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The Top 75 VHL Players (S75): #25-1


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Well folks, this is it, the end of the list. If you are questioning whether or not your player will be in the Top 75 players of all time at this point, you probably already know your answer. The players that we are going to now are the crème de la crème of the VHL, and are automatic locks on any “best of” list you could fathom. Before we get further into it, I would like to say a few words about this project as a whole. First of all, I want to recognize all the hard work that has been put into all three parts of Top 75, as this is one of the most ambitious projects VSN has done in a long time. This list is a culmination of literal months of work ranking players and doing write-ups, and it could not have been completed without the help of a stellar team. From guest rankers and writers, to staff writers shouldering the load (sometimes on top of their own weekly series), I am so grateful for the quality of contributors that VSN has at its disposal. Of course, this editorial would not be complete without mentioning our fearless leader in this project, @animal74, who spent countless hours preparing ranking sheets, researching stat lines, writing out templates, and generally leading and directing this project, on top of all the individual player write-ups he did. This has surpassed my wildest expectations, and I hope that this list will serve as a monument of VHL history to come. See you in 25 (24 at this point) seasons for the Top 100! 

 

VSN Editor-in-Chief @Mr_Hatter
 

 

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Welcome to the final installment of VSN’s Special Presentation, the Top 75 VHL Players for S75 (#25-1)! If you missed the first segment of the players ranked #75-51, you can view it here. Our second segment, chronicling players #50-26, can be found here. We hope you enjoy reading about the best the VHL has ever had to offer, and if you like what you see here, stay tuned as VSN brings more projects to life in the future amongst current league news and performances. 
 
Once more, let us take a moment and recognize all those who have helped make this project a reality.

 

 

Panelists:
@Advantage - S17-Present. BOG, Correspondent for Board of Governors, VSN Contributor
@animal74 - S5-S12, S67-Present. VSN History writer
@Doomsday - S32-S45, S69-Present. VSN History Writer, Saskatoon Wild GM, BOG
@Patrik Tallinder - S68-Present. Calgary AGM, VSN Contributor
@tcookie - S74-Present. VSN writer
@Victor - S10-Present. Moscow GM, Financier, Keeper of Trivia and HOF

 

Writers:
@Advantage, @animal74, @Doomsday, @fromtheinside, @McWolf, @PatrikLaine, @tcookie, @Mr_Hatter

 

Graphics:
@Zetterberg

 

Editors:
@Mr_Hatter, @animal74

 

And for the final time in this project, we start it off again with #25:

 

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Helsinki Titans' hero Franchise Cornerstone ranks #8

 

#25 - Odin Tordahl, RW, S33-S40, (TOR, HEL, DAV, NYA) @BOOM

GP 575 | G 365 | A 414 | PT 779 | +312 | HIT 1606 | PPG 92
Cups: S34 Helsinki, S36 Davos, S39 New York

 

Odin Tordahl’s career got off to a bit of a slow start. He was the 3rd overall pick in the S33 draft by the Toronto Legion and stepped immediately into the big leagues, but the Norweigan power forward didn’t quite show what he was capable of that season, and he was traded ahead of his sophomore season to Helsinki. The Titans were a strong team that would go on to capture the Continental Cup - one of 3 for Tordahl in his career - and it was in the S34 postseason that his career really started to take shape. With a 6 goal, 11 point, 56 hit effort in 14 games, Tordahl finally showed his all-around promise. From there, his career took off. He truly broke out in his first year with Davos in S36, with a 106-point, 353-hit campaign that saw him capture the Boulet Trophy. Tordahl moved to his fourth team in five seasons in S37. In the New York Americans, he finally found a home for the rest of his career. In New York, Tordahl’s game elevated to yet another level as he became one of the top offensive forces in the league. He filled his trophy case, leading the league in goals twice and points three seasons in a row. Over the last four seasons of his career, Tordahl never fell short of 115 points in a season and broke the 50-goal mark every year as well. He won a third cup in S39 with the Americans, and would fall just short of a fourth in his final season in S40. 

@tcookie

 


#24 - Tukka Reikkinen, LW, S25-S32, (VAS, NYA) @muffins
GP 576 | G 390 | A 435 | PT 825 | +248 | HIT 1890 | GWG 65
Cups: S26 VAS, S32 New York

 

Finnish left winger Tukka Reikkinen was one of the best all-around forwards in VHL history. Reikkinen was drafted 4th overall in the S25 draft by Vasteras, a team with which he found significant success. His rookie numbers were decent, just shy of a point-per-game pace, but Vasteras were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Reikkinen had another middling performance in S26 only increasing his point total by one in spite of hitting 30 goals for the first time. However, his team was on fire all season long and Reikkinen helped Vasteras by scoring 10 points in 10 games to both a Victory Cup and a Continental Cup, breaking the fabled Vasteras curse that had haunted them for the past 25 seasons. The next season, the Finn broke out as he scored more than double his points from the prior season with 78 goals (the 6th highest goal total in VHL history!) and 74 assists for over two points per game. This monumental performance led him to receive the trophies for Most Points, Most Goals, and Most Improved Player. Unfortunately for Vasteras, they were unable to make the playoffs, a trend they continued in S28. Despite his scoring dropping off significantly this season, Reikinnen improved his all around game immensely, over doubling his hits total to 285 on the season. This proved to be his last full season in a Vasteras uniform, however, as he was dealt to the New York Americans in S29. He jumped immediately back into playoff contention after a solid regular season, but eventually the Americans fell short to the eventual champions. He quickly bounced back in S30 and led the league in goals (58) and points (124) as well as breaking the record for hits in a season with a staggering 430. He swept the awards case, winning Most Valuable Player, Most Outstanding Player, and Top Two-way Forward in addition to his statistical awards. However, Reikkinnen and the Americans bowed out of the playoffs to Seattle in five games. After a solid 102-point performance in S31, Reikinnen was brilliant in the playoffs and his 12 goals and 13 assists in 16 games, along with 74 hits and 5 game-winning goals earned him the Daisuke Kanou Trophy as the playoff’s MVP in a heart-breaking defeat as New York gave up a 3-1 series lead to Davos. It was in the final season of his career that Tukka would once again capture the Continental Cup, increasing his tally to two, as he helped break the New York Americans Continental Cup curse. He would score two goals in Game 7 including the Cup-winner to cap off a fantastic 27-point postseason which ended his career on top. Tukka Reikinnen is an esteemed member of the VHL Hall of Fame, and provides a blueprint of how to make dreams come true. 

@Mr_Hatter

 

 

#23 - Japinder Singh, D, S20-S27, (NYA, DAV, RIG, HEL) @8Ovechkin8
GP 576 | G 171 | A 580 | P 751 | PIM 1050 | HIT 1293 | SB 1241
Cups: S24, S25 Davos, S27 Helsinki

 

For me, Japinder Singh has always been one of the most interesting players in league history. Japinder is ranked as the fifth greatest defender in league history on our list, yet he never was once voted as the Sterling Labatte Trophy winner, which is awarded to the VHL’s Top Defender. Now, a pretty good argument could be made that Japinder should have won at least once or twice but nevertheless, Singh will simply go down as the greatest defenseman in VHL history to never win the Labatte Trophy. In fact, he may go down as one of the most underrated players in league history. Japinder had some pretty gaudy numbers for a defenseman finishing with 751 points, 1293 hits and 1243 blocked shots over his 576 game career. That is absurd and to be frank, statistically he is likely the greatest defenseman this league has ever seen.  In fact, if he did indeed win a Labatte Trophy or two, I’d venture to guess that he would probably be in the top ten on this list.  Japinder’s only individual trophy would be a Stan Mikita Trophy (Most Assists) that he won back in S23 as a member of the HC Davos Dynamo.  With that being said, for all the struggles to win individual awards, Japinder made up for it with team success.  Despite starting his career on some awful New York teams, Singh would eventually transition to both Davos and Helsinki where he would win three Continental Cups, three Vladimir Kostka Trophies (European Conference Champion) and two Victory Cups (League’s Best Record). Consistency would become the hallmark of Singh’s game and that is why he finds himself so high on this list, regardless of how many Sterling Labatte Trophies he would narrowly miss winning.

