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Experts and Writers: ArGarBarGar, PeanutButter, Coach Biz, Beaver, Winter is Coming
Together we made a panel of 6 experts who graded over 130 players, narrowing the list down to 100 and ranking those elite 100 players of the SHL.
I'd like to ask the media grader to wait for my PM before grading this article.
100. (S33) D (Minnesota Chiefs) - Eero Hämäläinen || -1 Average Grade: 72.40 Past Seasons: S38-99
Starting off the top-100 is Chiefs defender Eero Hämäläinen, dropping a little but maintaining a spot on the list after scoring 5 goals and 27 points in S38. Hämäläinen hasn't seen a lot of improvement over the recent seasons, but still is pretty young and has plenty of room to grow, here. At the very least he did not repeat the poor S37 performance where he only scored 20 points, which means he still has a chance to be a respectable player in this league.
99. (S30) C (West Kendall Platoon) - Jon Ross || -1 Average Grade: 72.60 Past Seasons: S33-89, S34-84, S35-58, S36-63, S37-92 S38-98
At 99 is Platoon center Jon Ross, also dropping off a bit in this list despite getting back into the 30 point marker where he scored 8 goals and 32 points. Ross appeared to be suffering from a bit of an injury through most of the season, as his hitting numbers went down a bit (he had 80+ hits the three seasons prior) and his overall two-way game wasn't quite as refined. Jon Ross can still get back to his game from earlier in his career, but with regression coming up very soon Jon Ross has an uphill battle ahead.
98. (S29) G (Calgary Dragons) - Richard C. Hocolate || -4 Average Grade: 72.80 Past Seasons: S38-94
At 98 is goaltender Richard C. Hocolate, playing about as good as you can expect for a youthful(ish) goaltender with only two seasons as a full starter. Hocolate continued to play well as far as his individual play was concerned, earning a .908 save percentage and 2.75 goals against average, but the wins just were not there for him in S38. He went 21-20-3, and if not for a very weak Western Conference it is possible the Dragons would have missed the playoffs entirely. His playoff run was something else, though, and if he can use that as a boost for next season that should help his upcoming regression problems.
97. (S26) RW (Winnipeg Jets) - Don Pellegrino || -27 Average Grade: 73 Past Seasons: S33-87, S34-39, S35-51, S36-68, S37-25 S38-70
At 97 is Jets winter Don Pellegrino, unfortunately demonstrating a worrying trend (at least considering the high bar he was expected to pass) with his second straight sub-40 point season, scoring 11 goals and 36 points, way down on the depth chart in terms of scoring, and not exactly being there for his team in other aspects of the game. Don Pellegrino has seen regression take a major bite out of his tenacity and drive, and we have seen his play suffer as a result. He is still productive, just not nearly as productive as his prime years.
96. (S20) C (Calgary Dragons) - Nicholas Pedersen || -41 Average Grade: 73.20 Past Seasons: S23-46, S24-59, S25-16, S26-22, S27-49, S28-27, S29-58, S30-24, S31-17, S32-23, S33-26, S34-7, S35-39, S36-19, S37-36 S38-55
At 96 is Dragon Nicholas Pedersen, a player who we anticipated would take a big fall at some point in the near future. Pedersen had one of the worst seasons of his career, scoring 8 goals and 21 points, proving to everyone that time always wins out, no matter how long it takes for it to happen. Pedersen is going on his 20th season in S39, which is quite a sight to behold considering he wasn't expected to be as much of a game-breaker as he has been. His prime years are behind him, but at this point it will be interesting to see if he can hang on for just a little while longer.
95. (S32) RW (West Kendall Platoon) - Leafer Rielly || New Entry Average Grade: 73.40 Past Seasons: None
At 95 is West Kendall Platoon winger Leafer Rielly, making his debut on the top-100 list after his steady progression for the Platoon in what is a young career. Rielly scored 10 goals and 40 points in S38, good for 4th on the team, and is coming off as one of the up and coming premier forwards for West Kendall. With the team starting to lose a lot of their prime talent over the last few seasons, they have been desperate for fresh blood to make up the difference, and Rielly could very well be that blood to invigorate the franchise.
94. (S31) D (Los Angeles Panthers) - Matthew Leetch || New Entry Average Grade: 73.4 Past Seasons: None
Matthew Leetch enters the list at 94, another new entry to the list and this one coming from the West Coast. Leetch's first few seasons on the Panthers saw a major warming up period, as Leetch wasn't quite acclimated to the speed of the SHL compared to the SMJHL. Now over the last few seasons he has started to fine tune his game and become better in all facets of the game, and while his 9 goals and 23 points was not terribly impressive, he made a lot of heads turn in the pro scout booth, and given more time and opportunities he could make some waves in this league.
93. (S31) RW (San Francisco Pride) - Jacob Renninger || New Entry Average Grade: 73.40 Past Seasons:
At 93 is Pride winger Jacob Renninger, a third new entry in a row and for good reason. Renninger over the past three seasons has been a productive member of the Portland/San Francisco franchise, and in S38 he was able to break out in a big way with 17 goals and 39 points. It is performances like Renninger's that vaulted the Pride to the top of the standings, something that nobody was expecting. Renninger's biggest obstacle right now is honing his offense and becoming a more defensively sound winger.
92. (S26) D (West Kendall Platoon) - Mattias Holmberg || -2 Average Grade: 73.40 Past Seasons: S33-80, S34-96, S35-92, S37- S38-90
At 92 is Mattias Holmberg, another Platoon player. Holmberg had a bit of a struggle his previous two seasons, regression taking a major toll on his game. However it seems that Holmberg has been able to adapt his game to make up for the deficiencies in his athleticism, and with that he scored 9 goals and 32 points. Not putting himself out there as a world-beater, but certainly keeping him among the best in the game.
