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Las Vegas Aces x Philadelphia Reapers Dream Team


jacobcarson877
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Dream Team: Las Vegas Aces x Philadelphia Reapers

Having been a part of both wonderful organizations for about a season each now, I figure it is about time that I put out a media spot. So, just in time for Dream Team Week, I am going to try to put together the Dream Team, between these two teams that have been a Dream to play for. I have even gotten the chance to play with some of these World-Class players, and hopefully (with a few more media spots under my belt) I can maybe even become one of the Dream Team.

Goaltender

Obviously, this position is a personal favourite of mine, being a goaltender myself, and there have been some great goaltending performances for these clubs. Obviously, it is so hard to determine who the best goalie is. Do you go by wins, save percentage, goals against average, or just straight up saves? So just to cover all my bases I am going to highlight a few key performances in these stats before naming an overall winner. Obviously, the goalie must have played a significant number of games for the club to qualify for each category.

Isak Sjostrom PHI S68-71(Wins, Saves)

Let us get the big one out of the way first. This guy tore up the league for 3 seasons, getting 47 wins or more each season, while starting at least 71 games. In his rookie season he even went .500 which I know to be quite a feat. He was an absolute workhorse for Philadelphia, and I know we wish him all the best as he continues to work hard in Vancouver.

John Poremba PHI S72-73 (SV%)

This player took over after the wonderful performances of Sjostrom and really continued to show individual dominance. He started in at least 68 games for each of his 3 seasons, including a 72 games season in Houston. He showed up to Philly and crushed out 50 wins, and 7 playoff wins. What is most impressive however, is that during his time with Philadelphia, he pulled out a whopping .914 save percentage, even after 42 losses in S73 (which happened to be his highest save percentage season). Oh, and he also won the Devereux in S72.

Kevin Weekes LVA S63-S64 (GAA)

After showing some promise in Saskatoon, this player arrived in Las Vegas ready to win. And win they did. In his 103 regular season games with the team, he pulled out 66 wins, while only letting in a smidgeon over 2.2 goals in a game. HE also dominated at the World Juniors, winning 9 out of his 11 out of his 12 starts. He is also a S64 Founder’s Cup winner!

Nils Friedriksen LVA S71-73 (Honourable Mention)

This guy was consistently near the top of the important goalie stats, so I had to include him in my list. I got to play with this wonderful guy in S73 with Vegas and he was kind of my idol during that first season, since I got to be his backup for most of the season. He leads the franchise in wins after consistently putting up at least 41 a season. A real force in the locker room, and a proven winner. It is nice to see he is getting starts with London as well, so best of luck to him!

 

Center

Some may argue this is the most important position in the game. Obviously in the NHL we see some of the biggest superstars are centers, and the VHLM is quite the same in that regard. The competition for this position is also quite interesting, so I will shout out some great goal scorer’s, assist getters, and even defensive stat acquirers! There are so many great centers between these two teams, so it was very hard to determine which to highlight.

Mike Szatkowski III LVA S55-58(Goals, Assists)

This guy tore up the league in S57-58. He put up 45 goals (impressive) then followed it up with 68 (insane)! He was not even just a one-trick pony either, he had more assists every season than goals! His team made the playoffs every year he was with hem, and he even won the Founders Cup in S56.

Rask Rowe LVA S54-56(Grinder Points! AKA Hits)

This is the type of player every coach wants. He goes out, plays hard, hits people, gets the puck and gets it to someone to score. He put up at least 77 hits a season with the Aces. He even got to 267 hits in S55 and 261 in S54! He also won the founders cup twice in S54 and 56!

Left Winger

I think LW gets overlooked a lot when looking at the best players. Maybe it is just the fact that I would have been way more likely to have tried RW over LW. Anyways, lets explore some great Left Wingers.

Bob Helminen PHI S71-72 (Goals, Assists)

This player arrived in Philadelphia after dominating in Halifax. Little did we know, he would dominate even more than before. In S71 he put up a nice (42-60-102), following it up with a legendary (60-73-133) S72. He is now putting in the work in Helsinki.

Ben McGirr LVA/PHI S67-69 (Hits)

First player on this list from both teams! In each of his 3 seasons in the VHLM he put up over 100 hits. He was no slouch offensively either, putting up 84 points in S69. The perfect balance of offence with grind, it is hard to pass up a player like this. He has spent 5 seasons with Prague now, and in 325 games he has put up a whopping 696 hits and a nice 186 points.

Right Winger

Do not worry, I will keep this part short. There may be a player who is waiting at 249 TPE, and played 6 seasons with PHI, and has shattered the team point record. Allow me to introduce you to them.

Bud Knight PHI S67-72 (Goals, Assists, Hits)

Bud played for PHI for 6 seasons, for an astounding 430 regular season games. From S69 and on he put up at least 42 goals a season, along with at least 49 assists. His grand total comes to (217-347-546). He also had four 100+ hit seasons. PHI only missed the playoffs once during his time. He has not been active in quite some time, but he still maintains his great records.

