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VSN Presents: Under 250 - Need for Teams!

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We are back with another installment of Under 250 where we dive into the VHLM and bring you stories and breakdowns of everything happening in our minor leagues. Before jumping into it, I recommend you check out some of the other VSN pieces that have been put out recently, there's something for everyone!

75: What Got Us Here  |  S76 VHLM Power Rankings #1  |  S75 Word Juniors Review

The Top 75 Players: 50-26


Past the halfway mark of the season, the 12 VHLM teams have given us quite the show thus far. Teams like the Houston Bulls and Minnesota Storm have been battling it out at the top of the league standings. Meanwhile, the playoff race for the final seeds is heating up with a white-hot fire. Today, Under250 will be talking about what we feel each team needs for their future, whether it be for the playoffs or for S77. So sit back and relax as we take a look around the VHLM! Let's do it!


:hfx: HALIFAX 21ST :hfx:
Starting off in Nova Scotia, the Halifax 21st have been in a rebuild mode all season under new GM @rory. At the time of writing this the 21st are 9th in the VHLM standings, in a close race for the bottom two slots in the playoffs. Goaltending and their top forward line have kept them in games this season and are the biggest reasons why Halifax may make the playoffs in S76. However, each member of their forward core is either going up to the VHL next season, or is gonna be sent to the dispersal draft come the offseason. In fact, only one skater at the moment is not capped nor is available in the dispersal draft on the Halifax roster. With this, I believe the most important thing for Halifax to focus on is acquiring more S77 draft picks. The 21st are looking to be a rebuilding team next season as well, but having more draft picks should expedite the process.

Taking a long trip down the east coast we make our way to Miami and see how the Marauders have been shaping up this season. Despite being second in the Eastern Conference, the Marauders are currently 5th overall. Forward wise they are doing very well, with a few players at the cap with others looking to reach the cap by the end of S77. On defense is where things are a bit worrisome, they have some solid players, but all of them are S77. This means that they could all be on different teams come next season. So for Miami their biggest thing is going to be trying to preserve and recover on defense as much as possible.

The cream of the crop this season in the Eastern Conference, the Minnesota Storm are enjoying a massive amount of success and look to be on the charge towards the Founders Cup Final berth. What more can be said about this team
? On every front they have solid players and depth that could even go into S77 with a few adjustments. I'm struggling to even call this a boom or bust season as they could compete next season as well. I guess the biggest thing for the Storm would be to not waste this double opportunity. They honestly have a chance to win the Cup this season and have a fighting shot for it next season as well. Should be very interesting to see how far they go this season and the next.

The dogs of the north are next, and thus far have been trying to make the best out of a rebuilding year. Currently in the four team race for the final two spots in the playoffs, the Hounds are essentially biding their time until the draft. Mississauga has 3 first round pucks in the upcoming draft and with only a handful of projected players on their roster expected to be in the VHLM in S77, they'll need some solid picks to help fortify any chance of the playoffs next season. So for the Hounds my advice is simple, just be patient and your time should come soon. GM @Zetterberg is definitely going to do his best to get his team on the right path.

:ott: OTTAWA LYNX :ott:
I am going to be real honest here, the Ottawa Lynx have done quite a bit better than I thought they would this season. After an insanely rough S75, the Lynx are back in the playoff race this season despite not having a first round pick in the last draft. What's even more impressive is that they have done it while only having one defenseman that is at 67 TPA. The Lynx also have no first round picks in the upcoming S77 Draft, which only makes this rebuild a lot harder to pull off. Ottawa will need to make some serious trades between now and the draft to have any chance of competing in S77.

Finally out of the Eastern Conference is the S75 Founders Cup Champions, although unlike Ottawa this teams position is definitely expected. With most of their top players gone to the VHL after last season, the Reapers have been left with only a handful of players and with some of them expecting to go up after this season. Philadelphia is in the hunt with Mississauga, Halifax, and Las Vegas for the final playoff spots. At the moment the Reapers have no picks in the first couple rounds in the next draft thanks to the Cup run. So for Philadelphia their time seems to have passed and now they will need to work through the trenches of rebuilding for a couple seasons.


:hou: HOUSTON BULLS :hou:
Now to head west to Texas where we find the top team in the VHLM to date, the Houston Bulls. Their absolute fleecing of the S76 Draft has been much talked about and so has their ability to be an insanely good team this season. Although many of their players are gonna be leaving after this season, so it's make or break time for the Bulls. They have talked a lot and have shown great ability, many have them pegged for the Finals and even the Cup. If they do not win the Cup with this team it would be a massive disappointment, one that hasn't been seen since the Baby Eagles of long ago. 

:veg: LAS VEGAS ACES :veg:
Going to Sin City and we find the Las Vegas Aces in the middle of an odd season to say the least. Almost everyone agrees that they are far better than what their record says. Currently, the Aces are outside of a playoff spot despite having some top end players on each part of the roster. They can take a team like the previously mentioned Bulls and give them a hard time. To put it bluntly this team is a question mark and it's hard to pin down a single need. I guess I would say try to acquire a few more draft picks to try to bolster the roster for S77.

Another team with some surprising levels of success, the Mexico City Kings have been able to use holdovers of seasons past and keep them for another season near the top of the standings. Although after this season is going to be a bit tricky for the Kings, as they are in a true boom or bust scenario. Their top 6 forwards are all at or near the cap and many of their over forwards haven't been earning a whole lot. The Kings don't exactly have the draft capital currently to do much their either. For Mexico City to keep the success going of the previous seasons, they will need to get those newer forwards earning and to try very hard at Free Agency over the coming weeks.

Unfortunately for new GM @thadthrasher, he has been given quite a mess when he got the Marlins job in the offseason, and it shows on the standings. Only three players on the roster currently that are above 100 TPA, with their highest being 128, making them by far the weakest roster. Thing is though, only two players on the entire roster are S76 or older, making them an insanely new team from top to bottom. San Diego was honestly gutted, but luckily they have plenty of draft picks over the next couple seasons to try to gain some stronger players. For now, the best advice I can give is to just stay the course and weather the tides.

:ssk: SASKATOON WILD :ssk:
Going back up to Canada, the Saskatoon Wild had a very *wild* start to their season as they began with no goaltenders on the roster before trading for one several games in. The Wild are in the hunt as well for the playoffs, just behind Las Vegas in the West. This is even despite the fact that they don't have much firepower on their forward core, they do however have a lot of depth thanks to the draft and free agency. Saskatoon is another rebuilding team that is in a waiting game for their time to come again. They also have a couple picks in each of the first two rounds of the upcoming draft, so they should be able to rebuild relatively quickly as long as they draft wisely.

:yuk: YUKON RUSH :yuk:
Our last stop on this tour of the VHLM is up way north as the Yukon Rush have put together a solid season thus far. With plenty of players at or near the cap and some strong depth, the Rush are looking to be a dark horse pick for the Cup this season. Quite a number of their players should be on the team next season as well, but Yukon lacks top round picks in the upcoming draft. I would advise that they acquire a few top picks for the upcoming draft, as I could see them competing for the S77 Cup as well with the team they have should they get more picks.

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