Welcome everyone to a very special edition of the neutral zone. It has been a very long time for all my loyal readers. I apologize for my long absence as life has become very busy for me in the last couple months. I am set to be married in a month’s time from now and child number 3 is due in October. I still kept an eye on what is going on in the NZHL and I do miss playing hockey with you guys. For anyone who does not know me I am the one and only Sandin x38x. I did contemplate signing up as maybe a PT player because I miss playing but I came to the realization that I might not be that reliable all season and I would not want to do that to a respective owner of the league.
So Season 12 is officially kicked off as the Draft took place on Friday night. Now I never really took a look at the signups before the draft but reading the draft results I had some thoughts and opinions and I figured hey what the hell, I can put out something that you all would like to read.
I am going to break down each team’s draft and share my takes on who were steals, who reached and who just flat out didn’t get it right. I will not be doing power rankings though I Will just go team by team. So hope you all enjoy it and let’s get started
Memphis Make a Wish
After taking the Season 11 champion Dumpstars to a Game 7 in the finals, Mikey and Rak decided to split up and run their own squads. Rak brings Nicky on board and with their first pick in the first round they select Solid Nuke 8th overall then followed up with Miller back to back. Now I know Nuke is a good player and clearly it was a pick based on friendship but in my own opinion I think Nero is the better LW and they passed him up and there are a couple of other teams I will be roasting for that as well later on. Turk is a solid pick in the part time round but I look at this team and I could be wrong but Turk looks like their best defenseman on the team. Not a recipe you want when your best D man is PT.
Watching Kush play goalie will be fun and entertaining. I guess Kush was tired of watching the group of swiss cheese last season that he decided he was gonna stop the puck himself. It is funny because last season we all kept beating a dead horse about how this team was gonna have trouble scoring to start the season and we were right. Well this season I believe this team is going to have bigger troubles defending especially against the high powered offenses of the other teams. If I am wrong I will admit it but I look at the roster and I am just not seeing what is going to put this team into the top group of the league.
Rak did make huge trades during the season that made them playoff competitive and I think Rak will be back at the drawing board after the first 2 weeks to reshape this roster. I am not saying this team is gonna be a flop but my prediction is this is a bubble team of today.
Shrimp is back after making it to the final four last season. This time he brings Goots on to build a roster. At first glance I will say Shrimp has done the same thing as the last draft. He has too many guys again and will be a pain in the butt to schedule all their games and be competitive. I will be honest I do not know most of the names on this team so I would assume these are more guys from his other banana league maybe?. Cavy going 3rd overall over the Norris trophy winner Odd guy is a head scratcher for me but once again I have never heard of this Cavy unless he is a GT change that I am unaware of. Last season Shrimp had the same approach of bringing in guys he had chemistry with in another league and found out this is a tougher league to play in.
Elmer is back after Shrimp traded him to a team that won it all last season. Boston returns and Reimer is back as a PT’er. It is hard for me to say if this team is bad or good because I am not familiar with a lot of these names so I will let time tell the story for now.
Heroic Duck and Crazy Joe bring in these newly named Bandits team. I know of Duck from LG and stuff but have never played with him but he is a longtime veteran of the chel world and a very good defenseman in the top league of LG. Crazy Joe is no slouch either when it comes to 6’s. This is a very talented management group and adding Perf with the first overall pick makes this defense core probably the best in the NZHL this season. Perf is by far the best player available in the draft this season and is very good at just about every position he plays. The knock on Perf however is his availability. If the Bandits can get the most they possibly can out of perf this summer the Bandits could be flying.
Lebronto at 10 million is interesting, The guy can absolutely play but I look at their other goalies like Player and Prailos and I would not be surprised if Lebronto is playing net more often. JP nasty is their only PT player at 1 million. Devin is an okay forward. Obifans getting paid this season as well It will be interesting to see who is carrying this expensive player every night on the blueline 😛
The knock on this team would be I would say is there enough offense to put them over the top? No one is going to question the defense of this team. Now if Perf is playing just about every game at C then it gives them a chance to score a lot of goals every night. I think this team will be in the top half of the standings all season.
Terry is back as management after taking a season off and he brings along Stump as his captain. The Changas selected FloppyWhaleMeat with their first selection. My opinion may not be popular but I think this is a reach, sorry guys 18 million is a steep number to put on this player. I mean kudos for him being versatile in almost every position and maybe that is why he was selected but I think this should have been Nero.
Floppy had a solid season with shrimps team as a supporting character but now it looks like this team is expecting him to be a huge part of the offense so we will see if he is up to the challenge. Mini Wick is on the team, welcome back buddy, The clock starts now on how long he lasts here lol. Team looks like they have a few guys that will be playing goal this season. I am not really sure what the top line of this team will look like but as of today I have this team as a bubble one competing to get into one of the last spots of the playoffs.