91. (S28) D (Manhattan Rage) - Hunky Monkey || New Entry Average Grade: 74 Past Seasons: None
At 91 is Rage defender Hunky Monkey, another new entry and making the list a little later in his career. Monkey took a few seasons to get going in the league, his career with the Dragons not quite leading to much of anything (a total of 47 points over 300 games). Upon arriving in Manhattan he was able to finally get over the 20 point hump, and in S38 was able to do it for the second straight season with 4 goals and 28 points. What has really helped shape his game, however, is his physical play. 124 hits on the year and third on the team in that regard, helping the team power through its opponents during the regular season.
90. (S33) RW (Manhattan Rage) - Crossfit Jesus || New Entry Average Grade: 74.20 Past Seasons: None
Another new entry and another Manhattan Rage player, Crossfit Jesus enters the list at 90, with his third 30 point season in a row after an extended stay in the SMJHL. Jesus scored 16 goals and 35 points, registered a career high 169 shots, and did so despite playing very limited minutes compared to a lot of his teammates. He was a productive depth winger, which the Rage used to their advantage as they took home the Challenge Cup. Some would say Crossfit Jesus was one of their most underappreciated players leading up to that win.
89. (S31) G (Minnesota Chiefs) - Olli O'Koivu || -3 Average Grade: 74.20 Past Seasons: S38-86
At 89 is Minnesota Chiefs goaltender, formerly Kyle Wahlgren, now Olli O'Koivu. O'Koivu had a bit of a rocky start with his new name change, but not terrible all things considered. In fact some might consider this ranking to be a bit of a slight considered he went 28-10-6 with a .913 save percentage and a total of 6 shutouts, tied for the lead among Chiefs goaltenders all time. So with those things in mind it is possible they had no idea who this guy was with the name, and didn't think of his past seasons. This is why you don't change your name in the SHL. It just leads to bad things.
88. (S30) D (San Francisco Pride) - Victor Lindstrom || New Entry Average Grade: 74.40 Past Seasons: None
At 88 is San Francisco Pride defender Victor Lindstrom, entering the list for the first time with a breakout season where he scored 8 goals and 42 points, third among his teammates in scoring and leading them to quite the impressive run. Lindstrom is an interesting case, because we are already coming on S39 and Lindstrom hasn't been much of a factor in the league going on his 8th season here. Lindstrom didn't seem to fit in well with the Panthers, and took a bit of growing when he was eventually traded to the Pride, but now it seems like he has found a good home and may run with it while he enters his prime years.
87. (S24) C (Calgary Dragons) - Alex Mack || Returning Entry Average Grade: 74.40 Past Seasons: S29-72, S30-65, S31-63, S32-50, S33-82, S34-95, S35-93, S36-82
Coming back onto the list is Alex Mack of the Dragons, the veteran center who we once thought was out of the picture completely makes one more attempt to push on this list. Mack scored 9 goals and 38 points, not bad for an old timer, and even did a pretty decent job on the power play, scoring 8 points. He even did this while playing fewer than 20 minutes a night, so even if his time is numbered he could still make a bit of noise on this list.
86. (S22) G (Toronto North Stars) - Mark Harter || +1 Average Grade: 74.60 Past Seasons: S24-101, S25-78, S26-89, S27-69, S28-22, S29-25, S30-30, S31-44, S32-17, S33-55, S34-53, S35-23, S36-58, S37-70 S38-87
Another veteran (this one a member of the very small S22 brigade), this one a goaltender is Mark Harter coming in at 86. Still doing a pretty decent job, earning wins the best way that he can, even if that means he requires a much better supporting cast to do it. Harter went 15-21-6, with a .896 save percentage and 3.56 goals against average, as well as zero shutouts. Harter is possibly seeing his career come to an end with his regressing play, but within a close distance of some of the greats in wins, Harter may just make that push before he ends up retiring.
85. (S27) RW (Los Angeles Panthers) - Jaxson Reynolds || -35 Average Grade: 74.80 Past Seasons: S34-61, S35-34, S36-28, S37-66 S38-50
At 85 is Jaxson Reynolds of the Panthers, making a major fall after his play has continued to take a steady tumble. Reynolds scored 9 goals and 28 points, once again unable to get back to his 50+ point ways, and that may be for the forseeable future at this point. Reynolds has seen his minutes shrink over time as well, and with regression continuing to take its toll on the veteran winger this is most likely the beginning of the end for him, assuming he doesn't get knocked out of the list by next season.
84. (S29) C (Los Angeles Panthers) - Nicolas Winter || -33 Average Grade: 75.20 Past Seasons: S33-73, S36-91, S37-72 S38-51
At 84 is Panthers center Nicolas Winter, another player taking a big tumble after what looked like a pretty consistent career arc. Winter scored 14 goals and 33 points in his first outing for the Panthers, unable to get to his 40 point ways from the previous three seasons (where he scored an average of almost 42 points), and an awful -15 on the year to boot. The Panthers did have their own problems, and with Winter finishing in the top-3 among the team in scoring that probably isn't the worst thing that could have happened for him.
Esa Anrikkanen, King of Parms, comes in at 83, after suffering the worst individual season of his career since S19, almost two decades previously. Anrikkanen, after so many seasons, may have finally fallen victim to the undefeated adversary that is time, as Anrikkanen scored 16 goals and only 27 points in S38. Despite the poor numbers he has expressed his confidence that he can keep going, and with this it is possible he may be vying to unseat McKeil as the SHL all-time leading scorer. Certainly possible, but he will have to make major changes to his game to do that.
82. (S35) D (West Kendall Platoon) - Fin Krüger || New Entry Average Grade: 75.80 Past Seasons: None
At 82 is a new entry Finn Krüger, enjoying a sizeable step up in his sophomore season where he scored 4 goals and 28 points. The Platoon are starting to get some decent defenders to begin filling the gaps left by their major players of previous seasons, and Krüger could potentially be the player to do it. His 77 hits weren't too shabby either, and with only 23 minutes a night he could become even more of an asset to the team once he is able to get his endurance up. As a S35 player, the sky is the limit at this point.
