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Thread: Off-Season Thread

  1. #1

    Iconwhl Off-Season Thread

    While the site is operating, I figured I would start up an off-season thread.

    Couple things I am looking forward to this summer:

    - The Euro Draft is going to be huge. Which two Euro's will they pick up and how will they impact the league.
    - Which college commits will decide to come to the WHL instead and play with the Pats in a Mem Cup year?
    - Who, of the 19 year olds this year, will be back? Wagner, Hobbs, Ahl, Zborovskiy.... I doubt the Euros will but the other two are game changers if they are back.
    - Will Jost play with the Pats?
    - How will they approach their goalie situation? You either stick with Brown who got you to Game 6 of the Finals, or you jump on Hollett for the next few years.
    - What kind of trades will we see and will the team deplete their entire future or figure out some crafty value pick ups like Dawson Leedahl was last season?
    - When will the dominoes start falling? I am wondering if we will have to wait too long to start seeing moves being made.

  2. #2

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    I have a suspension that there will be quite an over haul to the team. I would imagine that hosting the MC and the track record of the coaching staff (for developing players), it would be attractive for a couple of high end Euros. NHL teams might be reaching out to get their newly drafted Euros in North America to keep a closer eye on their development. And I would also imagine that the new ownership would be willing to pay the fee to the agents to get their clients over here (something the Parkers were reluctant to do).

    I really highly doubt that we will ever see Jost in a Pats jersey. I would see a lot more benefit for him to play in the AHL (if he is eligible). At this moment, I don't think he is NHL ready.

    Zborovskiy and Hobbs I really can't see back. Both are ready to move on. I had some hope for Wagner to come back, but LA's farm system is so depleted of talent ...

    The good news is that the Pats will have room to find another 20. I still think Sloboshan is worth a 20 spot. Proved his worth in the playoffs and I think he can be a 20 goal - 50 point man with the Pats.

    Here is the way I see it:
    Forwards: Lose one full line, but get Leschyshyn back. Lockner and Holmes are ready for bigger roles. Jury is still out on the effectiveness of DeWitt. Buziak will start off as a 3rd line center, they might look at a different option there. then you have the young kids: Pierce, Muir, Kjemhus, Nijhoff and Krane. Where do they fit in if at all. Then you have the kids that have yet to sign: Sillinger, and Robins. Can they get a commitment from Janicke, Bohlsen or Langenbrunner?

    Defense: I would say the top 4 are set: Mahura, Davidson, Schioler and Smart. The Pats really like Williams, so he looks like a lock right now. Then there are guys like Bruce, Pryhitka, and Lenchyshyn. I don't think there will be a 16 on the back end. To me the biggest question is Tyler Jubenvill. Will he leave a scholarship on the table and come to play with the Pats (like Henry did). If he does, that will be a very strong 6.

    Goaltending:
    With the emergence of Paddock, I think it might actually be a strength. Keep Brown or go with Hollett? The only thing with me is that Brown is the proven player, but this is the reason that the Pats drafted Hollett and I think he is ready to be a #1. But is it going to be with the Pats?

  3. #3

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    To me, Hollett is clearly the biggest trading chip that the Pats have to look at moving going into next year. You have Brown next year with Paddock as a 17 year old developing for a season, and then he can start as an 18 year old the year after or you trade for a mildly cheap 20 year old goalie or something. Worry about that part down the road and plan for Paddock to be the guy as an 18 year old.

    Trade Hollett while his stock is high and maybe get a 20 year old forward from a team and a d-man maybe too in some sort of package. That's my guess. And the Euro's that come in will have to be impactful, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some big names making their way here for exactly the reasons you said above.

  4. #4

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    Hi guys! Geez it's been a long time. This blog seems to be up three days and down for three weeks….better post now!…LOL

    I was in the building the last time the Pats were in the WHL final and it was long time coming back. That's what makes the result so upsetting to me. I won't be here 30+ years from now if it takes that long. This was a bitter pill to swallow. It was very evident that depth and size were an issue going against a huge Seattle team. There were deficiencies and shortcoming on this team and I trust Paddock will address them. It's his fourth year in the league now as a GM so I hope he has started to learn some things. It's a big boy league, and has to be built that way. 52 wins is great but very hollow when you're not going to Windsor, bottom line. Regular season means little. Regular season make all-stars. Playoffs make Champions.

