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Artair McCloud S76 Review


Hoopydog
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Introduction

 

The S76 regular season has drawn itself to a close and with that, comes an end to Artair McClouds rookie year. McCloud came up to the VHL as somewhat of an unknown entity and is still, somewhat of an unknown entity but none the less, we will dive into how his season went, what his future could look like and we will also hear from the man himself to get his thoughts on his season and future. So, let’s get right to it and take a look at his stats.

 

His Ice Time

 

Artair McCloud spent his rookie year with the team that drafted him, the Riga Reign, spending most of his time being double shifted on the 3rd and 4th line, as well as having a short stint on the 2nd line. In terms of special teams, his ice-time was once again limited, as he featured on the 2nd powerplay unit for most of the season, until the blockbuster trade with Malmo threw a spanner in the works.

 

Stats in Depth

 

Let’s take a look at his point production this season. In 72 VHL regular season games, he notched up 19 goals and 21 assists for a total of 40 points. If we take these stats at face value, it gives McCloud a Point per Game pace of around 0.55. A point every 2 games is not too shabby for a 3rd liner but considering McCloud average ice-time its not really a true reflection of his abilities. He averaged roughly 16 minutes of ice-time per game, the 2nd lowest on the team (with the lowest being his line mate rocket) and if we calculate his points per 20 minutes played (Like it does on the index) his PP20 pace goes up to 0.68, just 0.01 behind Linus Zetterstrom and 0.04 behind Cabe McJake, who are both strong candidates to win ROTY. In no way am I saying that if McCloud got this ice-time he would be a rookie of the year candidate nor am I discrediting the amazing season Z and McJake had, I’m just using it as a fairer comparison as sometimes regular PPG can be a bit misleading. McCloud also made a contribution whilst on the powerplay, scoring 5 goals and grabbing 8 assists when his team had the man advantage. He only had 16 PIMs this season, second lowest on the team with Dolant Fertitta only taking 14, meaning that he isn’t leaving his team short-handed a whole lot (this could be attributed to his decreased ice-time). Overall, McCloud’s point production hasn’t been all that bad during his rookie campaign. When you take everything into consideration, he had a good season and it shows that he is a forward who can put points on the board and put the puck in the back of the net.

 

His Future

 

Artair McCloud has a bright future ahead of him in the VHL but with the looming cap situation in Riga, and that McCloud doesn’t look to be at the top of the pecking order. At the end of next season, like most of his Riga teammates, his current contract with the Reign will expire and with the sheer amount of talent that Riga has, it’ll be one hell of a fight to try and secure himself either an extension or a new contract. Looking a little closer towards next season, what will his ice-time be like? When we looked at his stats above, it looks like he could hang with the bigger names on the team but could Riga’s strong finish to the season persuade the way the team lines up next season. I think that it could be a little too early to tell what the lines are going to look like as we still have the playoffs, the draft and the off-season to get through. So much could happen in that time but where ever Artair ends up, you know he’s gonna be putting on a show every time he steps out onto the ice.

 

The Interview

 

That about wraps up our dive into McCloud’s season but we want to hear what the man himself has to say about his rookie campaign:

 

Reporter – “Hi there Artair, thank you for joining me once again to talk about your season. Overall, how do you think your season went?”

 

McCloud – “Hey there thanks for having me back on. I think my season went well, before the season my main goal for this season was to help the team make the playoffs and we did so can’t complain too much!”

 

Reporter – “Yeah you guys made the wildcard round of the playoffs, in a race that went right down to the wire, how’s the mood in the Riga camp right now?”

 

McCloud – “Yeah the team is absolutely buzzing right now. We were kind of an unknown entity going into this season, given the fact that the majority of the roster were having tier rookie season and for part of the season it didn’t look like that we were going to make the playoffs but the GM made the trade and the rest of the boys, we all found our feet and we just kicked on and done enough to make the playoffs.”

 

Reporter – “How are you feeling about your upcoming playoffs tie, your inaugural tie, against the Prague Phantoms. Are you excited, nervous or do you have anyone you are going to have to watch out for?”

 

 McCloud – “I’m really excited to play in my first VHL playoff tie. Prague are a good side and they will cause us some problems but that was always going to be the case when you make the playoffs here. Every team has weapons that they can use against the opposition, in Prague’s case we are looking ta the likes off Thomas Landry II but that includes us too, we can hurt teams and have shown thus far this season.”

 

Reporter – “You guys really did hit your stride just at the right time. Tell me more about the trade with Malmo, you needed a few reinforcements, some veterans of the game and your GM went and pulled of a blockbuster deal for Shields, Saskamoose and Lagesson. What was your reaction to the trade and what was it like having the veteran presence in the locker room?”

 

McCloud – “It was a huge deal for us. Giving the way that the S75 draft went, we had a lot of prospects and a lot of trade value and we wouldn’t be able to hold onto it all. Of course, it’s sad to see those guys go and I wish them all the best. To get the calibre of players like Shields, Saskamoose and Lagesson really help us out. They are veterans in the game for a reason and you can see, in our recent performances, how much of a difference they have made.”

 

Reporter – “How do you feel about your future as a member of the Riga Reign, with the cap situation that you find yourselves in at the end of next season. Are you looking for a move or are you wanting to stay in Riga?”

 

McCloud – “I’m trying not to think about the future too much right now, we’ve a got the playoffs to think about now and thinking about my future would be a disservice to my teammates and to all of the work we put in to get here. Obviously, I would love to stay here in Riga. I’ve some teammates that I’ve played with my entire career and other good friends in the locker room. It’ll be a conversation I’ll have with Hedge at a later time but I do hope I can stay here.”

 

Reporter – “Do you have any goals for next season, I know you are thinking about the playoffs and stuff but are there any areas of your game that you are looking to improve or any point marks that you would like to hit for next season?”

 

McCloud – “I try not to think about these things or set myself any goals for the upcoming season. I just try to do the best I can every single time I step out on the ice and setting myself these kinds of goals wouldn’t change how I play. In terms of areas, I would like to improve, I’d like to work on my overall game but more specifically, I think that my skating and my puck handling are my top priorities for improvement and then after that I’d probably like to try work on my shooting a bit more just so I can be that much more consistent in front of goal”

 

Reporter – “That just about wraps up our interview Artair, do you have anything else you would like to say?”

 

McCloud – “I would like give a shout out to all of my teammates that I played with this season, whether they are here still here or not. Also, shout out to Tunnocks for sending me a big box of teacakes, you guys are absolute legends.”

 

That brings us to the end of our review or Artair McCloud’s season. Who knows how the playoffs will play out or what McCloud’s future holds. That’s all from us, thank you for tunning in and we’ll see you next time

 

1546 Words 

Claiming for weeks Feb 22nd - 28th, Mar 1st - 7th, Mar 8th - 14

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