81. (S32) D (Buffalo Stampede) - Charles Walker || New Entry Average Grade: 75.80 Past Seasons: None
At 81 is another new entry Charles Walker, this one in his fourth SHL season and his slow but steady progression paying dividends. Walker scored 18 goals and 35 points for the Stampede, a team that had their own share of problems as an organization. However Walker was able to make a name for himself and even finished 4th among their top scorers. The -10 plus minus is something to be concerned about, but he is still pretty young and can turn over a new leaf. That is if he wants to do that.
80. (S31) G (Edmonton Blizzard) - Ekaterina Rudnikova || New Entry Average Grade: 75.80 Past Seasons: None
Finishing off the 80s is Blizzard goaltender Ekaterina Rudnikova, the third new entry in a row and this one with a goaltender who is already starting to show signs of being the next big thing in the SHL. Although being a S31 goaltender this is probably something that should have happened awhile ago. A record of 16-22-6 isn't entirely great, but it is her second season with the team, and her .901 save percentage isn't terrible. But it is possible this is the best she can do, which is certainly trouble for Edmonton.
79. (S31) G (Texas Renegades) - Georgette Pel || +4 Average Grade: 75.80 Past Seasons: S36-92, S37-68 S38-83
At 79 is Renegade goaltender Georgette Pel, getting back into the swing of things in S38 with a really good individual season despite his team being one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Pel went 17-22-4 in his 43 starts, had a .912 save percentage, and finished with a .281 goals against average. He even registered 2 shutouts during the season despite being faced with over 1300 shots. Pel just needs to get more consistent in his play and he may be one of the next great goaltenders.
78. (S24) D (New England Wolfpack) - Jack Burton || -1 Average Grade: 76.40 Past Seasons: S28-102, S29-79, S30-92, S32-88, S33-88, S34-55, S35-46, S36-67, S37-89 S38-77
At 78 is new Wolfpack defender Jack Burton, moving around to a couple of teams after being traded from the Stampede in S38. Burton had a pretty damn fine season, and surprisingly got booted back a spot considering he played a lot of the season at forward. Burton scored 21 goals and 43 points on the season, 25 of those points in 36 games with the Platoon (18 points in 16 games with the Stampede), so clearly he had a problematic time dealing with a new system. He has aged a bit over the last few seasons as well, which means this could potentially be his last time on the list.
77. (S31) C (San Francisco Pride) - Isaac Kaiser || New Entry Average Grade: 76.60 Past Seasons: None
Newcomer Isaac Kaiser enters the list at 77, a San Francisco Pride prodigy who looks to be getting into his groove going into S39. Kaiser scored 9 goals and 40 points as a centerman. Kaiser certainly needs to work on his abilities at the dot (only won 45.62% of the faceoffs taken), but his offensive game has hit a new peak, and at this point there is nowhere to go but up for him,.
76. (S33) RW (Minnesota Chiefs) - Halfdan Thorstein || +5 Average Grade: 76.60 Past Seasons: , S37-83 S38-81
At 76 is Halfdan Thorstein, moving up slowly but surely so far on this list. Thorstein scored 23 goals and 45 points in S38, even got close to getting 200 shots on the season, all while playing only a little above 20 minutes a season. Thorstein appears to be Minnesota's diamond in the rough, as his play has continued to get better and he has continued to get smarter.
75. (S30) C (Texas Renegades) - Steven Stamkos Jr. || +1 Average Grade: 76.60 Past Seasons: S33-92, S34-29, S35-71, S37-63 S38-76
At 75 is Renegade center Steven Stamkos Jr., sticking around the mid 70s with an okay but nothing special season where he scored 16 goals and 34 points. What was really noticeable was his -11 on a team that didn't have another player in the double digits in the minus category, so it is a question of what he was doing when he was with the Steelhawks that led to such a poor defensive showing. Stamkos Jr. is now on the Renegades, and the jury is still out if he will be able to get back into the top-50 category or stick around up here in the 70s.
74. (S24) D (West Kendall Platoon) - Klaus Wagner || -41 Average Grade: 76.60 Past Seasons: S29-93, S30-73, S32-20, S33-36, S34-62, S35-73, S36-46, S37-19 S38-33
Klaus Wagner enters the list at 74, a well known name still kicking it even though his play has really started to peter off. Wagner has been a long-time asset to the Platoon, but unfortunately his body has started to fall back, as he scored only 7 goals and 27 points on the season, well behind what was expected of him. He was even outshined by short-lived teammate Jack Burton in a big way.
73. (S20) D (West Kendall Platoon) - Barney Stinson || -9 Average Grade: 76.80 Past Seasons: S23-56, S24-34, S25-28, S26-55, S27-90, S28-87, S29-52, S30-8, S31-16, S32-8, S33-18, S34-21, S35-72, S36-96, S37-95 S38-64
A player who refuses to die despite many telling him to pack it in is Barney Stinson, still kicking it and producing at a decent rate (most of the time). Stinson scored only 4 goals and 22 points, and was playing so poorly in Buffalo that they ended up shipping him off to the Platoon, and with his play really falling off it is probable that he is going to end his career with the team. Hopefully he doesn't stick around too long before retiring, because the memory of his great days will continue to be forgotten the more that he plays when he clearly cannot hack it.
72. (S25) C (Edmonton Blizzard) - Travis Kudleychuk || -11 Average Grade: 76.80 Past Seasons: S30-95, S31-68, S32-60, S33-61, S34-33, S35-26, S36-23, S37-80 S38-61
At 72 is Travis Kudleychuk, quickly moving on from his former team in the Stars and moving to new pastures with the Blizzard. Kudleychuk is another one of those players you hear about and say "oh, he is still in the league?" Not because he isn't any good, or anything. He was one of the Blizzard's best performers in S38 (though that isn't saying much), as he scored 15 goals and 36 points on the year. Although he only scored half of those points with the Blizzard, in 30 games no less.
