum has actually rather calmed things down in his own zone, he's a team best -23 and he's probably been the most consistent player in the defensive zone. Drumm seemed to be the most calm player out there and he's also on pace to break the 30 point mark which is still pretty decent for a rookie defenseman. Overall this defense corps future really is depends on if Valentino turns into the star he's supposed to be or not as the Dragons have been building their back end around him as  the foundation.. 


Goaltending wise, the Dragons have relied mostly on Pekka Pouta who had only played 9 games since his S65 draft year before coming over to the Dragons. He was acquired along with Charles Drumm close to the beginning of the season from the Vancouver Wolves for a 3rd and a 4th round pick.  In the 9 games he played for his former team, HC Davos he never broke a save percentage over .900. Surprisingly enough Pouta has put up his best numbers playing behind this piss poor D.C squad and he's now played a total of 46 games this season, posting a save percentage of .909. Doesn't that trade look good now, huh?  Honestly i'd put him and Aaltonen up there for team MVP as if it weren't for those two the team maybe wouldn't have any wins at all.


There's quite a few holes in this team's roster especially up front that team GM, Enorama has to address during the next offseason. But, the Dragons are almost guaranteed to have an improvement next season with their 3 first rounders in the next draft so it'll be exciting to see this team grow and hopefully compete in the near future. This now concludes Part 1/2 for this segment.


WORD COUNT: 860 words (not counting rosters)


Edited by Sebster03
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