    I have reflected long and hard on this upcoming team and agree that there is likely to be big changes early, and even more on or before Jan 10th. We have to fix the deficiencies in order to take the next step.

    I agree that it's highly unlikely we will see ever see Jost in a Pats uniform. If for any reason that turns out not to be the case, then it's like winning the lotto. Much like getting an Adam Brooks back.

    Hollett is a big asset that we can't hold back forever. As much as Brown has been a fixture I think he could be moved to allow for the next wave. I could see three new 20 year olds here just because of circumstances. Sloboshan has shown to be versatile type player but definitely not an impact player. With Steel and Lescyshyn likely to be our #1 and #2 centres, do they keep an OA like Sloboshan around at #3 centre, his natural position? I'm not saying they won't but it's food for thought.

    Forwards; there will be a lot of change and right now it's tough to tell how it will shake out. Paddock may keep some young guys in the first part of the season (to audition) but some will be moved to get older pieces for the Memorial Cup run. As he said in his exit interviews that the team will be "old" and that 16 and 17's will be "few and far between". I believe he has learned you can't win with as young a group he was forced to trot out. Even his backups will be somewhat older.

    Defence; I'm not entirely convinced that there won't be quite a re-working of our defence. Outside of Mahura and perhaps Schoiler, I doubt there are any locks. Davidson is small and small d-men are often injury prone. Smart as 17 year old was very ineffective. Dependent on what they do at the Import Draft and/or trades, there could be significant changes. One tidbit I've heard is that they could look at two larger experienced d-men. After look at all the changes to our defence this last season - right!
    Any rookies kept will be #7 and #8 d-men.

    Size; I can see where an upgrade in size could be forthcoming, at both the forward group and even a couple d-men. The T-Birds showed what an asset that can be in a tough series.

    There were some shortcomings on this team this season. I believe Paddock learned some lessons and won't be caught again. Depth, size and sandpaper were exposed this year but I doubt will be an issue next.
    Last edited by chopper; 05-18-2017 at 03:33 PM. Reason: type-o

  5. #5

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    I dont see much movement right away, since we had such a good season this year. The playoff experience they got will prove valuable. I won't expect any surprise returns from veterans neither. Hobbs was leagues top offensive D, Zbo was the top defensive D, and Wagner was the fastest. Ahl...great n all but streaky. I don't know if we want him as a two spotter anyways.

    If Hollett doesn't get drafted, give him every chance to take the starters job. Thats three years of solid goaltending we would be moving away for not so much. They need to really think on it(especially since that means they can fit in another 20 year old). If he does get drafted, he will have higher market value and therefore less reason to keep him. Browns flaws won't be much different; he will be better in some ways but will still let in the odd squeaker and be streaky in general.

    If it were up to me, completely as GM, I'd move brown for a pick somewhere and trade hollett, that pick and + for Griffin Outhouse from Victoria. In a world where the sky is green, of course...

    I think they'll wait until December before they get really aggressive, although there should be a couple of bold moves out at camp. I expect DeWitt, Buziak, Davidson, and Bruce(I love his game but he doesnt seem like a Paddock player) to be on the bubble despite all having solid playoff performances. Sloboshan earned his keep ("you can never have too many centers"), Holmes and Lockner will bounce around the top 9, and Smart has good enough skill for top 4 icetime where he will learn some consistency. We also have some euros and at least one 20 to fill into the holes before factoring in any notable forward acquisitions.

    I'd be interested in Lane Pedersen or Zach Fischer as a 20. A bigger forward who can score, basically. Hajek from blades would be a nice trade if we don't pick two new euros. Popugaev would be risky but I'd definitely take him on if the price was right. His value was set at last deadline and it has gone down since then. He should be even cheaper, and he would perform alot better in this system than he did in PG.

    I don't see any college players jumping their ship like last year. Bohlsen isn't ready and neither eligible 16 year old this year, Langenbrunner and Janicke might not even make the roster anyways, Jubenvil...I honestly don't know but I'm guessing it would be no since the depth is so strong already back there.