71. (S23) D (Calgary Dragons) - Michael Boychuk || -26 Average Grade: 76.80 Past Seasons: S28-97, S29-67, S30-53, S31-41, S32-25, S33-67, S34-57, S35-50, S36-50, S37-59 S38-45
At 71 is Michael Boychuk, a player who has had a steady and not often appreciated run with the Calgary Dragons. Boychuk didn't produce all that well in S38, scoring 7 goals and 27 points on the year, but still enough to where his defensive play could make him a solid asset for the franchise. As an older player (one of the very few S23 players left), he doesn't have long before his play nosedives, so Calgary is enjoying him while they can.
70. (S32) LW (Edmonton Blizzard) - Cory Knouse || +26 Average Grade: 77 Past Seasons: , S37-100 S38-96
Finishing off the 70s is Cory Knouse, taking a sizeable bump up in the rankings with his 18 goals and 42 points with the Riot. Unfortunately for the Riot Knouse now calls Edmonton his home, where he anticipates making a major uptick in his production on a team that will be using him a great deal in all situations. Can Knouse handle the pressure on his new team as the expectations mount?
69. (S31) D (Buffalo Stampede) - Brynjar Tusk || +26 Average Grade: 77 Past Seasons: S37-75 S38-95
At 69 is Stampede defender Brynjar Tusk, back up on the list even though his play in S38 wasn't entirely that great. Tusk scored 5 goals and 27 points on the year, and even though it wasn't nearly enough to get him a Stevens nomination, he was doing it with some really weak teammates, having him finish 5th on the team in points. Tusk certainly wasn't helped on a team that had multiple players -20 or worse.
68. (S33) LW (Hamilton Steelhawks) - Zanarkand Abes || New Entry Average Grade: 77.20 Past Seasons: None
Zanarkand Abes comes in at 68, new entry to the list due to a major uptick in production where he scored 22 goals and 49 points, finishing second among Steelhawks forwards and doing it as a member of the 100+ hit club. Abes has become quite the two-way threat, making major improvements on his game and becoming a major contributor to the Steelhawks forward core.
67. (S29) D (Los Angeles Panthers) - Felix Herzog || -1 Average Grade: 77.20 Past Seasons: S36-95, S37-50 S38-66
At 67 is Panthers defender Felix Herzog, dropping back a bit after what some might consider a strange season for the defender. Herzog went just shy of the 30 point mark, finished -25 (worst on the team by a mile), and fell back in almost every major statistical category over the season. Herzog may be feeling the heat of the incoming regression, but it is also possible that Herzog is just a decent but inconsistent defenseman.
66. (S35) C (Hamilton Steelhawks) - Robert Phelps || New Entry Average Grade: 77.40 Past Seasons:
At 66 is Robert Phelps of the Steelhawks, another new entry and one who also had a major uptick in production where he scored 14 goals and 44 points. A playmaker at heart, he was a major reason why players like Abes and Westbrook had the seasons they had, registering 30 assists (the most of his career) and doing a pretty decent job at the faceoffs. That and a young career means a lot for this player.
65. (S32) D (Seattle Riot) - Samee Iqbal || Returning Entry Average Grade: 77.40 Past Seasons: S35-79, S37-85
Samee Iqbal comes back to the list at 65, a player with a checkered past considering some of the antics he has pulled in the league. Iqbal proved that he isn't always a distraction, and got back into the swing of things with 10 goals and 40 points on the back end, even blocking 82 shots. Unfortunately Iqbal's problem of late has been his lack of a physical game and no interest in getting into the nitty gritty of the play. As a defender that is a problem.
64. (S31) D (Edmonton Blizzard) - Kornel Kašpárek || +28 Average Grade: 77.40 Past Seasons: S38-92
At 64 is Blizzard defender Kornel Kašpárek, making a big movement on the list with a pretty decent season. He did reach the 30 point mark, and was pretty solid on the defensive end, but what made him so endearing to the voters was his ability to register hits on a regular basis, finishing with 147 hits on the year and being one of the more fearsome players in front of the crease.
63. (S26) LW (New England Wolfpack) - Mainio Makinen || +19 Average Grade: 77.40 Past Seasons: S31-72, S32-44, S33-66, S34-48, S35-7, S36-14, S37-65 S38-82
Maino Makinen comes in at 63, moving back up into the 60s (though it is a far cry from his days in the 20s and his moment in the sun at a top-10 position). Makinen came back to his regular expected production, scoring 15 goals and 44 points. Makinen is one of those players who you somewhat forget about because of how he plays the game, and he is so underlooked you might forget he is already in the heat of regression. But he produces and does what he needs to do for the Wolfpack.
62. (S31) RW (Hamilton Steelhawks) - Brennan Kennedy || -13 Average Grade: 77.80 Past Seasons: S35-78, S38-49
At 62 is Bennan Kennedy, Steelhawks winger and unfortunately a little more inconsistent so far in his career than the Steelhawks were initially expecting. Kennedy scored 12 goals and 35 points, which all things considered isn't terrible, and his 92 hits was more than adequate when it comes to a winger with a little bit of grit. He still has some time to improve on his game before he begins to regress, too, so there is still a chance he can get right into the top-50 and even sniff a shot in the top-10.
61. (S30) C (Los Angeles Panthers) - Jean-Luc Reflieux || +12 Average Grade: 78 Past Seasons: S34-96, S35-97, S36-99, S37-43 S38-73
At 61 is Panthers center Jean-Luc Reflieux, getting a little overlooked by the voters with his team leading 21 goals and 46 points. Despite the fact his teammates didn't have a single player with a PPG (or really anything close as the nearest player had 38 points) he was able to pull off a very productive season, even finishing with a -2 plus minus (which is amazing when a lot of players were in the double digits in the minus category).