@Advantage

 


#22 - Phil Rafter, C, S27-S34, (DAV, HEL, NYA) @Phil
GP 577 | G 407 | A 485 | PT 892 | +342 | SHT 3936 | GWG 66 
Cup: S31 Davos

 

Center Phil Rafter was selected 6th overall in the famed S27 Entry Draft just behind David Smalling (#35 on the Top 75 list), his best friend and future linemate for most of their distinguished careers. Both Brits were selected by the HC Davos Dynamo along with goalie Satan (1st) and left wing Ying Qin (8th) in a first round that would set up the Dynamo for years to come and produce four Hall-of-Famers and see each of the eight first-rounders win at least one Continental Cup. Although they grew up together Rafter and Smalling were two very skilled, albeit very different players. Rafter was the snipe to Smalling's snarl. Phil would end up narrowly losing Rookie of the Year honors to his friend but he would go on to become one of the greatest scorers in league history. The crafty center scored over 40 goals in each of his eight seasons including over 60 in back-to-back seasons (S32-S33) and posted six 100-point seasons. His brilliant S32 totals of 68 goals and 146 points in 73 games would lead the league and garner him the Slobodzian Trophy as the player-voted Most Outstanding Player in spite of being traded to Helsinki as a rental. He would reach two Cup Finals both with Davos, first in S29 losing to fellow S27 draftee Nic Riopel’s Toronto Legion, and then winning it all in S31 in a tough seven-game series against the Americans. After being down 3-1 in the series, the Dynamo would claw back to win the next two games and then Rafter would break a 2-2 tie in Game 7, scoring at 12:44 in the third period to win his first and only Cup. True to his British upbringing, Rafter was a noted gentleman on and off the ice becoming the only player to win the Mikka Virkkunen (Francis) Trophy three straight seasons and four overall (S28-30, S33). He would retire as only the fourth VHL player to score 400 or more goals and remains tied for fifth all-time with 407 and is sixth all-time with 892 points.

@animal74

 


#21 - Grimm Jonsson, C, S10-S17, (NYA, SEA) @sterling
GP 576 | G 319 | A 488 | PT 807 | +227 | HIT 1100 | GWG 39 
Cups: S14 New York, S17 Seattle

 

Some players become legends not just for their skills, but for the impact they have off the ice. Today known as a traditionally storied franchise, the New York Americans were seen as a joke back in Season 10, largely thanks to the Shortbus Era of Robbie Zimmers. However, when New York drafted Grimm Jonsson second overall in Season 10, it changed the Americans' franchise forever. His impact on the locker room was immediate, as he won the Messier Trophy (which would eventually be renamed after Jonsson himself) four consecutive seasons to start his career, and by Season 13, the Americans went from laughing stock to legitimate Continental Cup contenders. It also marked Jonsson's breakout season, and he repeated it with another 100 point season in Season 14, as he led New York to their first Continental Cup victory. A sudden blockbuster trade saw Jonsson traded to Seattle, but he only ramped up his game further, leading to his best individual seasons. Averaging well over 100 points in his three seasons with the Bears, Jonsson had become the top player in the league, backed up with three straight Scotty Campbell Trophies as the VHL MVP. To cap it off, he became the first player to ever reach 1,000 TPE, and rode off into the sunset as a champion with Seattle's sweep of the Riga Reign for his second Continental Cup win. The name Grimm Jonsson is synonymous with leadership in the VHL, but he was also one of the very best to ever play, scoring over 800 points and firmly establishing himself as the dominant forward of his era.

@Doomsday

 

 

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Dynamo's Daisuke Kanou (#20) with one of his three Continental Cups.

 

#20 - Daisuke Kanou, G, S18-S25, (DAV) @tfong
GP 583 | W 388 | L 144 | OTL 46 | SV% 0.920 | GAA 2.26 | SO 48
Cups: S20, S24, S25 Davos

 

Daisuke Kanou remains a household name more than fifty seasons after his retirement, and it goes beyond the trophy for the playoff MVP bearing his name. His playoff heroics are the stuff of legend, and he was just as elite during the regular season to boot. Constantly competing with rival Aidan Shaw for supremacy as the top goalie in the VHL helped to produce a legendary career for Kanou as a player who came up the biggest when it mattered the most. Despite being primarily remembered for his long-time record of three Howe Trophy (since renamed the Daisuke Kanou Trophy after him) wins as playoff MVP, the former first overall selection in Season 18 by the HC Davos Dynamo also won the Scotty Campbell Trophy as the VHL MVP, carrying a struggling Davos team to the playoffs behind a .926 save percentage. However, the twilight of his career was where Kanou truly shined, as the HC Davos Dynamo won back-to-back Continental Cups, with Kanou winning the Howe Trophy both times. Until Rayz Funk won his fourth playoff MVP, no other player had ever matched, let alone surpassed this record. Even with his record broken, Daisuke Kanou is still regarded by many to be the best post-season performer in VHL history, and his elite play during the regular season routinely places him in the conversation for the greatest goaltender in VHL history as well. His status as a legend of the game is beyond question, and he makes the list in the top 20 greatest VHL players in league history.

@Doomsday

 

 

#19 - Max Molholt, RW, S45-S52, (TOR) @Molholt
GP 576 | G 407 | A 462 | PT 869 | +271 | SHT 4053     | GWG 70 
Cups: S48, S49, S50 Toronto

 

A member of the elusive 400-goal club, Molholt still sits tied for fifth all-time with his 407 career tallies (and three of those above him are from the high-scoring early years of the VHL). On a rebuilding Legion team, Molholt saw minutes from the start and immediately made his presence felt, breaking into the league with a 52-goal, 101-point season and following it up with a 63-goal, 120-point sophomore campaign. Few if any VHL players have had such incredible starts to their career, but his numbers would come down a bit as the Legion evolved into a contender. Molholt’s legacy isn’t just defined by his goal scoring prowess, as in S48, the Legion began to make their mark on the VHL. They kicked off a four-year run of representing the North American Conference in the Continental Cup finals, and they’d win three in a row from S48-S50. Over those four seasons, Molholt would score 31 goals and 69 points in 58 playoff games. In S49 he authored a season for the ages, with 56 goals, 145 points, a +80 rating and both the Szatkowski and Beketov Trophies. He followed it up with an 83 point season before rebounding to post 59 goals and 123 points in S51. As the VHL’s legendary players go, Molholt may not have been the most consistent, but at the top of his game he was as good as anyone. He spent his entire career with the Legion, a somewhat rare feat in its own right, while being a huge part of a VHL dynasty, producing at an elite clip in the postseason, and making a name for himself as one of the best goal scorers the league has ever seen.

