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VHLM’s Saskatoon Wild Look to Positives Despite Missing Postseason


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There will be no postseason hockey in Saskatoon this time round, as the Wild missed the VHLM Playoffs


SASKATOON, (February 22) – The Saskatoon Wild closed out the S76 regular season with three straight wins over recent days, but it still wasn’t enough to help the team reach the playoffs, but despite the team missing out on the postseason, players and management alike are looking to take the positives from the ongoing rebuild.


The Wild closed out the season with a 29-39-4 record, good enough for fifth place in the Western Conference. However, things could have been much worse without the shrewd management of Thomas Landry @Doomsday, who rushed to sign Andrew Bowman @BrutalBoost, after the team started the season without a goaltender to their name and dropped their first two games to the Yukon Rush by a combined 15-4 scoreline.


We went from a team without a goalie struggling to stay afloat to a scrappy squad that never gave up and fought all season long. They may not get the accolades of a championship team, but I couldn't be any prouder of what this team and what they accomplished this season,” Landry told the Star Phoenix after the Wild’s final game of the season, a 3-2 shootout victory over the Rush.


For the Wild’s general manager, S76 was one about player development, and he said that he was encouraged by the performances of players such as Duncan Montana @124715, and the Wolf brothers, Declan @MrShark and Nikita @MrE


We were naturally disappointed to miss the playoffs, as no one really wants the season to end like that. But while we knew that this was going to be a tough season, I don't think any of us could have foreseen how successful of a season this really was. We had a lot of players really excel, a lot of guys who really showed us that they're going to be great VHL players. Jan Hlozek, Duncan Montana, the Wolf brothers, Donne Taliferro... we were blessed to have so many players eager to succeed join us,” Landry commented.



Braxton Hunter says goodbye to Saskatoon


One player who the Wild will be without next season is star forward and captain Braxton Hunter @dshervill, who is set to make the step up to the VHL’s Prague Phantoms next season. Hunter finished the season with 125 points in 72 games, fourth most in the entire league, and was a popular figure in both the stands and the dressing room.


Overall, I see our season as a success, the growth of this team from our first game to our last game was evident. We have a great locker room with each guy contributing their own pieces to our puzzle,” Hunter told the Star Phoenix.


(Check out our in-depth interview with Hunter here)


The big-bodied forward, who stands 6’4’’ and 225lbs, is certainly physically ready to make the step up to the VHL, but Hunter said that he’ll look back on his time in Saskatchewan fondly.


“I’ll miss Saskatoon, I firmly believe that it’s the best place to play in the M and has a locker room atmosphere that’s unmatched. Anybody would be blessed and fortunate to call themselves a player for the Saskatoon Wild. I’m excited about going to play for Prague and be reunited with some of my former teammates,” Hunter stated.


One player who may just end up back on the Wild’s roster next season is Czech blueliner Jan Hlozek, who signed with the Saskatoon club in the off-season. Hlozek is set to enter both the VHLM and VHL drafts this coming off-season, but the defenseman said that he has his sights on returning for another crack with the Wild.


It was a great season. We started off slow, as did I, but we gelled as a team and things started to improve. I’m really happy with my performance throughout the season and I definitely think I have more to give the Wild. Of course, it’s all in Mr. Landry’s hands, but either way it was a joy and a privilege to make my debut with the Wild this season, and I hope the fans were happy with how I played,” Hlozek said at an end-of-season presser.


Braxton Hunter will be a big absence for the Wild next season, Hlozek added.


Braxton is such a good hockey player, and he was pretty much the only reason we were in with a shot of being playoff contenders. No matter how tough things were at the end of the season, he was always positive and his performance on the ice said it all. I learned a lot from him this season and I hope to see him again down the road,” the Czech blueliner said.


Hlozek started the season with just one point in 10 games but went on to show some of the flashy offensive talent that he was known for in the Czech Republic. Most notably, he scored scored a 49-second hattrick against the San Diego Marlins this past Thursday and has certainly made the rest of the league aware of his presence.


The Czech defenseman said that he was looking forward to the draft process this off-season and praised the efforts of GM Landry.


“It’s always a fun experience going through a draft. Obviously, I’d be happy to go anywhere, but I’m looking at the draft rankings and I see that I might be in a position to come back to Saskatoon, which is certainly my top priority. Mr. Landry has been super patient with me, and the team has given me all the support I needed to get settled, and I hope I’ve repaid their trust in me with my performances,” Hlozek said.




Looking ahead even further, Hlozek sat in 21st place in the S77 VHL Draft rankings as of one week ago, but the Topolna native said that his focus was purely on the year ahead.


I don’t really have much to say about the VHL draft at this stage to be honest. I know that I have at least one more year in the minors ahead of me, and my goal is definitely, on whatever team I’m on, win the championship. Of course, I know there’s a team in Prague, and being from the Czech Republic, it would be great to play in my home country,” he added.


The Saskatoon Wild go into S77’s VHLM Draft with two picks in each of the first two rounds, meaning that Thomas Landry should be able to assemble a promising squad that will help the team hit the ground running next season.


As this season has shown, few can doubt Landry’s credentials as both a recruiter and a developer of talent, meaning that the Wild should be in a much better place to be challenging at the top of the standings next time around.




(1,126 words, claiming for week ending 28.02 & 07.03)



Edited by Bojovnik
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Not much to criticize about this article. Incredibly well written about an amazing topic and team. 


I really enjoyed the content, the only thing I would change is making the quotes "italicized"  to break up the chunks of texts and make the quotes stand out more, using the same newspaper and referencing multiple players on the roster added a ton of depth that you don't see in many articles. To me it was a near perfect article!


Review:  9.9/10 (because there's always room for improvement) 

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