60. (S25) D (West Kendall Platoon) - Maria Maximova || -18 Average Grade: 78.20 Past Seasons: S27-96, S29-71, S30-96, S31-95, S32-52, S33-57, S34-71, S35-64, S36-44, S37-45 S38-42
Maria Maximova finishes the 60s with a season with 7 goals and 26 points, continuing down the unfortunate path of regression and further away from he career high in S36. Maximova is still doing the little things right for the Platoon despite this, registering 90 hits and even getting blocked shots in, but with her minutes being reduced the inevitable is well on its way for her career.
59. (S21) RW (Buffalo Stampede) - Theo Kane || -24 Average Grade: 78.40 Past Seasons: S23-75, S24-77, S25-56, S26-76, S27-57, S28-20, S29-32, S30-1, S31-13, S32-10, S33-12, S34-1, S35-10, S36-12, S37-18 S38-35
At 59 we provide a tale of how the mighty have fallen, in Theo Kane, former superstar and one of the best players in modern history to put on skates. Kane did not have a terrible year in S39, and he actually was pretty productive with the Jets where he scored 21 goals and 41 points. But it is certainly a far cry from his seasons of 60-70 points and 30+ goals. And not to mention he finished 8th on the team in scoring, which means he was feasting off one of the most potent offenses in the league.
58. (S34) LW (Hamilton Steelhawks) - Noro Wozy || +10 Average Grade: 78.80 Past Seasons: , S37-88 S38-68
At 58 is Noro Wozy of the Steelhawks, finishing with a decent season where he scored 22 goals and 43 points. His defensive abilities didn't quite show, however, as he was a -1 and only registered 32 hits on the year. Wozy is one of the younger players on this list, and still looks like his is improving with the Hawks, but at some point if he doesn't get his two-way game in check that is all going to plateau and he is going to stagnate on the list.
57. (S22) C (Manhattan Rage) - Kian Hamilton || -35 Average Grade: 78.80 Past Seasons: S27-41, S28-36, S29-33, S30-21, S31-33, S32-16, S33-6, S34-8, S35-4, S36-7, S37-5 S38-22
At 57 is Kian Hamilton, another long-time elite player who has seen regression take a monumental toll on his play. Hamilton scored 16 goals and 36 points, was not quite a defensive juggernaut as previous years, and appears to have lost a lot of his flash and speed that we came to know from him from previous years. Hamilton may bounce back going forward, but it seems like his career is going down the "I remember when he was good" path.
56. (S32) C (Edmonton Blizzard) - Teodors Cukurs || New Entry Average Grade: 79.20 Past Seasons: None
At 56 is Blizzard center Teodors Cukurs, taking a little bit to finally get on this list, but doing so with a lot of style, scoring 17 goals and 46 points on the year. However, he was one of the worst defensive players on his team, finishing with a -14 season (only one other player was worse) and registering only 44 hits. For a center who is meant to be on the up and up, this is a bit of a concern, especially with a team that is looking for their two-way monster to lead them to the promised land.
55. (S25) D (Texas Renegades) - Cody Black || +16 Average Grade: 79.20 Past Seasons: S30-81, S31-91, S32-28, S33-68, S34-73, S35-54, S36-52, S37-84 S38-71
At 55 is Cody Black of the Renegades, getting back into his comfortable spot in the 50s with his 10 goals and 36 points. Black has never been quite the elite defender that some were expecting from him, but the Renegades have enjoyed many productive years from a consistent defender who does all the little things right. He certainly has tapered off a bit in some areas (old age and all), but that hasn't stopped him from demonstrating a lot of value to the Renegades.
At 54 is Riot winger Jd Lloren, one of the last S20 players left in the league and still kicking it with perhaps a better string of seasons than he did when he was in his "prime". Lloren scored 15 goals and 40 points on the year, finishing 5th among the Riot in scoring despite his old age and negligible hockey sense. Lloren is one of those classic cases of "fake it till you make it", and for those of us who thought he wouldn't amount to anything (as in every expert who played the game), he is proving us wrong.
53. (S31) LW (West Kendall Platoon) - Alex Light || +27 Average Grade: 80.40 Past Seasons: S37-74 S38-80
At 53 is Platoon winger Alex Light, at his highest ranking on the list due to a big bounce up in production where he scored 21 goals and 42 points, third on the team in scoring (also taking into account the #2 player came in later in the season), registering 112 hits, and doing so with a pretty limited number of minutes. Light hasn't seen a lot of action when it comes to major awards, and with his relatively late start as a major contributor he could be the next generation's unsung hero.
52. (S26) C (Texas Renegades) - Sven Karlsson || -6 Average Grade: 80.40 Past Seasons: S29-85, S30-61, S31-78, S32-74, S33-46, S34-90, S35-63, S36-56, S37-60 S38-46
Sven Karlsson comes in at 52, another player who has seen himself either completely outside of or just inside the top-50. This year is no different as he is just on the border of the 50 mark with a very impressive season by his standards where he scored 19 goals and 44 points. To this day nobody has really been able to describe what kind of player Karlsson is, but all we can see is he is a guy who can produce when necessary and that is all the Renegades appear to be asking for.
51. (S29) LW (Manhattan Rage) - Harry Hans || +21 Average Grade: 80.60 Past Seasons: S33-42, S34-45, S35-24, S36-16, S37-33 S38-72
At 51 is Harry Hans of the Manhattan Rage who had a phenomenal year on a team that did not seem to have much going for them during the regular season. Him and a couple other players seemed to be the only thing keeping the team together, as he scored 25 goals and 53 points, and did so without so much as looking at the other team in a mean way. Hans was also a major reason for the team succeeding in the playoffs, and is hoping to do so again despite regression saying hello.