Defencemen

Probably the most subjective position, there are so many ways to be a great defenceman. It takes a lot of bravery and talent to become one of the greats. There are also many styles of great defencemen. Some drive offence for their teams, others lock down the ice leaving no room for opposition offence. I hope to highlight a few outstanding defencemen before I finally name my Dream Team.

Mr. Shakedown LVA S55-58 (Assists, Blocks)

From the beginning of his time in Vegas, he was a good defenceman, but once S57 rolled around, he became an assist machine. He put up 189 assists in 288 games with Vegas, and he was no slouch with the goals either, putting up 33 goals in S58. He was also a member of the Founder’s Cup winning S56 Aces. He is now retired after his dominant career.

Mike van Stronk LVA S68-70 (Goals)

This player is a little bit of an anomaly for a defenceman. He put up back to back 38 goal seasons from S69-70. Not many defencemen score at such an elite pace. He has not updated in a while, so we will see how this crazy career could continue.

Richard Fitzwell PHI S68-70 & S74 (Hits)

One of my current teammates in PHI, this guy is a real hit. Not only does he put up points, including a 79-point S70, he slams his opponents night in and night out. Already this season, in 36 games, he has racked up 161 hits! So far in his career he gets about 3 hits a game. It is never easy playing us, knowing that. We hope to do some big winning together.

Alex Letang LVA S71-72 (Plus/Minus)

This player, run by the LVA GM (Hi Spartan), has unsurprisingly created a very efficient player. He put up a dominant 114 points in S72. He has been dominating in Moscow since S73, maintaining his great plus minus. He was also a Boomchenko winner in S72.

The Final Dream Team

I do not blame you for skipping all the way down here to see what I came up with after all of those player profiles. Hopefully, I can do both of these great franchises some justice with this list. Feel free to let me know what your list would be below! With no further delay, here is my Las Vegas Aces x Philadelphia Reapers Dream Team.

Center

Mike Szatkowski III LVA (Franchise Goal Leader, Assist Leader)

Left Wing

Bob Helminen PHI (Goal Leader, Assist Leader)

Right Wing

Bud Knight PHI (Franchise Goal Leader, Franchise Assist Leader)

Defencemen

Mr. Shakedown LVA (Franchise Assist Leader, Franchise Block Leader)

Richard Fitzwell PHI (Franchise Hits Leader, Franchise Shot Block Leader)

Goaltender

Isak Sjostrom PHI (Franchise Win Leader, Franchise GAA Leader*, Franchise Save Leader)

*minimum 72GP

Reasoning

For center, I chose Mike Szatkowski III from Las Vegas, because although some have come close, no one has scored more points at center than this player. When it comes to centers, I generally associate the top players as those who score the most points. Obviously, that is my own opinion on the matter, but there are many great centers from these organizations. For left wingers, Bob Helminen really dominated for his entire career and is continuing to at the VHL level. Although he only played 2 seasons with the Reapers, he blew through the record books. I do not think my decision for Right Winger should cause much discussion, as Bud was the highest point getter of either organization and was also an all-around superstar. He got over a hit per game and over 3 shots a game. Pair these three excellent players together and I think they would tear the league apart. For my defence pairing, I paired Mr. Shakedown with Richard Fitzwell. Both score at an elite rate and would pair well with our superstar offence. I chose Fitzwell because of his additional bone-crushing defence. I would certainly be terrified to play this lineup so far, but any good team must be capped off with a great goaltender. I chose Isak Sjostrom, who narrowly edged out Nils Friedriksen. I am sure that if Friedriksen had not been called up by London he would have been the one I named on this list, but alas here we are. Sjostrom brought the Reapers many wins and was very consistent through his career. He has only gotten better over time and he is still bringing his team wins in Vancouver. In the end either goaltender is arguably the right choice. It was great to be able to study these great goaltenders and I hope to join their ranks someday.

Conclusion

I really appreciate this opportunity to participate in my first Theme Week, and I think it is a wonderful idea. Obviously the TPE bonus certainly encouraged me too, but I have been waiting for a good inspiring topic to write about, so thank you to whoever came up with this great idea. Also thank you to the Las Vegas Aces and Philadelphia Reapers for taking me in and teaching me the ropes on my first player. It has been an honour to play for both teams and it is also an honour to learn more about the history of this league.

It was a great experience to finally dive into the greats of these two organizations that I have been a part of. It was especially great for me to study the great goaltenders. Hopefully, I can find more time in my schedule to research and inevitably write more media spots. Please feel free to provide any criticism and recommendations for future writing. Also feel free to put your Dream Teams below and obviously your reasoning for each player.

2020 words weeks October 12-18, October 19-25, October 26 - November 1, November 2-8

Jacob_Carson VHLM PHI.png

Edited by jacobcarson877
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