@tcookie

 


#18 - Kevin Brooks, C, S6-S13, (TOR, VAS) @brooks.
GP 504 | G 396 | A 518 | PT 914 | +329 | SHT 4528 | PPG 94
Cup:  S9 Toronto

 

A fantastic scorer, VHL legend Kevin Brooks had a storybook career that later saw him honored as his name was bestowed on the trophy awarded to each season’s goal leader. His awards are almost too numerous to list, as he managed to win Top Rookie, Most Goals, Most Points (twice), Most Assists, Most Valuable Player (twice), Most Sportsmanlike, one Continental Cup, and was elected to the All-Star team a total 6 times; not to mention his bronze, silver, and gold medals with Team USA. Brooks would be a mainstay for the Toronto Legion, his draft team, for years, and is one of the most influential players in VHL history. He came out strong, winning the award for Top Rookie in S6 with 89 points. The next season saw him significantly more successful as he played as a winger alongside VHL legend Scotty Campbell and scored a total of 127 points. However, the Legion would exit the playoffs in seven games. Similarly in S8, he had a largely “quiet” year despite putting up over 100 points in the regular season, including 44 goals, but once again Toronto lost to their rivals the Calgary Wranglers in the playoffs. Brooks had a lot of firsts in S9: his first season breaking 60 goals (63), his first Most Valuable Player award and his first Continental Cup, as he led the Legion to a decisive Game 7 victory over the Riga Reign, scoring 10 points in 8 games. The next season Brooks smashed his career bests with an absurd 96 assists and 157 points and won the award for Most Valuable Player the second season in a row. Unfortunately, Brooks was unable to replicate that magic in the playoffs and the Legion lost to Riga in a Game 7 tragedy that would mark Brooks’ last season with Toronto. Looking to rebuild, Toronto sent him to Vasteras. He had a strong first season with Vasteras, managing 55 goals and 72 assists, but nothing else would come of it as they failed to make the playoffs. Despite scoring 40+ goals in both of his final two seasons, Brooks couldn’t reach the same heights he showed during his prime as he dropped below 100 points for the first time since his rookie season. Vasteras were eliminated in the first round in each of his last two seasons even though Brooks would post over a point-per-game. Although Kevin Brooks finished an incredible career quietly by his standards, he is forever in VHL canon as the name on the Top Goal Scorer Award and is one of the best players ever to play in the VHL. 

@Mr_Hatter

 


#17 - Aidan Shaw, G, S19-S25, (TOR) @Ree_21
GP 452 | W 315 | L 110 | OTL 24 | SV% .923 | GAA 2.03 | SO 52
Cup: S21 Toronto 

 

Even though he was drafted after fellow HOFer Daisuke Kanou in the S18 VHL Draft, we have Aidan Shaw placed three spots above him in our rankings. Despite Kanou’s absolutely heroic postseason performances, Aidan Shaw had something special about him that elevated him in all circumstances in his career. Although he stayed in the VHLM his draft season, Shaw would prove to be the best goaltender from his era after he entered the VHL in S19 for the Toronto Legion, the team that he would spend the rest of his career with. Winning just one Continental Cup for the Legion, Shaw led the boys in light blue to the Victory Cup on three separate occasions. S20 was where his career really kicked off as he recorded a .929 SV% with 1.98 GAA and seven shutouts, good for the first Tretiak Trophy as top goalie in the league. Considering it was his first of four Tretiak Trophy wins, it’s clear how dominant Shaw was during the regular season as Tretiak was eventually renamed to the Aidan Shaw Trophy in honor of Shaw’s fantastic accomplishments. His second consecutive Tretiak came in Season 21 when Shaw’s league best .932 SV% led the Legion to 119 points. Shaw kept rolling in the postseason, and after posting a magnificent .940 SV% through 12 games, he led the Toronto Legion to his first and only Continental Cup win, taking home the award for Playoff MVP at the same time. The best season of his career from a regular season perspective was yet to come, as he finished S22 with a .933 SV%, a 1.62 GAA, and 10 shutouts. To put that into perspective, he had more shutouts than the Legion lost games finishing 57-4-2. He became the first player in league history to win three consecutive Tretiak Trophies and took the award for League MVP as well as the Brett Slobodzian Trophy for Most Outstanding Player. In the final three seasons of his career, Shaw had a few spotty moments in both S23 and S25 as he failed to reach a .920 SV% and had poor playoff performances. But in S24 he won his fourth and final Tretiak after an incredible season that saw him post a .931 SV%, 1.77 GAA, with 9 shutouts. At the time of his retirement after S25, Shaw was the VHL’s career leader in shutouts, GAA, 2nd in wins, and 5th in save percentage. Despite being a hot and cold goalie with a few disappointing seasons, when Shaw was good, man was he good. His name has been etched upon the most important award for a goaltender the VHL has to offer, and for good reason. Aidan Shaw is one of the best ever. 

@Mr_Hatter

 

 

#16 - Tuomas Tukio, G, S31-S38, (HEL, QUE, NYA) @Higgins
GP 512 | W 359 | L 114 | OTL 37 | SV% .925 | GAA 1.99 | SO 62
Cup: S34 Helsinki

 

The Finnish-born goalie tended the nets in Helsinki for much of his career, and the Titans were certainly lucky to have him. Tukio was a model of consistency - only in his rookie season did he ever drop below a save percentage of .920, and only twice did he fail to win 40 games or post a GAA above 2.00. With great size at 6’4, 202 complimented by tremendous athleticism, Tukio always gave his team a chance to win, and they in fact did much more often than not; he finished his career with a 359-114-37 record and has the 2nd most wins of any goaltender in VHL history.  Tukio posted 33 wins and a .912 SV% as Helsinki’s starter in his rookie season, then quickly established himself as a star in net with a 45-12-6 record and .927 SV% as a sophomore. He reeled off back-to-back 50-win seasons over the next couple of years, then finally broke through in the playoffs, leading Helsinki to a Continental Cup in S34. As the Titans began to decline, Tukio would move on late in his career, spending S37 with Quebec and S38 with New York. These two seasons would actually be Tukio’s best - in each, he would capture the Slobodzian, Campbell, and Shaw Trophies. His S38 season was truly one for the ages as he posted a 50-10-4 record, 0.939 SV% and 13 shutouts. He became the first goalie to win back-to-back Campbell and Slobodzian Trophies in the process (he is still the only one to have won back-to-back Slobodzian Trophies, though has since been joined by Apollo Skye as a back-to-back Campbell winner).

