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Offseason kicks off with big trades


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With the finals coming to a close just yesterday, the VHL offseason has already started with a bang as we’ve seen 14 trades within less than 24 hours.  It began with the DC Dragons, fresh off a finals loss, being the most active - acquiring DeFenz Mann and Cinnamon Block to round out their defensive core, trading down from 6 to 7 in the draft with Toronto, and fulfilling a prior trade condition with Davos.  Also active in the market was Calgary, who made the aforementioned DeFenz Mann trade with DC, moved up in the draft from 4th to 3rd, acquired Riley Couture and Sheldon Juniper from Vancouver, and dealt away young goaltenders Michael Olson and Jacob Carson in separate trades. 

Additionally, there have been two more teams making big moves thus far, and likely for different reasons: Moscow and Seattle.  Moscow has been possibly the most aggressive in the market going into Season 76.  While some might think the retirement of goaltender Raymond Bernard might spark some kind of rebuild or retool, the Menace still have star players Mikko Lahtinen, Alex Letang, and Roque Davis and have looked to upgrade the rest of their roster around these players.  Along with dealing away Lucas Brandt and Oskar Lagesson, they acquired all-star forward Kris Rice from Seattle in exchange for Vin Calia and a second round pick, then traded a first, second and third in exchange for Ryan Schwarz, Jay Jones, and a second from London United.  Seattle, meanwhile, seems to have an eye more on the future.  Along with the Rice/Calia trade, the Bears also sent forward Kyl Oferson to Chicago in exchange for a first-round pick.  What was likely the surprise of the offseason so far, however, was the second trade between Seattle and Moscow.  In a like-for-like swap, Seattle sent starting goaltender Jacob Tonn to the Menace in exchange for Rara Rasputin, who had been the heir apparent to Bernard.  Rasputin is entering his second year in the VHL after playing backup in his rookie season, and looks to be one of the top goaltending prospects in the league.  Tonn, meanwhile, is entering his prime and seems set to take over as one of the league’s best in the future.  With news coming out that Tonn is likely to retire from the VHL earlier than expected, this hammers home not just Moscow’s short-term plans, but also the unexpected nature of the offseason so far.  With the draft and free agency still yet to come, we’ll see if the league has more twists (and not the Lucas Brandt type) in store for us.

I tried to write a really short article for VHL.com just because I wanted the TPE and it ended up being over 400 words.  Help me

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