    Any new college guys besides them? EDIT: I wonder about sillinger, he's got some skill, but would he fit in? Likely room in top 9.

    Speaking of which, I don't expect jost to be a pat. It would be nice but it seems Colorado is going to keep him since hes already started his entry level contract. That and Colorado is cheap. They'll burn rookies away instead of paying some idiot a bit more money to play third line minutes. Despite him not being ready yet, I also know he doesn't want to play in the WHL. He has avoided this league like the plague. In the event Colorado sends him down I am positive he would fake his own death and then go move to Guatemala to sell bananas just to avoid the dreaded dub.


    To me our biggest trade assets are whl ready defensive prospects. we also have some decent forward prospects which could be moved (moving a guy like Muir paves the way for krane to jump in. Krane is serviceable despite having near no value as I'd guess.). There is Hollett of course, and when jost declines the whl again we have a first to play with. Not to mention we can move some players out to mitigate the amount of other assets moved.

    And if we get absolutely desperate, we can always move Lockner. I don't want that but remember this is the memorial cup.
    Last edited by Some_Arrogant_Jerk; 05-18-2017 at 09:40 PM.

  6. #6

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    In general, the Pats are going to lose a lot of their top players that provided size, speed, skill and grit. John Paddock is going to have to find / trade for many top level WHL caliber players and / or players like Dawson Leedahl, which are able to elevate their game to a high level, while playing in the Pats system. It is my opinion that a lot of the current returning players coming back are expendable.

    As of today, the only three locks I see post January 10th trade deadline are are Steel, Leschyshyn and Mahura. Henry is almost certainly a lock, especially if he continues to improve, which he will. The rest will need to earn their spot on the Memorial Cup roster. I have a feeling that Paddock likes Holmes, he'll probably be kept around. He has the size and plenty of playoff experience over the last couple of years considering he'll only be 18 next year. I can also see Buziak being on the team because he'll be 19, he is willing to play 3rd or 4th line and can play center. Also, it wouldn't surprise me if Paddock kept Tyler Brown as a 20 year old. He seems to have a lot of faith in the 19 year old out of Winnipeg.

    I do not like the idea of keeping both Tyler Brown and Wyatt Sloboshan as 20 year olds because that only leaves one overage spot left. If Paddock wants to keep Brown, I'd rather see Paddock find a 19 year old center that is bigger and and can produce more points in the playoffs and use Sloboshan's overage spot on a bigger, higher skilled forward or a top 4 caliber defensman. Credit to Sloboshan, he elevated his game another level or two in the playoffs and was an absolute warrior out there at times in spite of his limitations. Most years he'd be fine as a 20, but in a Memorial Cup year, on a team that's going to need to replace a lot of veteran size, speed and skill, I'd rather the Pats use that overage spot on a player that's bigger and can contribute more in the point production department.

    On defense, Josh Mahura is curerntly the only top 4 defenseman on the team. The others will have to earn a spot in the top 4 or Paddock may need to acquire as many as 3 top-four-caliber defensemen.

    In goal, Max Paddock played good for a 16 year old and is definitely ready to become a back up goalie in the WHL. In front of Max, John Paddock is going to have to make a big decision on what he wants to do with Tyler Brown and Jordan Hollett. Do you keep them both for the Memorial Cup for goaltending depth or do you trade one of Brown / Hollett? Brown will cost you a 20 year old spot, but he has a lot of playoff experience. Either way, I don't think the Pats need to rush their decision. They should let them both play at the start of the season and make a decision closer to the trade deadline, unless a great deal comes along before then. Of course, another option would be to trade one of Brown / Hollett earlier in the season, so that Max Paddock can have more opportunities to play before the playoffs begin.
    Last edited by Reider; 05-18-2017 at 11:23 PM.

  7. #7

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    There are many interesting thoughts out there and since our season is over all we can do is prognosticate! Paddock knew that he had left the team understocked with depth. He stated he had tried to make a trade at the deadline for a couple of forwards. That says very clearly he knew he wasn't deep enough and that proved his undoing. We had 52 wins in the Eastern Conference, but were outscored and knocked out by a team that finished 2nd in the US Division. The criticism about the quality of the Eastern Conference continues.