@tcookie

 


#15 - Unassisted, C, S48-S55, (QUE, CGY, NYA) @STZ
GP 576 | G 402 | A 484 | PT 886 | +530 | HIT 958 | GWG 84 
Cups: S53, S54 New York

 

It’s pretty crazy to me that Unassisted basically had two careers throughout his eight seasons in the VHL. The first half of his career saw the talented forward light up the league with two 54 goal seasons and three 100 point seasons as a member of both the Quebec City Meute and the Calgary Wranglers. He was fairly one-dimensional as Unassisted was certainly not a physical player (207 hits in 288 games), but he did show elite consistency recording 188 goals and 401 points over those four seasons.  He also was a solid, yet unspectacular playoff contributor as his teams struggled to find much postseason success with Unassisted tallying up 8 goals and 17 points in 20 playoff games over three appearances. His one award during those seasons was a Dustin Funk Trophy, awarded to the Most Improved Player, back in S49.  However, once Unassisted joined the New York Americans, he would go on a four season stretch that would rival any player in league history. From S52-55 (all with NY), Unassisted recorded 214 goals, 485 points and 751 hits, en route to winning a Scotty Campbell Trophy (League MVP) and a Brett Slobodzian Trophy (Most Outstanding Player). More importantly though, Unassisted went from arguably a playoff choker to one of the biggest clutch performers in the VHL. Those four seasons saw the New York Americans win two Continental Cups and Unassisted contributed massively with 26 goals, 72 points and 125 hits in 55 games, even winning Playoff MVP back in S52 after an insane 10 goals, 28 points and 51 hits in 17 postseason games. To cap off an amazing resume, Unassisted even dominated on the World Stage with 24 goals, 57 points and 90 hits over 48 games, which saw the forward win two Gold Medals and one Bronze Medal as a key cog for Team Canada.  Finishing off his career just shy of 900 points, Unassisted simply has one of the most amazing resumes of any player in league history and he is most certainly deserving of being ranked one of the top fifteen players to ever play in the Victory Hockey League.

@Advantage

 

 

#14 - Daniel Braxton, D, S24-S31, (NYA, DAV) @Jericho
GP 576 | G 181 | A 485 | P 666 | +181 | PIM 1050 | SB 1035 | HIT 1572
Cup: None

 

Daniel Braxton was a member of one of the most influential league agencies back in the twenties and thirties, and unfortunately it is one that no longer is in the league.  With that being said, Daniel Braxton’s legacy still lives on and it's due to his consistent elite dominance that made him, at one point, arguably the greatest defenseman this league has ever seen.  Braxton was one-half of the Americans dynamic duo, alongside Hall of Fame goaltender Benjamin Glover, that saw New York make the VHL Finals four times.  Braxton was the man who made Mitch Higgins look far worse than he was, winning a record four Sterling Labatte Trophies consecutively before finally narrowly missing out in Season 31 on his fifth.  He is also still the only defenseman in league history to win the Brett Slobodzian Trophy (Most Outstanding Player) on two occasions, which is a remarkable accomplishment given how many legendary defenders never even won it once (including all three defenders that are ranked higher than him on this list). He was even named the Top Leader back in S27, captaining the team to the Continental Cup finals.  The one thing that Braxton never did was win a Continental Cup.  Unfortunately, it kind of became a trend that his team would choke away a Continental Cup in the finals, with Braxton finishing his career with five finals appearances. However, despite the fact that he never won a Continental Cup, and everyone loved to poke fun at that, he was actually a pretty productive playoff performer.  Braxton finished his career with 73 points, 236 hits and 143 blocked shots in 76 career playoff games, making the postseason in each and every season of his career. I will remember Daniel Braxton as the defenseman that paved the way for the likes of Ryan Sullivan, Conner Low and Condor Adrienne, to win Sterling Labatte Trophies in succession while playing a complete well-rounded game that lifted up everyone around them.  While his player agent no longer calls this league home, the Victory Hockey League isn’t the same without this legendary talent and as someone who has admired Braxton for so long, I am honoured to introduce Daniel Braxton as the fourteenth best player in VHL history.

@Advantage

 

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Calgary's stalwart Sterling Labatte (#13)


#13 - Sterling Labatte, D, S1-S9, (CGY) @sterling
GP 648 | G 210 | A 572 | P 782 | +483 | PIM 1181 | HIT 776 | SB 1070
Cups: S2, S3, S8 Calgary

 

For a quarter of a century in our great league, there was no debate who the greatest defenseman of all-time was. Sterling Labatte was an original in our league but most will probably know him due to the fact that the Defenseman of the Year award is named after him. He was easily one of the most dominant players through the VHL's first decade, establishing himself as not only the best defender in the game, but also arguably its most influential leader and one of its most clutch performers.  After being drafted by the Calgary Wranglers eighth overall in the S1 Supplementary Draft and then again by them in the S2 Dispersal Draft, Sterling Labatte would prove his loyalty by being a pillar of exemplary play for nine seasons in the VHL (yes, nine seasons due to his eight seasons not starting till after the Dispersal Draft).  A tremendous goal scorer from the blueline, Labatte recorded a remarkable 210 goals and 782 points over his 648 game career, which was a startling achievement for a defenseman.  He finished his career with a +483 rating and was consistently one of the best shutdown defenders in the league while also contributing 776 hits which was a lot in the VHL’s early years..Labatte's main claim to fame is his three Bobby Orr Trophies, which were awarded to the league’s best defenseman, as he became the first of now eight defensemen in league history to win the trophy three or more times. He also was an incredible leader and was recognized as such in both S6 and S7 with the Mark Messier Trophy.  More importantly though, he was a winner and was someone that stepped up in the clutch when his team needed it the most.  Labatte was one of the key members of the Calgary Wranglers' S2, S3 and S8 Continental Cup winning teams and helped propel his teams to six finals appearances in nine seasons.  He finished his career with 24 goals and 83 points in 79 playoff games while also recording 98 hits and 8 game-winning-goals, a pretty remarkable achievement for a defenseman. To cap it all off, he was voted as the Playoff MVP in both S6 and S8 for his combined 12 goals and 34 points in 24 games. He will be remembered as our league's first great defenseman and as such an incredibly decorated and deserved member of our top 15 players of all-time.

@Advantage

 


#12 - Leeroy Jenkins, C, S23-S30, (DAV, HEL, SEA, NYA, CGY) @Squinty
GP 576 | G 325 | A 490 | PT 815 | +327 | HIT 2182 | GWG 47 
Cups: S24, S25 Davos, S27 Helsinki, S28 Seattle, S30 Calgary

 

Once Leeroy Jenkins retired after his eighth and final season, there was legitimate conversation and debate on whether he had surpassed Scotty Campbell as the greatest player in league history.  While the consensus seemed to be that despite the era difference he did fall slightly short, the fact that it was even a debate makes him one of the top players in Victory Hockey League history. Jenkins started his career with the Davos Dynamo after being selected first overall in the S23 Dispersal Draft, and went on to play for four other teams over the course of his career.  He, unlike Campbell, was a very physical player and holds the distinction of being one of five players in VHL history to win the Scott Boulet Trophy (Top Two-Way Forward) at least four times.  Jenkins won a lot more hardware as well, bringing home one Scotty Campbell Trophy (League MVP), one Mario Lemieux Trophy (Most Points), one Joe Malone Trophy (Most Goals) and one Stan Mikita Trophy (Most Assists).  He was also the definition of a winner, as Jenkins was a member of five Continental Cup winning teams over the course of his career.  Jenkins, who could probably be best described as an elite ring chaser over the majority of his career, would take more of a defensive role throughout a lot of his playoff runs, finishing with 64 points and 311 hits (7th all-time) in 75 career playoff games.  While his offensive performances in the playoffs don't stand out, his regular season accomplishments are a whole different story.  Over 576 career games, Jenkins would score 325 goals (60+ twice), record 815 points and be a dominant physical presence with 2182 career hits.  In fact, he set the league record for hits in a season with 414 in S27 until David Smalling broke the record the next season. He was the type of player that teams loved to play with and was always complimented by his teammates, showing what a top notch leader he was. Leeroy Jenkins may not be as high as someone like Scotty Campbell or even some of the forwards that came after him, but there is no denying that he was a generational talent and one of the best players the VHL has ever seen.