50. (S28) RW (New England Wolfpack) - Dieter Dominique || +9 Average Grade: 80.60 Past Seasons: S34-51, S35-86, S36-59, S37-73 S38-59
At 50 is Dieter Dominique, his first top-50 performance after a few seasons where he found himself just outside. Dominique scored 21 goals and 46 points in S38, pretty impressive and doing so despite seeing his prime years pass him by. New England appears to have found the perfect niche for this winger, even slotting him in on the PK which took up a ton of minutes. Dominique could see this continue on for a few more seasons despite his age.
49. (S28) G (New England Wolfpack) - Mikke Laukkanen || +26 Average Grade: 81.20 Past Seasons: S32-61, S33-30, S34-17, S35-25, S36-27, S37-34 S38-75
At 49 is Wolfpack goaltender Mikke Laukkanen, jumping back into the top-50 with a decent performance in S38 where he went 28-013-3 with a .908 save percentage and registering 3 shutouts. Laukkanen is getting up there in age, however, so it will be up to the Wolfpack to figure out a replacement, or try to ride him till he ends up retiring, like has been the case for Mark Harter over the years.
48. (S24) LW (Toronto North Stars) - Damien Wert || -18 Average Grade: 81.60 Past Seasons: S28-99, S30-98, S32-96, S33-24, S34-35, S35-84, S36-41, S37-27 S38-30
At 48 is Damien Wert of the North Stars, falling back a bit on the list but still a top-50 player for the fourth straight season. Wert scored 19 goals and 41 points, was an impressive +23 on the year, and even registered 200+ shots, making him a very dangerous player on the ice despite the fact his offensive contributions stagnated somewhat.
47. (S27) LW (Los Angeles Panthers) - Maximillian Wächter || -8 Average Grade: 82.20 Past Seasons: S32-98, S33-79, S34-56, S35-22, S36-13, S37-16 S38-39
Maximillian Wächter comes into the list at 47,dropping back yet again after being so close to the top-10 back in S36 and even S37. Wächter scored 15 goals but only 38 points, joining a team that in general did not know how to put the puck into the net. He finished 2nd on the team in scoring, so it isn't like he was surrounded by a bunch of guys he made worse, but he just wasn't quite good enough to make the team as a whole much better.
46. (S31) D (New England Wolfpack) - Toivo Kosonen || +38 Average Grade: 82.60 Past Seasons: S36-76, S37-76 S38-84
At 46 is Toivo Kosonen of the Wolfpack, reaching the top-50 for the first time ever, scoring 13 goals and 49 points, a career best. Kosonen has clearly learned a lot from fellow defenseman and Scott Stevens winner Jasper Clayton, and is looking like he has finally turned a corner and will be a top-tier defender for years to come. Assuming he continues to work and train as he has been doing since being drafted.
45. (S24) LW (New England Wolfpack) - Patrikov Bure || +22 Average Grade: 82.80 Past Seasons: S31-12, S32-13, S33-14, S34-16, S35-17, S36-35, S37- S38-67
At 45 is Patrikov Bure, another Wolfpack player. Bure has been an unsung hero many times for the Wolfpack, and lately hasn't had a lot of credit or hype sent his way at all, but he got back into the swing of things in S38 where he scored 14 goals and 43 points. For a player deep in regression he still seems to get the job done and in a big way. Will he be a major contributor scoring 50+ points like he used to? Probably not.
44. (S32) LW (Winnipeg Jets) - Kyle Kylrad || -10 Average Grade: 83.20 Past Seasons: S35-100, S36-75, S37-20 S38-34
At 44 is Kyle Kylrad of the Jets, another player taking a bit of a consistent drop after getting as close as he ever was to a top-10 spot (this time in S37 where he was ranked #20). Kylrad actually had a really good season, despite the ranking, as he scored 23 goals and 46 points, finished 2nd on former team Seattle, and even made 100+ hits on the year to boot. The +/- was a concern, however, and he wasn't exactly the best backchecker, either.
43. (S31) G (Los Angeles Panthers) - Timo Haas || -20 Average Grade: 83.20 Past Seasons: S33-53, S34-70, S35-19, S36-11, S37-13 S38-23
At 43 is Timo Haas of the Los Angeles Panthers, a player getting closer and closer to regression and a season that many would consider a waste of his prime seasons. Haas went 18-22-4, the team missed the playoffs, and his .894 save percentage and 3.29 goals against average wasn't about to win him any awards. Haas needs to figure out his game soon if he wants to get back into the top-20s again.
42. (S31) D (Hamilton Steelhawks) - Adam Kaiser || +46 Average Grade: 84 Past Seasons: S38-88
At 42 is Adam Kaiser of the Steelhawks, showing off his new offensive skills. Kaiser had a major coming out party in S38, scoring 14 goals and 42 points, even registering 161 hits and blocking 91 shots. Kaiser was the full package in S38, and it was a major deal for the Steelhawks during that season. The biggest thing now is for Kaiser to add onto it and make his prime years something to remember.
41. (S31) LW (Winnipeg Jets) - Pietra Volkova || +44 Average Grade: 84 Past Seasons: S36-93, S37-98 S38-85
At 41 is Pietra Volkova of the Jets, perhaps not getting quite the credit she deserves where she scored 23 goals and 55 points. Is it possible that Volkova feasted with a team that had the most point per game players in five? Yes, but she did finish 2nd among the team in goals and even was 3rd in plus minus, so it isn't like she was being carried. Plus, she registered 138+ hits and 232 shots, meaning she was all over the ice in S38.
40. (S28) D (New England Wolfpack) - Mia Landvik || +25 Average Grade: 84.40 Past Seasons: S35-56, S36-60, S38-65
At 40 is Mia Landvik, another Wolfpack defender who had their own decent production and highest ranking on the list to date. Landvik scored 9 goals and 37 points, not quite up to the same level as players like Clayton or Kosonen, but certainly a great stat line for a top-4 defenseman, something the Wolfpack have been famous for over the last few seasons. Landvik's regression years on on the horizon though, so that stat line may start to shrink as early as next season.
