McWolf

VHL S70 Top 25 Players, Part 1: 25-21

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VHL Top 25 Players

Part 1: 25-21

 

Here we go again. The reception was great last season for our collective top 25 players for the upcoming season. Our voters this season were VSN Streamer @Esso2264 , Portal News Manager @Maasa and our five writers - @Doomsday, @Erik Summers, @FrostBeard, @Mr_Hatter and myself. Like last season, we'll try to release one part every day, to bring you all some daily joy in this slow time that is the offseason. Without further ado, let's kick things off with our choice for the league's 25th best player.


 

25. Jerry Garcia

 

An honourable mention in last season's Top 25, Jerry Garcia is finally starting to be recognized as one of the league's best blueliners. He took a step back last season when the Malmö Nighthawks brought Joseph McWolf in to compete for the role of top defenseman. McWolf only stayed one season in Sweden due to cap restrictions, meaning that Garcia should once again be the team's go-to option when they need an offensive spark or a clutch defensive break. He possesses the skill-set necessary to push his name on any of the Labatte, Wylde and Valiq trophies ballots, as demonstrated by his career highs of 60 points, 154 hits and 163 shots blocked. It'll be interesting to see if he can claim his first major award this season, now that he's back at the top of the depth chart at even strength, on the power play and on the penalty kill, as he's among the group of leaders of yet another strong Nighthawks roster. Expect him to exceed most, if not all, of his career marks.

McWolf


 

24. Michael Johnson

 

A truly amazing talent and an important piece for Malmo these past seasons. Yes, we are talking about their netminder Michael Johnson. This last season for Michael was interesting as he seems to be slowing down in terms of improving his skillset. That said, he improved on his last season results and will be an important piece this upcoming season. With being ranked in this Top 25, Michael Johnson will have to prove that he can sustain and be the true number one goaltender for Malmo Nighthawks and also that they can trust his ability to be the dominant force in playoffs. Playoff performance will be the biggest concern for everyone on Malmo and in VHL as he S68 production on ice was nowhere seen and Johnson all playoffs this season felt out of place. With career average of 0.913 save percentage in regular season, we can expect Michael to keep his style of play and be worthy of 24th place in our Top 25 list. 

FrostBeard


 

23. Phil Marleau

 

An imposing figure at 6'5 and a whopping 240 lbs, Phil Marleau is the type of power forward that can dominate and wear down opposing players. With a very rare combination of size and skill, Marleau could be compared to a player like Eric Lindros, although he hasn't matched Lindros' statistical output yet. However, that doesn't mean the talent isn't there. Drafted third overall in the Season 67 VHL Entry Draft by the Malmo Nighthawks, Marleau has been a staple for the expansion team ever since. As a rookie, he compiled 52 points, scoring 21 goals, 31 assists and a staggering 343 hits. After a shocking drop-off in production in Season 68, Marleau rebounded last season by returning to the form he displayed as a rookie, with 21 goals, 30 assists and 259 hits. With Malmo gearing up for a run at the Cup this season, Marleau is primed for a breakout season and that grabs him a spot at #23 on our list.

Doomsday


 

22. Boris the Forest

 

The New York American’s S69 captain, Boris the Forest, is entering his place as a star of the league. After having been drafted 10th overall in S67, the American has climbed in the TPE rankings of his draft class, and currently only trails Rayz Funk. Boris’ production has also steadily increased, and he ended the season with a team-high 71 points on 32 goals, good enough for 14th in the league as a whole. His 29.03 MPG was the highest on his team, and that along with his points total sees him as the centrepiece for which this New York franchise will seek to mount a play-off challenge this season. Despite being named to the All-Star game in his rookie year, Boris the Forest has yet to prove himself a dominant force in this league; look to S70 as the Forest’s first point per game season, one of likely many to come.

Mr_Hatter


 

21. Finn Davison

 

In his first season with Moscow, Finn Davison saw a much heavier workload than ever before, facing 2395 shots in S69. With a much weaker defence in front of him, Davison still managed to put up All-Star level numbers. Finn produced a .919% save percentage and 2.73 average goals against. The GAA is his lowest since his early days in Davos and going from 10 shutouts in S68 to 2 shutouts in S69 highlight the difficulties he faced behind the struggling Moscow defence. However, going into S70 he finds himself traded again, this time to Riga, and their high-power defensive talent is going to put him in a position to contend for the Aidan Shaw trophy this season.

Erik Summers


 

And here we are now five players into the list. Five more should add their names tomorrow. Did you expect these particular players to make the list, or are you surprised with their specific position? Let us know in the comments, and tell us where you think your own player ranks among the league.

 

People mentioned: @GustavMattias @McWolf @fonziGG @Phil @chillzone @Rayzor_7 @Poptart

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2 hours ago, McWolf said:

People Mentioned:

2 hours ago, McWolf said:

 

 @Rayzor_7 

 

2 hours ago, McWolf said:

currently only trails Rayz Funk

I'll admit, this ping scared me as I was worried I was so low again.

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