@Advantage

 


#11 - Alexander Chershenko, C, S27-S34, (CGY, NYA) @Victor
GP 576 | G 387 | A 489 | PT 876 | +283 | SHT 3807 | GWG 75 
Cups: S30 Calgary, S32 New York

 

Legendary for his elite work ethic and unending drive for success, it's no secret why Alexander Chershenko became an all-time great. His talent was immediately recognized by the Calgary Wranglers, taking him second overall in the very stacked Season 27 VHL Entry Draft. Both Chershenko and Calgary, bolstered by the additions of Ryan Sullivan and Volodymyr Rybak, quickly blossomed, and by the end of his third year in Season 29, he had become an elite offensive presence, leading the VHL with 49 goals and recording his second-straight 100 point season. Just a season later, the Calgary Wranglers were Continental Cup champions, with Chershenko taking home playoff MVP honors after scoring 18 points in their 11 games. Chershenko continued to produce at an elite level throughout his career, leading the VHL in goals three times, winning a Scotty Campbell Trophy as VHL MVP in Season 34, and being named to the VHL All-Star Game all eight seasons of his career. The two-time Continental Cup champion also staked a legacy as one of the best players in the VHL postseason, scoring 115 points in 74 playoff games. His 36 points in 21 playoff games in Season 34 was so impressive that Chershenko won the Daisuke Kanou Trophy as playoff MVP despite the Wranglers falling short to the Helsinki Titans in Game Seven of the Continental Cup Finals. Simply put, Alexander Chershenko was simply elite at anything he did, and to this day remains one of the best offensive powerhouses the VHL has ever seen.

@Doomsday

 

RQVSYwN.jpg

New York's Ryan Sullivan (#10) gets hit by Davos' Phil Rafter (#22)


#10 - Ryan Sullivan, D, S29-S35, (CGY, NYA, HEL) @Advantage
GP 504 | G 148 | A 500 | P 648 | +254 | PIM 1060 | HIT 1768 | SB 848
Cups: S30 Calgary

 

Although often described as a two-way defenseman, the impact that Ryan Sullivan had on games goes so much further than that. He was simply good at both ends of the ice, he was absolutely dominant. Offensively, defensively, it didn't matter. Sullivan could be an offensive catalyst, or he could flatten the other team's best skaters. Even as a rookie, Sullivan was an absolute menace, leading all rookies in points and established his physical presence, earning the Christian Stolzschweiger Trophy as the top rookie. In just his second season, he became a Continental Cup champion, providing the Calgary Wranglers what they needed as a more physical player that season. However, after being given the green light with his offensive game, Sullivan exploded for 121 points, including a league-leading 105 assists. That's just how game-breakingly talented Ryan Sullivan was, how versatile his skills truly were. This led to Sullivan winning three Sterling Labatte Trophies as the VHL's best defensemen, and he led the VHL in assists twice as well. It didn't matter what Calgary, New York, or Helsinki needed him to do, as Ryan Sullivan could deliver anything expected of him in elite fashion, and as a result, he is among the top ten greatest VHL players ever. 

@Doomsday

 


#9 - Mike Szatkowski, C, S3-S10, (SEA, VAS, AVN, TOR) @Mike
GP 573 | G 434 | A 537 | PT 971 | +332 | SHT 4654 | PPG 92 
Cup: S9 Toronto

 

Whenever you find a player that bears the same name as a trophy as important as the Szatkowski (Most Points), you know you are about to learn about a legend. The American ace is behind only one man in VHL history for points scored (more on him later), and is synonymous with offensive production. A six time all-star, Szatkowski was drafted 2nd overall by the Avangard Havoc in Season 3, and was traded just a few days later; a decision that the Havoc has to regret considering the caliber of player they basically passed up on. After a fantastic rookie season where he managed to score 89 points, he was dealt once again, this time, to Vasteras, where he would spend the next two and a half seasons. With Vasteras, Szatkoswki managed to score a strong 116 points in each of his first two seasons, but despite a PPG performance in the Season Four playoffs was unable to find significant postseason success, failing to make the playoffs in Season 5. Things were looking similar leading up to the Season 6 playoffs, and Szatkowski was dealt to the Avangard Havoc as part of a playoffs rental deal, joining the team he was drafted by until the end of the season. Despite trying for the cup, however, the Havoc were knocked out in 6 games, and once more Szatkoswki went without a cup. Returning in Season 7 to Vasteras, he then had the best season of his career thus far, ending the season with 68 goals and 69 assists, including a career high 11 game winning goals. The next season however proved the best in his career for the regular season, where his 74 goals, 85 assists, both career highs, were good enough to earn him the Gretzky trophy for most valuable player in the league. He ended the season with the most goals and points in the league, but after a tough seven game series upset loss to Riga in the playoffs, Szatkoswki decided enough was enough and he moved to the Toronto Legion in an attempt to fill out his trophy case with the coveted Continental Cup. In his first season with the Legion, Szatkoswki scored 116 points for the third time in his career, and more importantly managed to lead his team to his first and only career Continental Cup. With 2 goals and 9 assists in 8 games, Mike Szatkoswki immortalized his name on the Cup, and as a user won the top GM of the year award for leading the Legion to their triumph. Despite exceedingly strong numbers in the final season of his career (including a Victory Cup), Szatkoswki was unable to repeat his success, and found himself on the losing end of a Continental Cup finals matchup. After having 15 points in 12 playoff games, the fabled career of Szatkoswki came to an end losing in a game seven overtime to the Reign. With an incredible career that saw him dip below 100 points just a single season in his career in his rookie year, Szatkowski is a well deserving member of the top 10 VHL players in history. 

@Mr_Hatter

 


#8 - Franchise Cornerstone, C, S53-S60, (HSK) @boubabi
GP 576 | G 384 | A 471 | PT 855 | +456 | HIT 836 | GWG 72
Cups: S54, S55, S60 Helsinki

 

There has never been a more aptly named player in the VHL as Franchise Cornerstone. Drafted first overall by the destitute Helsinki Titans, who had only won 9 games in S52 and had missed the playoffs each season since losing in the Cup Finals in S48, the Mongolian center quickly made his mark in his rookie season with a point-per-game campaign and helped the Titans reach the playoffs which garnered him his first of consecutive Grimm Jonsson Trophies as the Top Leader - a testament to how much the young player already meant to Helsinki and not just on the scoreboard. The next two seasons catapulted the Titans into the dynasty talks as they won the franchise’s 8th and 9th Continental Cups and second set of back-to-back championships. While not the key cog, Cornerstone was still integral to those Cups runs scoring 27 points in 30 games. For the next five seasons, Helsinki’s star owned the VHL. He scored more goals than any other player - his 284 goals averaged 56.8 per season. He would win nine individual awards during that span including five in S59 alone with a spectacular 67-66-133 stat line and would end up with three Campbells (MVP), two Brooks (Goals Leader), two Boulets (Two-Way Forward), a Szatkowski (Points Leader) and a Slobodzian (Player-voted MOP) becoming the only player in league history to win two each of the Campbell, Brooks, and Boulet Trophies. Cornerstone’s transformation to win the Boulet in his last two seasons was especially remarkable as he almost tripled his entire career hit output in S59 with 341 hits and improved on that number in S60 (380). After losing in seven games in the Cup Finals to Seattle in S59, Cornerstone came through again as he scored the Cup-winning goal in Game 7 in S60 against New York to win his third Continental Cup. Ironically, that Titans team also featured the 2nd and 3rd overall picks (Lukas Muller and John Locke) from Cornerstone’s draft and they all retired as champions together. Surprisingly, if there was a knock on Cornerstone it’s that he wasn’t as dominant in the playoffs as he was in the regular season. Now, to be fair he still scored 103 playoff points - 4th all-time - but that was partially due to having played the 5th-most playoff games all-time (93) having made the playoffs each season off his career and reaching the Finals four times. He remains 6th all-time in plus-minus, 11th in game-winning goals, and 13th in league scoring with 855 points  He retired leaving an unmatched legacy of winning and leadership in Helsinki and as one of the best the VHL has ever witnessed. 