39. (S31) LW (Seattle Riot) - Trevor Wilson || +17 Average Grade: 84.60 Past Seasons: S37-82, S38-56
At 39 we have a big riser in Trevor Wilson as he took a huge step forward this season, leading the Seattle Riot with 53 points and 249 shots. To make those marks even more impressive, only 9 of those points came on the power play and he shot at a below-average 9.24% percentage. But his contributions aren't all in the offensive zone as he was just 4 minutes behind Samee Iqbal for most penalty kill minutes and blocked 21 shots, most of Seattle's forwards. Wilson will look to build on his success as he heads to West Kendall next season.
38. (S28) RW (West Kendall Platoon) - Mikko Linna || -21 Average Grade: 84.60 Past Seasons: S32-76, S33-81, S34-98, S35-61, S36-48, S37-48 S38-17
Speaking of West Kendall, Mikko Linna checks in at #38. During a disappointing season for the team, Linna led the way in points with 44, hits with 163, blocked shots (among forwards) with 19, and minutes played (among forwards) with 1115. With a changing of the guard underway in West Kendall, Linna will look to help lead the team back to the playoffs next season.
37. (S32) D (Minnesota Chiefs) - Noctis Caelum || +42 Average Grade: 84.80 Past Seasons: S37-97, S38-79
One of the biggest risers this season, defender Noctis Caelum makes a huge jump to #37. Coming off a nearly point-per-game season on the blue line, Caelum impressed by putting up more points than many of the superstars he shares a team with. Blocking 79 shots and landing 98 hits didn't hurt, either. Caelum led the Chiefs in power play time and took advantage of the opportunity, tying Sebastian Strange for most power play points on the team and second-most in the league.
36. (S31) C (San Francisco Pride) - Geronimo Otto || +33 Average Grade: 84.80 Past Seasons: S36-90, S38-69
Leading the way on San Francisco's miracle season, Geronimo Otto finds his way to #36 on our list. He led the President's Trophy-winning team with 58 points, 22 goals, and 36 assists and helped anchor the best penalty kill in the league, leading Pride forwards in penalty kill minutes. Perhaps most impressively, Otto was 6th in the league and led all forwards in even strength goals per 20. If San Francisco is to repeat their stellar season, Otto will be a big reason why.
35. (S31) D (Buffalo Stampede) - Alexis Metzler || +9 Average Grade: 85.20 Past Seasons: S36-66, S38-44
Continuing to climb after a big jump last year is Alexis Metzler at #35. The Buffalo defenseman, despite playing on the worst offensive team in the league, managed to score 42 points and register 31 assists this season. Metzler also managed to record 8 of his 11 goals at even strength, good for 4th among defensemen.
34. (S33) RW (Toronto North Stars) - Chris York || New Entry Average Grade: 85.40 Past Seasons: None
Toronto's Chris York had one of the best seasons of any SHL player this year and his improvement is staggering. As Toronto dropped 14 standings points, scored 22 fewer goals, and allowed 24 more goals York improved his person tallies from 41 to 56 points, 20 to 32 assists, 123 to 154 hits, and 208 to 247 shots. He also stepped into a bigger defensive role on the team as he logged 68 penalty kill minutes to last year's 13 and went from 6th forward in power play minutes to top on the team.
33. (S31) LW (Buffalo Stampede) - Eduard Selich || +20 Average Grade: 85.60 Past Seasons: S33-84, S34-36, S35-12, S36-38, S37-52, S38-53
After a tumble last season, Selich rebounds nicely following a 55 point season for the Buffalo Stampede. Much like Metzler, Selich's impressive season on a tanking team is enough to shoot him back into the top 40. One of the few players who managed a positive Plus/Minus rating on Buffalo, Selich scored 28 goals (10 higher than 2nd on the Stampede) and recorded 218 shots (55 more than 2nd) while being a workhorse in all situations for the team. His 3 fights (all ties) and 4 game-winning goals also led his team.
32. (S31) D (West Kendall Platoon) - Ludwig Koch Schröder || Even Average Grade: 85.60 Past Seasons: S33-98, S34-92, S35-82, S36-71, S37-11, S38-32
Schröder has become a regular toward the top of these lists in recent seasons and he reprises his #32 placement in the S39 edition. Following his move from Buffalo to West Kendall, Schröder has put up 69 points, 211 hits, and 155 blocked shots in 2 seasons. He has truly become a workhorse for the Platoon, leading the team in minutes played in both years and stepping up in a big way on the penalty kill this season - leading Platoon defensemen with 123 such minutes. He's been exactly the type of defenseman you want to see: solid all-around game.
31. (S30) D (Seattle Riot) - Viatcheslav Orlov || +16 Average Grade: 85.80 Past Seasons: S37-90, S38-47
A steady producer on the Riot blueline for the past several seasons, Orlov will be moving to upstart Edmonton going forward and looking to replicate his success. Orlov's biggest strengths have been in even strength production and separating opponents from the puck. This season he tallied 2 assists every 60 minutes at even strength and if not for his unlucky 6.9% shooting percentage his 2.5 shots per 60 even strength minutes would have been quite a bit higher - though tallying 39 points as a defenseman is nothing to scoff at anyway. In addition, his 276 hits over the last two seasons have solidified him as one of the most physical defensemen in the league as he led Seattle's blue line the past two campaigns.
30. (S25) C (Winnipeg Jets) - Luke Fleming || -19 Average Grade: 86.20 Past Seasons: S29-100, S30-79, S31-37, S32-33, S33-25, S34-12, S35-3, S36-4, S37-10 S38-11
After spending 5 straight seasons among the elite of the elite, Fleming falls back this season - but only to 30. Coming off a S37 where he scored 57 points for the high-flying, championship-winning Jets, Fleming passed the baton to younger players for this past season, seeing nearly 300 fewer minutes. However, he showed that he's still got it as he recorded 43 points in his reduced role - many on the power play - and put up nearly 11 shots every 60 minutes of even strength play. His 212 all situations shots were 3rd on the team and with a touch more luck would've put him in point-per-game territory.
