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VHL S71 Top 25 Players, Part 5: 5-1

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VHL Top 25 Players


Part 5: 5-1


Well folks, this is it! As the puck has dropped on the brand new season, the clock is running out on the VHL Top 25 Players. Five more rankings to go, and with it, we find out who the top-ranked player in the VHL is this season! It was a tight race for the top, but there can only be one at the top. Join @FrostBeard, @Doomsday, @Erik Summers, @McWolf and @Mr_Hatter one last time as we break down the cream of the VHL's elite!


5. Tyler Barabash Jr., C


Entering his sixth season in the VHL, Tyler Barabash Jr. is at the top of my list of players I expect to have a breakout year. After playing his minor league hockey with the Las Vegas Aces, Barabash progressed in the league in a fairly typical fashion. It took two seasons to really get adjusted to the level of play in the VHL, but in his third season, he took the league by storm and more than doubled his previous best single-season points total with 77. After a slight regression in S69, which likely had more to do with Calgary being in a tailspin at the time, he was back on track in S70 with an exact point-per-game average. The Wranglers seem to be angling to make another run at the cup after falling just short last season, and with the amount of young talent on their roster, they just might do it. Whether or not they hoist the cup this season, I expect that we will be seeing Barabash Jr. sporting some hardware of his own as he looks to have his best season yet. 

- Erik Summers


4. Hunter Hearst Helmsley, C


The biggest bust in the league, HHH is -- nah, I’m just messing with you. With some big names of the S63 draft class retiring this offseason, the S66 number one pick has catapulted to the top of the TPE and TPE Leaderboards, and as such expectations are high for the Vancouver Wolves' star forward. HHH is a purely destructive force, having reached over 250 hits in each of the last two seasons, and reaching at least 80 points in each as well, truly finding his stride with the Wolves after his S68 trade from the Riga Reign. He experienced a slight downturn in S70 in his goal-scoring, dropping from 42 to 30 while retaining his 50 assists; still, an impressive haul that earned him 6th place in the regular season for points, tied with teammate Shawnomir Jagr. What separates HHH from his peers and places him in the top five players for the upcoming season is his potential. That might sound crazy given his age and already high levels of play, but Helmsley has the staying power to remain a force in the league for the rest of his career, and even improve upon his prior performances. If any player will break the 100 point barrier for the first time since S68, you can trust that HHH will be first in line to do so. With such a star-studded forward line to work with and the blue line to feed him all day, we expect big things from Hunter Hearst Helmsley as we place him #4 on our list. 

- Mr_Hatter


3. Julius Freeman, LW


As one of the premier forwards in the VHL, it's no surprise to find Julius Freeman here in the Top Three. What is surprising, however, is that despite scoring ten less points than he did in Season 69 (nice), Freeman jumps into the top three. The retirements of players such as Julian Borwinn surely helped, but it doesn't change how deadly Freeman is. Even with high-scoring players like Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Shawnomir Jagr in Vancouver, Freeman's production is always there. Drafted second overall by the Vancouver Wolves in Season 66, his rookie season was the only year in which Freeman did not top 30 goals. After breaking out in Season 67 with 37 goals and 36 assists, he contributed another 9 goals and 8 assists in the playoffs to help the Wolves win the Continental Cup. Freeman's best season came in Season 69 (nice), in which he won the Kevin Brooks Trophy with a league-leading 44 goals, along with 45 assists for a career-high 89 points. As mentioned, Freeman's production dipped in Season 70, scoring 36 goals and 43 assists for 79 points. It was still, however, the second highest point total of his career, and with 122 hits, a new element to his game developed. Going into Season 71, Julius Freeman remains as one of the league's elite forwards and scoring threats, putting him at #3 and a well-deserved recognition as one of the VHL's truly elite players. 

- Doomsday


2. D Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen


A Hall of Fame player, one of the best players in recent memory to play in VHL. A truly dominant Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen has been a treat to watch for many seasons. For the last 3 seasons with 80 point in each of them, Smitty has been the best defenceman in the league. His greatest ability in no doubt is his wonderful offensive mindset each time he comes on to the ice. Even though, while playing for Davos, he was not really able to shine, after his switch to Moscow, he has been completely destroying his opposition and has been proving that he deserves all the accolades he has got. With added S70 Continental cup to his name, he will have a lot to prove in last 2 seasons of his career. In my eyes, he is going to be the best defencemen and won’t be losing his title until his retirement. Who knows, maybe he will be able to get that Sterling Labatte Trophy under his belt again?


1. Jet Jaguar, C


JetJaguar… Doesn’t the name itself sound wonderful? One of the biggest surprises of the S66 draft is none other than Jet Jaguar. Selected 10th Overall in S66 draft, Jet has been a true wonder for his Moscow team. In his first season, he was able to show to everyone his amazing talent and ability to score goals. You might think that Jet would have been a Christian Stolzschweiger Trophy top candidate but no, he was overshadowed by Shane Mars, a 3rd Overall pick of the same draft who was able to be a bit better at everything that season. But let’s face it - who actually remembers Shane Mars? Jet Jaguar has been wonderful all throughout his career with only once in S68 slipping under a point per game. Last season he led the league in points and was truly amazing in everything he did. With a brilliant playoff run and a Continental Cup win, there might not be much more accolades to get but he clearly will strive for them and there won’t be anything stopping him. With Moscow still as one of the favourites for the Cup, you might see Jaguar taking up a bigger role with his team with each game played. In my eyes, there is no doubt that Jaguar is the best player in VHL right now. 

- FrostBeard


And with that, the Season 71 VHL Top 25 Players has officially come to an end. From all of us here at VSN, thanks for tuning in every day as we counted down the league's very best players. The puck has officially dropped for the next season, so our work for the next ranking has officially begun! Be sure to check out new content from VSN that will be on the way soon! Stay safe, and may STHS be ever in your favor. 



VSN Staff


Players Mentioned: @Bushito, @Beaviss, @TheLastOlympian07, @rjfryman, @Jubo07, @flyersfan1453, @gorlab, @Spade18

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12 hours ago, flyersfan1453 said:

Also, I feel that Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen's ability to captain his all-star team over Jet Jaguar's with multiple multi goal comebacks should catapult him to the number 1 ranking.


It was incredibly close. Jaguar's average rank was 1.67, and Werbenjagermanjensen's was 1.87. 

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