@animal74

 


#7 - Hans Wingate, G, S43-S50, (CGY, RIG, TOR) @CowboyinAmerica
GP 520 | W 324 | L 163 | OTL 32 | SV% 0.922 | GAA 2.10 | SO 70
Cups: S44 Calgary, S48, S49, S50 Toronto

 

The towering 6’ 5” netminder was a nightmare for opponents every night. His career got off to a shaky start, going 14-46-4 with a 0.912 SV% and a 3.23 GAA. However, this was only a fluke for Wingate. Over the next seven seasons, the 3-time Aidan Shaw Trophy winner would never record a save percentage under 0.910, would earn 40 wins in six of those seven seasons and post at least 7 shutouts every season. In S44, Wingate led the Wranglers to a Continental Cup Championship with an excellent playoff performance, going 12-4 with a 0.926 SV% and a 2.30 GAA. His regular season would earn him his first of three Aidan Shaw trophies as the league's best goaltender. S45 would see Wingate's regular season stats decline, but he would make up for it with a monster postseason, going 11-5 with a 0.936 SV%, 1.94 GAA and 2 shutouts. The Wranglers would lose in the Continental Cup Finals, but Wingate finished tied for 1st in voting for playoff MVP and would become one of the co-winners of the Daisuke Kanou trophy, a rare feat for being on the losing end of the Finals. After an off-season trade to Riga, Wingate brought his best, winning 49 games and recording a 0.923 SV% to go along with 11 SOs, winning his second Aidan Shaw trophy in the process. The Reign were swept in the first round, in spite of Wingate's 0.924 SV% and 1.87 GAA in the four games. S47 was a step back for Wingate, as he recorded career-lows of 32 wins and a 0.910 SV% and Riga would again be swept in the first round even with Wingate recording a 0.927 SV% and 2.07 GAA. With free agency looming, Wingate thought a chance of scenery was in order and would sign with the Toronto Legion. He returned to his old form in S48, going 47-16-1 and posting a 0.928 SV%, 1.82 GAA and 12 shutouts. The true show was yet to come as Wingate had a playoffs for the ages, going 8-1-2 with a 0.938 SV% and a 1.53 GAA with 2 shutouts as the Legion won the Continental Cup and Wingate taking home his second Daisuke Kanou Trophy as playoff MVP. In S49, Wingate would have another career year, going 51-9-4 with a 0.929 SV% and a 1.71 GAA to go with 9 shutouts and the Legion would repeat as Continental Cup Champions. Wingate saved his best for last in his final seasons, going 49-10-4 with 0.935 SV%, 1.52 GAA and 13 shutouts, all of which were career highs. In his final postseason, Wingate would go 8-4-1 with a 0.928 SV% and 1.84 GAA as the Legion completed the three-peat. Wingate would win his third Aidan Shaw Trophy, his first Scotty Campbell trophy as league MVP and his first Brett Slobodzian trophy as the most outstanding player. 

@PatrikLaine

 


#6 - Matt Thompson, LW, S61-S68, (SEA, HSK, MAL) @Beketov
GP 576 | G 422 | A 403 | PT 825 | +214 | HIT 1827 | GWG 74
Cup: S66 Helsinki

 

What Matt Thompson accomplished in the VHL, considering the time period he came along in, is truly remarkable. Thompson quickly established himself as one of the league’s premier power forwards after being the 1st overall pick in S61 by the Seattle Bears. He put his name on the map in S62, his second season, when he scored a ridiculous 76 goals, 150 points, and 274 hits (as well as 80 blocked shots). The incredible campaign happened in a high-scoring year league-wide so he surprisingly didn’t lead the league in goals or points, but it still allowed him to take home the Boulet and Funk awards, adding some early hardware to what would become a very full trophy cabinet. Thompson would go on to hit the 50 goal and 100-point marks every year except one for the rest of his career, all the while providing a dominant physical presence. In S64 Thompson led the VHL in goals (56) and points (110), adding 311 hits, capturing Brooks, Szatkowski, Slobodzian, and Boulet Trophies. He’d repeat as the Boulet trophy winner in S65, and win it a fourth time in S66. In S64 and S65, the Bears were the best regular season team in the VHL. Unfortunately - through no fault of Thompson’s, as he put up 13 goals and 23 points in 12 playoff games - they would bow out both seasons in the opening round. So Thompson moved to Helsinki in Free Agency and finally broke through, helping lead Helsinki to a Continental Cup (the only one of Thompson’s career) with a 10 goal, 16 point playoff run. In the final season of his career, Thompson went out with a bang, hitting the 60-goal mark and posting 123 points. He went out a winner of the Brooks, Szatkowski, Slobodzian, and Campbell Trophies and with a strong playoff run helped take Malmo to the finals, but they were swept by Seattle, putting an end to an incredible career. Thompson finished his career with 422 goals - an almost unthinkable number for the modern era: the fourth-highest total in league history, and the highest total a player had retired with since Mike Szatkowski retired with 434 in S10. Thompson was also a big-time playoff performer, finishing his career with 45 goals and 98 points in 65 playoff games.

@tcookie

 


#5 - Conner Low, D/RW, S36-S42, (NYA) @Smarch
GP 504 | G 215 | A 491 | PT 706 | +285 | PIM 1007 | HIT 1683 | SB 725
Cups: S39, S41 New York

 

He is the greatest defenseman in league history and he played forward for two seasons of his career. How good was Conner Low? He won the Sterling Labatte Trophy in each of his first five seasons in the VHL.  Yes, by the time he was entering his sixth season, he already held the VHL record for most Labatte Trophies won by a player, passing Daniel Braxton.  This man’s trophy cabinet has a lot more than that in it though.  Low would win the Alexander Beketov Trophy (Most Assists) in S37, S39 and S40, the Grimm Jonsson Trophy (Top Leader) in S36 and even the Christian Stolzschweiger Trophy (Top Rookie) in S36 as well.  To go along with those individual awards, Low was no stranger to team success as well, winning back-to-back-to-back-to-back Victory Cup’s (League’s Best Record), three Devon Marlow-Marta Trophies (North American Champion) and two Continental Cups (League Champion), all as a member of the Christopher Miller New York dynasty teams.  Over the course of his five seasons as a defenseman, Low would play in 360 games and tally up 106 goals, 368 assists, 474 points, 1208 hits and 658 blocked shots while also finishing with a +172 rating.  So what do you do after all that success as a defenseman? Well, you switch to forward and dominate there as well! The New York Americans were looking for an answer to replacing Odin Tordahl up front, and after the team acquired Hall of Fame defenseman, Matt Bentley, in a trade with the Quebec City Meute, Low would decide to make the transition to the wing.  Conner would finish with 109 goals, 232 points and 388 hits over those two seasons, helping the Americans win a Continental Cup in Season 41.  It would have been easy for Conner Low to stay at defense and pad his incredible accomplishments, but it was arguably even more impressive that he was able to make that transition so smoothly in order to help his team win another Continental Cup, and without that move, who knows if they are able to accomplish that.  For my money, Conner Low is easily the greatest defenseman the VHL has ever seen and the fact that he still topped the 700 point plateau while only playing seven seasons in the VHL (and with five on defense!) it simply astonishing, all while being a very well-rounded two-way physical player. 

