Hello, and welcome to the (hopefully) first of 5 installments of “Krok’s Top Players NOT in the LGHL PSN”. I’ll be starting today with my thoughts on Left Defense. To be eligble for this list you needed to be listed as an LD and play most of your games in the league at that position. As an introduction to how this column (and possible future columns) are constructed, I checked through the current rosters (as of February 13th) and created a short list of all the “Best” players from the position being covered (Left Defense). I determined who was “Best” by assessing Meaningful NHL Experience, AHL Dominance, and Past CHL Promise. Players who are Management are NOT included in this list because you chose to be in the AHL. Then, from that short list I narrowed it down to Gold, Silver, & Bronze Players (in honour of the Olympics, and to be different) based on comparison of statistics to the Short List and my opinion. Please keep in mind that this is my opinion combined with the stats that have been recorded in LG across all LG PSN leagues. I did not investigate other league stats, Xbox stats, or any other factors. Keep in mind also the date in which this was composed. Just doing this for fun and seeing if there is a desire for me to continue writing articles such as this. So be nice Gold – @Fulltrottle911 – San Antonio Rampage Full is a bonafide NHL defenseman who signed up during NHL bidding and tried to snake his way to a low contract by changing his name a few different times. The Rampage acquired Full in bidding for a cool 6 million, which may turn out to be good value for their now #1 defenseman. Although we may see him get called up to the NHL under the right circumstance, Full is no question the AHL's top Dman. 3x 15 win seasons in the NHL and a career 68-43-6 with a +21. Having not played in the AHL since Season 2, I expect that Trottle will be a dominant AHL Defenseman when paired with the right partner, assuming he stays the year in the AHL. (which is by no means a given) Silver – @PitcheRxSwaGx – Milwaukee Admirals Pitcher has 2 seasons in the AHL under his belt in LG. Period. But by god, are they impressive. His first full season in the AHL, Pitcher was: 15-6-1 with a +14 for the regular season, an Elite 9-0-1 and +14 in the Playoffs, Calder Cup winner & Playoff MVP. What. A. Season! To follow up that mastery, Pitcher went 23-4-1 and was a game-breaking +58 for the all star S6 Barracuda, who also won the Presidents Trophy. Although the GA/TA numbers weren’t as impressive as others, he made up for it with the offense, posting almost a 40-point season. Pitcher is on an acceptable 5.5 mill contract for this year and no doubt he will be an NHLer next year should he desire to make the jump. Bronze – @Rico Suave FLS – Laval Rocket Rico has 2 NHL seasons under his belt on PSN and had 1 great and 1 middling season to look at. Rico signed up late for NHL bidding, or else I could definitely see him getting another contract in the NHL to prove that the S5 Rico is the real Rico. S6 stats aren’t terrible: close to a .500 record, and a +7. Doesn’t shoot a ton and the offensive stats are to be desired, but he makes this spot because it seems to me he’s a Defense first guy, which is what every team needs to be sucessful. Very excited to see what he does in the AHL this year, and I’m not reading to far into the 2 Preseason games he played this week and lost. Honourable Mentions (no order): · @String_King666 – 2 great seasons in a row after a down year in Season 4 and a terrible -47 Season 3 in the NHL. Takes talent to even get a full season in the NHL so there's that · @Dion Dieon – Solid CHL career, Solid when he’s played in the AHL, Great S3 in the NHL. A full AHL season will do Dion wonders. · @Slo_Mobius – AHL veteran. Plays great on good teams, and good on subpar teams. Has put up several positive Takeaway/Giveaway seasons, just missed doing it again last year. I’ve played Goalie behind Slo a few times last year and he is a difference maker. · @Lunchboxhero_ - A++ S3 and some middling NHL experience. I played with Lunch during some of his best season to date and he was as shut down as they come. Hasn’t played a full season in a while, but if he does he can be a top tier D man · @Greeno1822 – Some ugly NHL seasons, but points awarded for hanging around. Season 2 showed us what he can do at the AHL level, but its been a while. Got to think with the right team he could impress. · @frostygta – 1 (and only) solid CHL season, a great year in the AHL last year. Looking forward to Frosty being in front of me going into this season. Another good year and we could be talking about him being in the Bronze conversation. · @KoNtOs SmAsH 96 – Dominant season in the AHL for S6. Had a very good CHL career. Similar to Frosty, one more good AHL year for KoNtOs and the NHL will be knocking. · @LeBlondl77l – 4 straight NHL seasons from S1 to S4. Middling stats for the majority of his time but respect points for being an established NHLer at one point. Decent enough Season 6, but needs to do something this year to remain “Honourable Mention” worthy. · @dmac7719 – Great CHL stats, Really solid AHL season last year. One more good year and we are having a different conversation. · @Kgrilli – Have played with Grilli last year at times as he is tight with my former NHL Owner. Grilli has great stats across all 3 leagues and is right on the edge of my Medal winners. I’m surprised he’s not NHL this year with his 500k contract. · @HorrorSeen – Fantastic year last year, but struggled in his NHL ECUs going 0-4. Another 20 win year and he’ll earn more respect around the league · @mgml1987 – AHL veteran. Played a large role in the Barracuda team last year. Former manager and Media member. Almost a +60 last year which is damn impressive. Has had a few middling seasons in the past, so another big year on the Cuda would do wonders for his stock on my list. · @LittleRaGoo28 – Great CHL career and an Elite AHL S6 after a middling debut in the AHL in S5. Almost put up a 20-win season. 1 more season in +15-win territory and there is no way an NHL team sends him down like the Habs did this season. Left Defense to watch during the upcoming season: *Note: These are players that, when doing my research, I see the potential to be above average to great AHL Players. I would not be surprised if they enter this conversation with more service time in the League/AHL. · @Andre_st-cyr · @anthrox1212 · @BobTheOstrich · @JLAden12 · @Ch0king_H4z4r · @Melanson4 · @ae_Casso Anyways, that’s all folks! Please participate in the Poll above and feel free to leave comments of LD’s who you think are the best of the best!