Terry is a good guy and well respected among the NZHL community so I wish him the best.
Before I get into my evaluation of this squad, I think a rule needs to be implemented for next season, If an Owner is returning with his best player that just won a cup they should not be allowed to have such a high draft pick lol. That is just my thoughts because my god this team was given a platinum spoon. Gronk is now full time and returning to the team that ran over the competition with Led and Rookies as the Stars were awarded the second overall pick. But I do not know what the rest of the league was thinking letting Chaz get to them at the 15th pick lol. You all did it to yourselves.
The knock I will say about this squad is the goaltending. Odin was a wall last season and cleaned up well with some of the trophies, Krejci has some big shoes to fill this season and time will tell if he is able to deliver.
I mean this team goes as far as Led and Gronk can carry them which in my opinion will be far, I predict them to be a top 3 team in the league and a hard out in the playoffs barring any changes to availability or anything else. I suggest the rest of you teams learn to play tight defensive hockey when you see the stars coming up on your schedule lol.
I will be honest when I saw CN’s name I kept scrolling to find Shrimp but I couldn’t find it, I must have been dreaming, CN has signed up and returned the Riverhawks name to NZHL, Interesting choice of captain, too bad he will be in the box more than on the ice 😂. Oddguy is a solid choice for their first round pick, Odd is a good guy and a solid defenseman don’t expect him to be punctual though lol.
Agostopolis has some thumbs and is a very good CHL player, Hootsy will put up numbers in his 2 games a week. Mistrbruin had his struggles last season not being able to produce on a line with Willy and Miller; maybe a change of scenery will do him well. And can someone explain to me how Yates went late and is only costing a million? Lol. Looking at this team I am going to assume that CN will be playing goal most nights as the only guy I see that I know is a goalie is part time. I mean I do not want to sound like a bad guy but this roster does not scream contender to me today. I am very curious where all the offense is going to come from. Nobody on this roster says to me gamechanger. Yates will be a guy that will produce well but when this team is going up against tougher competition who is taking over? I have this team missing the playoffs and I’m sorry for that CN 🙁.
Jon and Furry running a team together, no this is not a typo you read correctly lol. This should equal a lot of good popcorn material in the captains and discord chat lol. Sonic Joe becomes the poor sap that has to carry Jon and watch him abuse his LT this season on offense with no production for it. Sonic is a good player and the best C available in the first few rounds. Having Nero slip to them in the second round is a steal even if he is 10 million. Can’t wait to see Jon talking the most crap when he is on a line with Nero and Joe lol.
My boy Killswitch is here and will be sharing the goal with Squirtshirt this season. Master is a steal at 1 million but surprising to see him not playing any goalie. Fury I would assume will be playing defense this season looking at the rest of their roster. I assume Jon is not playing any as I am not sure he hasn’t even seen his own end of the ice 😛
My take is this roster will be tough to play when they have Joe and Sonic out but This team lacks depth and with having to play all these guys at least two games a week I see this roster being a .500 team and might be the most active in trades if Jon is running it.
Rounding off this season preview is Scotts Totts. Soph returns after taking some time off, hope you enjoyed it buddy and welcome back. Mikey parts ways with Rak and joins this squad and with their first pick they selected Lazar, Solid pick will be a top offensive player this season. A line of Mikey, Soph and Lazar will be a tough night for the opponent.
Ghost and Ducky will be an interesting Defense pairing, I will tell Ducky to drill into Ghost head now to not pinch lol 😛. Nagy is still kicking around the 6’s. Hopefully his internet is better these days. Funny to see a guy named SCLSU Mud Dog wonder if that is Mango on another tag haha. Clarke, not playing any defense this season, still went for 10 million. I will admit I do not know how he is at forward so I will have to see.
This team has quite a bit of players on the roster and scheduling could cause problems unless this team is knows that some peoples avails will not be as good certain weeks being the summer so they are covering their bases or maybe they have these guys to package for a certain player 😛 who knows?. I see Totts being a very solid team this season if they get good availability from their players It will be interesting to see what the depth of this roster brings and how well Loading plays in net but with Soph being one of the best 2 way players in the league and Lazar lighting the lamp see the Totts being in the top half of the standings.
Well there you have it everyone hope you all enjoyed the read while you are on the pooper, hopefully it got you through the taco bell you might have had last night or that extra cheesy lasagna your Mom or Grandma made lol. Wish I could be playing with you guys this season but I will have to wait until the fall. I hope you guys have a great season and have lots of fun with this bad video game. Wishing all you guys the best of luck and maybe I will write something up in the near future If I get the time. This has been your boy Sandin and you all have a great summer.