@Advantage

 


#4 - Gabriel McAllister, LW, S56-S63, (SEA, DAV) @CowboyinAmerica
GP 576 | G 397 | A 429 | PT 826 | +286 | HIT 2079 | GWG 68
Cups: S59 Seattle, S61 Davos

 

The diminutive forward from Chicago is arguably the most complete highly-skilled player the league has ever seen. While he’s not the all-time leader in any one category, he’s Top-10 or Top-25 in many and was among season leaders each year and still holds the single-season record for hits with 461 set in S61. He was so versatile that at some point during his career he led the league or was Top-3 in each of goals, assists, points, plus/minus, penalty minutes, shots, hits, power play goals, game-winning goals and hat tricks - most of them multiple times. Although he only surpassed 100 points three times which seems low for a HOFer, he also posted 99 points twice and scored over 50 goals - including a career-high 61 in S60 - five times. He led the league in points twice (S60 and S63) and goals once (S60). It wasn’t just his two-way prowess that made him so special, it was the way he could elevate his play especially during the playoffs. In his three trips to the Continental Cup Finals, he would finish with 10+ goals each time, his team won the Cup twice and both times he was named Playoff MVP. He finished his career with the third highest playoff points-per-game (1.48) since S8 and is the only non-goalie in league history to win a Kanou Trophy (Playoff MVP) with two different teams. He is tied for 7th in career playoff goals with 43, tied for 11th in points (92 in only 62 games!) and 15th in playoff hits (286). He is one of eight players with 300+ goals, 700+ points and 2000+ hits and is one of five players to win three Campbell Trophies (MVP). In fact, McAllister and Scotty Campbell are the only players to win a combined five MVP awards (regular season and playoffs). And that’s not to mention his three Boulet Trophies (Two-Way Forward), two Slobodzian Trophies (Most Outstanding Player), and his Stolzchweiger Trophy (Rookie of the Year). Clearly, Gabriel McAllister was in a league of his own and that showed as we voted him the fourth-best player in VHL history.

@animal74

 


#3 - Greg Clegane, G, S45-S52, (HEL, QUE, TOR) @Victor
GP 513 | W 364 | L 114 | OTL 35 | SV% 0.926 | GAA 1.80 | SO 93
Cups: S45, S46 Helsinki

 

As one of the legendary Clegane brothers, Greg has certainly made his mark on VHL history. Following his retirement in Season 52, Greg Clegane held VHL records for the most shutouts of all-time, the most wins of all-time, and the lowest goals against average of all-time, often placing him at the top of many historic VHL goaltender rankings. Perhaps most widely remembered for the epic "Clegane Bowl" showdown between the two brothers in the Continental Cup Finals, Greg was consistently an elite presence in net during his career. Even as a rookie in Season 45, Clegane was a rock in net, leading Helsinki to a Continental Cup victory, winning the Christian Stolzschweiger Trophy as the VHL's top rookie on top of that. It was followed up with yet another Cup win, with Clegane somehow even better than before. However, after moving to the Quebec City Meute, Clegane ramped it up even further by winning both the Scotty Campbell Trophy as VHL MVP and the Aidan Shaw Trophy as the top goaltender in the VHL with an absurd 52-8-4 record, .935 save percentage, 1.57 GAA and 16 shutouts. Season 51, his first with the Toronto Legion, proved to be quite possibly his best. With an insane .940 save percentage, 1.50 GAA, and 15 shutouts, Clegane earned his second Aidan Shaw trophy and the Legion coasted to the finals against the Riga Reign and Greg's brother, Sandro. Greg stepped it up even further in the Clegane Bowl, posting a .950 save percentage, 1.47 GAA and two shutouts, earning him the Daisuke Kanou Trophy as playoff MVP. However, a 1-0 shutout by Sandro in Game Seven meant that he would have the last laugh with the championship win. Simply put, Greg Clegane may just be the best goaltender the VHL has ever seen, and his consistent dominance puts him as a top three player in VHL history.

@Doomsday

 


#2 - Thomas O’Malley, C, S40-S47, (COL, HSK, NYA) @Green
GP 576 | G 381 | A 532 | PT 913 | +400 | SHT 3524 | GWG 70
Cups: S42 Cologne, S45, S46 Helsinki, S47 New York

 

A lot of people would say the VHL’s all-time greatest player isn’t up for debate, that it was Scotty Campbell; no questions asked. If there is room for debate on the subject, the one guy you would put up against him is Thomas O’Malley. Cologne drafted him 1st overall in the S40 draft, and he would go on to have an unbelievable career with a list of accolades that could go toe-to-toe with Campbell any day. O’Malley burst onto the scene with a 110-point, Stolzschweiger Trophy-winning rookie campaign. Over the next two seasons, O’Malley enjoyed success and posted good offensive numbers, even helping Cologne capture a Continental Cup in S42. Then he entered his prime in S43, and spent the rest of his career as the undisputed best player in the league. O’Malley scored 117 or more points in the final five seasons of his career, beginning with a 131-campaign in S43, and he led the league in scoring four seasons in a row from S43-S46. It was a nearly-unprecedented run of offensive dominance. No other player in VHL history has won more than two Slobodzian Trophies, but O’Malley won four consecutively. Only five players have won three Campbell Trophies, and O’Malley is one of just two to do it in back-to-back-to-back years. Only Scotty Campbell has ever won more than O’Malley’s four scoring titles - and Campbell faced significantly less competition around the league. After Cologne fell short in the finals a couple of times, O’Malley found himself involved in a massive trade to Helsinki. There, he continued his tear with 122 points but also won his second Continental Cup. The Titans would go back-to-back, then O’Malley left, after a 129 point season, to join the New York Americans in Free Agency. Already a great team, O’Malley pushed them over the top. He didn’t win any individual awards in his final season, but completed a personal three-peat as the Americans won yet another Continental Cup. With 913 career points, O’Malley is the only player since S13 to hit the 900-point mark. He’s also the only player to approach Campbell’s total of 16 total individual awards, and came up just short with 15. Given his incredible list of superlatives - and career numbers in a league that was much more established than it was during the career of Campbell - O’Malley might have a legitimate case for the greatest player of all-time. On our list though, he checks in at #2.

