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Mid-Season Awards Predictions


TheFlash
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Officially the half way point of season 73! My how time flies. We’ve seen a really competitive season, with the top spot in the league still up for grabs. The 1st place team and the seventh placed team are separated by just six points! It’s really anyone’s game at this point. So with this thrilling season reaching its mid way, it’s only fitting that I make predictions on the end of season trophies! Let’s get it under way.


 

Scotty Campbell Trophy- League MVP
 

So the player deemed most valuable to a team. One might look at the top scorers and chose from there. Myself, I’m going with a goalie. For me, it’s A Red Guy taking this one home. It’s New York Americans sit a very close 2nd place in the league, and despite a very talented cast of players, Guy has been their best player. He’s got the most wins, best save percentage and the third best goals against average. He’s also tied for first in shutouts with three! This will be the third year in a row that a goalie has been selected, with Raymond Bernard going last year and Brick Wahl the year prior.

 

Brett Slobodzian Trophy- Most Outstanding Player


The most outstanding. An interesting trophy, as one doesn’t need to have team success to win it. This year it’s going to Sigard Gunnar of the LA Stars. Gunnar is a veteran player, and broke out last year in Calgary scoring a career high 80 points. He hasn’t looked back this year, taking the league by force and has been atop the leaderboard for some time now. He’s got 72 points in just 41 games, and is showing no signs of giving up his title. A bright spot for an other wise bleak year in Hollywood.

 

Alexander Valiq Trophy- Top Offensive Defenseman

 

One thing this league has no shortage of is offensive defencemen. It seems every year a new face is showing up on the leaderboards piling up the points from the blue line. This year though, a tried and true vet will win the Valiq Trophy. Lincoln Tate will take these honours home. The S71 Top Defenceman is no stranger to the hardware, and after points 86 points last year, Tate is on pace for another fantastic season. In his second to last year, he shows no signs of stopping. He’s also on pace to set new highs in hits and shots blocked.


Jake Wylde Trophy- Top Defensive Defenceman

 

This is a tough one. Offensive defenceman are easy. Look for the guy scoring the points. Defensive, on the other hand, is something a bit more. It’s a player who does the little things in their own end, while still contributing offensively. In my opinion, that goes to a guy flying waaaay under the radar, Alex Bridges of Warsaw. Warsaw selected Bridges with their third selection in the expansion draft, and he’s had a large role for them. Not only does he have 46 points in 39 games, he’s got 140 hits and 103 shots blocked, putting him fifth in the latter, and just outside of the top ten in hits.

 

Christian Stolzschweiger Trophy- Top Rookie

 

The future is bright in the VHL. Every year it seems rookies play larger and larger roles on their teams. This year is no different, with several players at or near a point per game in their freshman campaigns. This year, the trophy goes to Lucas Brandt of Moscow. Brandt was the ninth overall selection in the S72 draft, and after a few really successful seasons in the minors, hasn’t missed a beat scoring 22 goals and 41 total points. Just two seasons removed from their championship run, Moscow adding a weapon like Brandt is bad news for the other teams. Moscow remains in the hunt for the league title, being one of those teams mentioned earlier in the top seven.


Scott Boulet Trophy- Top Two-Way Forward

 

So a guy who can not only play offence, but throws the body around and does his part to get the other team away from the puck. Look no further than breakout player 

Chad Magnum of Toronto. Magnum not only has 48 points in 41 games, but he has an astounding 222 hits through the first portion of the season. He’s on pace for nearly 400 hits this year! Just a season 70 player, this young man has already amassed over 1000 career hits and is sure to be a candidate for this trophy for years to come!

 

Dustin Funk Trophy- Most Improved Player


This trophy is usually given to a player who had a massive jump in points. Looking back at the last 5-10 season of winners, generally a player will have a season of 35-40 points better than their previous year. It also tends to be a player who hasn’t previously been a high scorer. For me, this one is a no brainer. Jerry Wang of New York has come out of no where to be the leading scoring forward on a championship contender.  Scoring his career high in points last year with 43, Wang was moved to New York and has flipped the script on his career in his fifth pro season. He has 57 points thus far, and is on pace for 102 points! That would more than double his previous high, besting it 59. If Wang can keep this up, he’s got a historic finish ahead of him.


David Knight Trophy- Top General Manager

 

Another tough one to give out. So many good performances from teams this year. In my opinion, we’ve got the first repeat winner in nearly 30 seasons (Mike Molholt won it in 48/49), Esso Drunkmann of New York. He has assembled a terrifically deep team, and has done so without the aid of high picks. He has made trades to acquire some of their top talent (Burn, Freeman, Wang, etc.) and has kept his team together. He won last year after New York won 38 games and made it to the conference finals in a Cinderella like fashion, losing to Calgary in seven games. This year, they could flirt with 50 wins and are a team built for a deep run. 
 

 

1036 words.

 

Edited by TheFlash
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