    There will linger many theories as to why this team faltered; lack of size, streaky goaltending, injuries, grit and toughness. etc etc. Take your pick! This was the year to do it and we didn't get it done. Losing Brooks, Harrison, Zabrovskiy, Hobbs, Wagner, Leedahl, and Ahl is really gutting the core of the team. Anything to the contrary is nonsense. Steel will be a top guy as will Mahura but it really drops after that. Henry will be good but he will still only be a 18 and a second year player. You could see how Barzal at 19 was capable of more than Steel who is only 18. We are still short a ton of 19 year old talent that you need. Trading is the only way to acquire it and the price will be our young talent. However even that is thinning out. The price paid for Mahura will really handicap our ability to acquire what we need this year. I think the Jost thing is all but dead, and most seem to agree with that. The 1st round pick they had ear marked for him will undoubtedly be used as a lynchpin to acquire a couple of top older players. However they will need more that's why I think Brown could fall victim to numbers and needs. They may need to move him for a top OA. He will have much more value than Hollett (even if he is drafted in a later round).

    I hope they get their team ASAP because the unity of a team is very important, If you look at Seattle basically Adams and Strand were their main acquisitions. We brought in a host of guys in 2001 and it didn't work, Saskatoon tried it with no results, Red Deer tried it last year with no results, PG tried this year with no results. I have long believed that this team was better before the trades and would have done better in the playoffs if they had been kept together. They were all forever Pats and were ready to go to war for each other. You could tell that bond was lost after the Jan 10 deadline. The upcoming team many be adequate/good but I fail to see how it will be elite or Memorial Cup calibre. Hope I'm wrong. Now all we can do is wait.

  8. #8

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    Heard a rumor that Makar might be coming to Regina for next season. I believe his rights are held by Medicine Hat

  9. #9

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    I had no idea who Cale Makar was until I read your post. But what a fantastic offensive defensman he is. He may be good defensively too, but they don't usually show too much of that in highlight videos. Cale is 18 years old, 19 next year, under 6ft tall, but appears to be a dynamic, skilled, offensive minded player with good hockey IQ. He's great with the puck, pushes forward through the neutral zone well and into the offensive end. He seems to have a good accurate wrist shot too. He would be an excellent fit in the Regina Pats system and could potentially be a top 4 defensman next year. It looks like he just needs to get a bit stronger. He has plans to play NCAA hockey next year and the Medicine Hat Tigers drafted him, so the Pats would need to acquire his rights and convince him to play in Regina next year instead of the USA.

    The Pats are losing most of their veteran size, speed, and skill, so they are going to have to find a lot of players to replace and surpass everything they're going to lose this off season. I do not know if the Pats have the resources to build a Memorial Cup Championship team after losing most of their veteran impact players, but acquiring Makar would be a good start.

  10. #10

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    I've actually seen Makar play and he does look like the real deal (but that's Tier 2) The hockey scouts figure he could go #6 in the upcoming NHL Draft. There would be many hurdles to getting him here. His rights are held by Medicine Hat and they should have a good team again this year, so they too could use him. He is a proto-type Medicine Hat player that would make them a top team again. The cost to get him would be very high and what do the Pats have to give up. Could they convince him to opt out of college and play here? We must remember he would still be a rookie in a much tougher league then the AJHL, so it wouldn't be close to as easy as it is for him now. There are a lot of hoops to jump to make this happen and it would be a cost/reward situation. I think it's highly unlikely.

    Hobbs, Zabrovskiy, and Harrison were a big group of veteran d-men (6'1" or better) who will be very hard to replace. Ahl, Wagner and Leedahl are all 6'2" or better so that too will be hard to replace, especially if you add in Wagner's speed combined with his size. Very clearly Seattle is at the Memorial Cup in no small part to the fact they were a big physical team we couldn't match. We couldn't do much against that huge defence. Paddock has a ton of holes to fill with little talent to fill them. Even the likes of Kjemus and Krane down the line, they are small guys who may be more in tune with pieces for trades. Muir is a big centerman we need but again we may need him as trade bait as well. It is going to be very tough for Paddock to build an elite team. Combine all the veteran players traded away with Barteaux, Gardiner, and 2 first round picks takes away a lot of your monopoly pieces. This years team and the mis-steps previously taken will define Paddock's tenure here.

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