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VHL Top 25 Players, Part I: Honourable Mentions


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VHL Top 25 Players

Part I: Honourable Mentions


Hello everyone and welcome to this first edition of Victory Sports News’ ranking of the Top 25 Players currently playing in the VHL. This series is pretty straightforward: VSN experts @Esso2264, @FrostBeard, @Matt_O, @McWolf and @VanCanWin each made their own list of the league's 25 best players at the moment, and we ranked them by their average position throughout the five lists. Let's kick it off with a shortlist of players that some of our experts felt could have made the list but missed by a vote or two.


Dan Baillie


Dan Baillie had a once in a lifetime opportunity when the Moscow Menace selected him in the expansion draft and it's safe to say he seized it. Even if he's one of the players on this list with the least TPA-heavy build, the Canadian left winger averaged 28 goals and 66 assists per 72 games, over the first 4 seasons of his career, eclipsing the 30-goal and 70-point marks in each of the last 2 seasons. He's been a strong physical presence as well throughout his time in Russia, collecting just short of 600 hits. The only thing going against Baillie this season is the fact that he is entering the wrong half of his career, as he was hit pretty hard by depreciation this past week. That being said, he is still one of Moscow's prime forwards and should still be given enough ice-time to enable him to once again score north of 30 goals and 70 points and amass around 150 hits, which grants him a place as an honourable mention on this list.



John Frostbeard


When Seattle traded for second-year player John Frostbeard they figured to get a core piece they can build their team around. Fortunately for them, they didn’t have to wait for him to develop as he shot out of the gate scoring 37 goals en route to helping Seattle to a championship. Surrounded by more young, elite talent, Frostbeard is at the top of the crop in Seattle.  What he lacks in total TPA compared to other top players on this list, Frostbeard makes up with his build. He’s a scoring winger who’s got the defensive acumen to win him awards on that side of the puck. With passing and puck handling skills much above league average and skating that continues to improve, expect another big year from him. 40 goals would be the bar for him this season with 45 being a very achievable number. Expect him to jump up these rankings by the end of the year but for now, we have him on our honourable mentions list.



Jerry Garcia


Jerry Garcia is coming off a career year in almost every single statistic and a Jake Wylde nomination for a top defensive defenseman but faces some challenges this upcoming season. For starters, Malmö's offence has added the likes of Jake Davis and Aleksander Rodriguez, which will lower Garcia's shot block total. On the contrary, both of those totals showed very little movement last season when they added Matt Thompson, so those concerns may be overstated. Malmo also traded for Joseph McWolf, who will take over the #1 Defenseman role. With that being said, Jerry Garcia is a very viable fantasy defenseman, as either a low tier first defenseman or high tier the second defenseman for your fantasy lineups. Pairing with Joseph McWolf will also help Garcia add more to his points total, which could possibly reach as high as 70 this upcoming season. It is a safe expectation for another 60 point season, with 10-15 goals and 45-50 assists, which sets him up for another good season, both on the ice and fantasy-wise.



Apollo Hackett


Apollo Hackett, an S66 prospect that has been showing great prowess as a two-way defenseman for one of the most consistent teams in VHL, Riga Reign. A turnaround from S67 has been a key reason why Apollo was selected as an honourable mention on this list. While playing in Latvia, Hackett has been able to have amazing defensive numbers. 337 blocked shots and 599 hits put him on the elite level when compared to other members of S66 draft class. We are still not sure if Hackett will be able to increase or at least sustain those point totals considering that we saw a considerable production loss in S67 compared to S66. That is the biggest fear about this young defenceman, was his second season an unlucky coincidence or was it something that we can expect from him going further? 



Come back (hopefully) tomorrow for Part II of the list, where we'll dive straight into the Top 25 Players, covering positions 25 to 21. Feel free to share with us what you think about the placement of these first four players and to share your own lists with us.


Players mentioned: @wcats@FrostBeard@GustavMattias, @Josh@Jtv123@Beketov, @McWolf, @Renomitsu


VSN Writer McWolf

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