29. (S30) LW (San Francisco Pride) - Kelly Rivet || +12 Average Grade: 86.60 Past Seasons: S36-86, S38-41
Rivet made a significant jump on the list from last season, as he managed to move up twelve spots on the list, which places him in the top thirty. Such a leap forward is unquestionably warranted, as Rivet managed to increase his point total by ten, contributing 49 points, compared to the 39 he produced in S37.
28. (S31) G (Manhattan Rage) - Jason Aittokallio || +20 Average Grade: 86.80 Past Seasons: S35-99, S36-94, S37-54 S38-48
Being a member of the reigning champions as he is, it’s only fitting that Aittokallio jump a massive twenty spots on this season’s list. Aittokallio faced the 4th most shots and played the 5th most minutes among SHL goaltenders, and managed to produce both a 0.907% save percentage and a 3.00 goals against average.
27. (S25) C (Seattle Riot) - Jonathan Lundberg || +9 Average Grade: 86.80 Past Seasons: 30-82, S31-94, S32-65, S33-59, S34-49, S35-27, S36-30, S37-58 S38-36
Lundberg managed to move up an impressive nine slots on the list, which nearly brings him within the top 25 overall, which is quite an impressive feat given his age. Though his production diminished by nine points from the previous season, Lundberg still produced an impressive 41 points at his current age. Such production kept him within the top fifty point producers of the entire league.
26. (S28) G (Seattle Riot) - Michael McFadden || -10 Average Grade: 87.40 Past Seasons: S31-73, S32-73, S33-56, S34-58, S35-21, S36-26, S37-42 S38-16
Falling ten positions on the list is McFadden, who certainly regressed in his performance, as he finished both first in save percentage and second in goals against average in S37, and regressed to eighth in both categories for this past season. McFadden is still considered one of the better goaltenders of the entire league, though being on a rebuilding team will likely hurt his chances of moving up the list in the near future.
25. (S31) C (Hamilton Steelhawks) - Ronnie Westbrook || +2 Average Grade: 87.60 Past Seasons: S34-97, S35-83, S37-40 S38-27
Moving up two spots on this season’s list, is the improving and rapidly rising star, Ronnie Westbrook, who managed to increase his point production from 47 to 53, during this past season. Westbrook is unquestionably a crucial member of an impressively youthful Steelhawks team, and it’s therefore possible that his numbers continue to improve as the team continues to develop.
24. (S27) RW (New England Wolfpack) - Raven Silverwing || +13 Average Grade: 87.80 Past Seasons: S33-52, S34-37, S35-18, S36-33, S37-24 S38-37
Silverwing improves a very impressive thirteen spots on this season’s list, which makes a great deal of sense, given that there was a four point improvement from last season. Silverwing produced 53 points this past season, which was the thirteenth highest total in the entire league. In addition, Silverwing added three more goals compared to last season by scoring 24 goals, which is tied for the tenth highest goal total in the SHL. Silverwing has remained a core piece of the Wolfpack for a great deal of seasons, and such success does not seem to be coming to a close at any juncture in the near future.
23. (S25) C (Edmonton Blizzard) - Nikolaus Scholz || -10 Average Grade: 87.80 Past Seasons: S31-69, S32-47, S33-17, S34-28, S35-30, S36-24, S37-39 S38-13
Sliding ten spots from last season is Nikolaus Scholz, who produce seven less points than the 57 he produced in S37. Nevertheless, Scholz still had a very impressive season, as the fifty points he provided for the Blizzard was tied for the 18th highest scoring total in the league. Scholz remains a key part of a young and improving Blizzard team, so it shouldn't be surprising if he managed to move up this list for next season.
22. (S20) RW (Toronto North Stars) - Kristian Eriksson || +18 Average Grade: 88.40 Past Seasons: S22-96, S23-77, S24-57, S25-40, S26-11, S27-30, S28-55, S29-39, S30-55, S31-30, S32-5, S33-20, S34-20, S35-38, S36-55, S37-71 S38-40
Moving up a very sizable eighteen slots this season is the captain of the North Stars, Kristian Eriksson. Despite his age, Eriksson produced 56 points this season, including 27 goals, which placed him tied for third in goals scored. In addition, Eriksson finished fifth in total scoring for the league as well. The North Stars are about to enter a massive rebuild and Eriksson continues to battle the hardships of regression, which might make it difficult for him to move up the list any further than this already impressive position.
21. (S32) LW (Manhattan Rage) - Luke Atmey || -13 Average Grade: 88.60 Past Seasons: S34-93, S36-51, S37-14 S38-8
Atmey fell thirteen slots on this season’s list, which makes sense, given that his production fell by six points from S37. Nevertheless, Atmey still produced an impressive 46 points, which ties him for the 29th highest scoring total in the league. Atmey remains a key piece of the reigning champions’ roster, and it shouldn't be surprising if he manages to have a bounce back season, as the Rage try to defend their championship this upcoming season.
20. (S22) D (Manhattan Rage) - Bubba Nuck || -6 Average Grade: 88.80 Past Seasons: S24-98, S26-59, S28-51, S29-74, S30-63, S31-3, S32-40, S33-69, S34-73, S35-14, S36-10, S37-4 S38-14
Starting off the top twenty is Bubba Nuck, who fell a noticeable six positions on this season’s list. Nuck actually managed to produce three more points than in S37, with a scoring total of 39 points. Nuck might have fallen on the list, but he remains one of the better defensemen in the entire league, and is a crucial reason as to why the Rage won the Challenge Cup this past season.
This post has been edited by ArGarBarGar: Feb 12 2018, 05:52 PM
The Road Lead All Defensemen: 5th in Goals (1 to 4th) All-Time Assists Leader (602) 2nd in Hits (911 to 1st) All-Time Blocked Shots Leader (1465) All-Time Points Leader (758)