@tcookie

 


#1 - Scotty Campbell, C, S1-S8, (VAS, SEA, HSK, TOR) @scotty
GP 577 | G 600 | A 639 | PT 1239 | +643 | SHT 4897 | PPG 147 | GWG 101
Cups: S1 Vasteras, S4, S5 Seattle, S6 Helsinki

 

He is the Wayne Gretzky of the Victory Hockey League and there is simply no one else that deserves to be ranked as the greatest player this amazing league has ever seen.  The level of dominance that Scotty Campbell had over his era will simply never be seen again.  The second overall pick in the Inaugural Victory Hockey League Dispersal Draft would go on to win enough awards to fill five cabinets.  Individually, he is simply in a league of his own winning the Wayne Gretzky Trophy (League MVP) three times, the Mario Lemieux Trophy (Most Points) five times, the Joe Malone Trophy (Most Goals) four times, the Stan Mikita Trophy (Most Assists) two times, the Gordie Howe Trophy (Playoff MVP) two times, the Ron Francis Trophy (Most Sportsmanlike) two times, and finally the Mark Messier Trophy (Top Leader) once.  To put things into perspective, Scotty Campbell won the same amount of individual awards as Ryan Sullivan (#10), Max Molholt (#19), Pietro Maximoff (#51) and Diana Maxwell (#54)......COMBINED!  While Campbell was a tremendous playoff contributor with 65 points in 41 games and being one of the main reasons that Vasteras was able to win the first ever Continental Cup, shocking the 69-3 Calgary Wranglers who were heavily favoured, it will be his regular season accomplishments that will stand the test of time.  I can safely say that no one will touch the majority of Scotty Campbell’s VHL records.  He holds single-season records for Most Points (190), Most Goals (89) and Most Hat Tricks (11).  At the time of his retirement, he also held the records for both Power Play Goals in a Season (26) and Game Winning Goals (17), which were both amazingly surpassed by Alexander Valiq and John Locke respectively.  Campbell would finish his career with 600 goals (151 more than any other player), 639 assists (59 more than any other player), 1239 points (268 more than any other player), a +643 rating (113 more than any other player, 147 PPG (1 more than Alexander Valiq for the most ever) and finally 101 GWG (17 more than any other player).  There is simply no one that has accomplished more than Scotty Campbell, and I don’t think we will ever see that kind of dominance again.  While critics will point to a weaker era due to less developed goaltenders and defenseman, one just has to look at legends like Mike Szatkowski, Brett Slobodzian, Kevin Brooks and Christian Stolzschweiger to see how much further ahead Campbell was compared to his peers.  He is the greatest player in Victory Hockey League history and I am proud to say that he takes his rightful place at the top of this list.
@Advantage

 

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4 minutes ago, Beketov said:

Just couldn’t crack the top 5. Still, I’ll take 6th all time, hardly something to scoff at.

Three of the six panelists had you in the Top 5.

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9 minutes ago, Jubis said:

Scotty Campbell's numbers blow my mind everytime i see them 🙀

He had the perfect storm to get untouchable numbers to be honest. I’ve been a proponent of era-ing out the record books for decades now but it never gains traction.

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I have already put forth my little editorial in the OP, but just wanted to say again thank you everyone for the support on this project! I love seeing the interactions we've created taking us all down a trip on memory lane. 

 

splat rugrats GIF

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3 hours ago, Mr_Hatter said:

Also since I know his username got broken, @.sniffuM take a look at #24 👀

 

Somehow I felt like reik wouldn't make the top 25 and then now that he's in there I feel his spot is too low. japinder singh and daniel braxton def shouldn't rank higher than him!

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16 minutes ago, .sniffuM said:

 

Somehow I felt like reik wouldn't make the top 25 and then now that he's in there I feel his spot is too low. japinder singh and daniel braxton def shouldn't rank higher than him!

Blame the panelists I didn't rank 😛

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57 minutes ago, .sniffuM said:

 

Somehow I felt like reik wouldn't make the top 25 and then now that he's in there I feel his spot is too low. japinder singh and daniel braxton def shouldn't rank higher than him!

We learned a lot after the rankings were determined as we wrote up the players. There will probably be some rankings shifted around for the Top-100!

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6 hours ago, animal74 said:

We learned a lot after the rankings were determined as we wrote up the players. There will probably be some rankings shifted around for the Top-100!

Top 100 for season 100? Maybe Bek can make it this time haha 

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I'd like to add my thanks and appreciation for everyone who helped out with this project. I don't think any of us realized the scope of this idea when we began to run with it at the end of October and are now finally finished - three-and-a-half months later! It's been a long ride, but a fun ride.

 

I'd like to thank...

 

Our guest panelists @Victor and @Patrik Tallinder for their time and insight as we ranked over 75 players and bantered about stats and analytics.

 

The Graphics God @Zetterberg who killed it with our snazzy title and player banners. 

 

Our writing contributors, @fromtheinside, @PatrikLaine, and @McWolf for chipping in with valuable and timely player write-ups.

 

My fellow VSN writers @Advantage, @tcookie, and @Doomsday who took on the bulk of the writing and provided feedback and encouragement and generally hopped on the bandwagon and never looked back. You boys stepped up when I couldn't, often when you were busy IRL and I am truly grateful!

 

And finally, our fabulous (and very patient!) editor-in-chief, @Mr_Hatter who kept us focused and guided us and stepped up in a huge way in the 11th hour to allow me to wrap things up successfully.

 

It was a pleasure working with each one of you on this project and I look forward to more VSN goodness!

 

- animal74
 

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The only person with two players in the Top 10 is a bit wild. Thanks to all who voted for me and the props, this is cool to see.

 

It's interesting looking back - I think I recognized how great Wingate's career was in the moment, but McAllister's career has been a bit more of a slow burn to put into context. Like, I had no idea about that 5 MVPs/Playoff MVPs stat, for instance, or being the only non-goalie with Playoff MVPs for two teams. Coming into this I thought Wingate would have a shot at Top 5 and McAllister would be somewhere around 15, so it's cool to see him recognized more than even I thought.

 

Also, this makes me feel like the S45 finals should be recognized as one of the all-time greats more than it might be. Young Wingate v. rookie Clegane in net, O'Malley at the height of his powers, Helsinki coming back from 3-1 down to win against defending champs Calgary.

Edited by CowboyinAmerica
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18 hours ago, Beketov said:

Top 100 for season 100? Maybe Bek can make it this time haha 

That's definitely the goal of projects like this. To create a VHL canon that future generations can benefit from. The next time we want to do something like this it will be a lot easier, similar to how we used Victor's rankings by position to get us started. Who knows if I will still be around, or in what capacity, at that point in time, but its exciting that this project might have long running utility for the community as a whole :)

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5 hours ago, CowboyinAmerica said:

The only person with two players in the Top 10 is a bit wild. Thanks to all who voted for me and the props, this is cool to see.

 

It's interesting looking back - I think I recognized how great Wingate's career was in the moment, but McAllister's career has been a bit more of a slow burn to put into context. Like, I had no idea about that 5 MVPs/Playoff MVPs stat, for instance, or being the only non-goalie with Playoff MVPs for two teams. Coming into this I thought Wingate would have a shot at Top 5 and McAllister would be somewhere around 15, so it's cool to see him recognized more than even I thought.

 

Also, this makes me feel like the S45 finals should be recognized as one of the all-time greats more than it might be. Young Wingate v. rookie Clegane in net, O'Malley at the height of his powers, Helsinki coming back from 3-1 down to win against defending champs Calgary.

 

As I researched McAllister, it quickly became apparent how good he was. It was fun to do his write-up. If I resume my "Game 7 Stories" series I'll definitely look into the S45 Finals. Sounds like some great storylines there.

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