28-In-28: Talkin' bout a Revolutionby SICHL Insider | August 3, 2015, 12:01 PM ET
Next up, the Revolution of Havana! This is a team that finished dead last in 14/15 with a record of 17-56-9 for a total of 43 points. What does that get you? Just a shot a drafting a franchise changing player in Connor McDavid! Well before we talk about that, let's look at the overall health of Jeff Prozeller's team.
Well for starters, this team has amassed $37 million dollars. Not too shabby and surprised the Cuban government hasn't swiped most of it! Jeff can be a player in Free Agency and he is not the type to sit still waiting to draft himself a winner. That was witnessed when he dealt for Jimmy Howard and Thomas Vanek, a move that could have cost him his lottery pick.
Unrestricted Free Agents:
No concerns here with only one potential UFA on the books. Look for Jeff to make Jimmy Howard his franchise player for the upcoming season.
Restricted Free Agents:
13 RFAs to sign, none more important that the Captain Tyler Seguin and Cody Eakin, and expect Jeff to lock up or at least qualify notables like Eric Gelinas, Jake Gardiner, David Rundblad, Nick Deslauriers and Antti Raanta.
Position of strength on this team is not so much a specific position but more in relation to its top line. As of now the top line is shaping up to be Huberdeau - Seguin - Vanek. A line which will be relied on to provide most of the scoring. The team will also benefit from the rising stock of Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm, Cody Eakin and Jake Muzzin. Despite the emergence of Jake Muzzin, defense is still this team’s current biggest concern. Some of this can be addressed via Free Agency or by trade. However, the prognosis is good long term with the development of young stars such as Honka and Mueller.
In the System:
Top 3 prospects include:
1. Leon Draisaitl - Drafted 3rd overall last year by the Revolution, he will be playing with the GHA Revolt this coming season. He is a talented playmaker with great offensive instincts. Plays well on special teams and plays a mature, composed game. Big upside.
2. Jon Gillies - Big goalie with big upside who plays a butterfly style. Projects to be a SICHL starter one day. Covers a lot of the net with his size and is poised under pressure situations. Drafted 50th overall in 2012.
3. Marco Mueller - Big 2-way defenseman with upside. Mueller was drafted 21st overall in 2013 by the Revolution. Projects more of a shutdown guy with the ability to chip in some points. Technically sound game and rarely caught out of position. Potential top 4 defenseman.
In additional to the aforementioned, the Revolution will see last year’s 17th overall pick D Julius Honka join the GHA Revolt on an entry level contract along with C Chris Tierny (who could see some time with the big club), C Steven Hodges, C Ben Johnson, RW Scott Kosmachuk, G Connor Hellebuyck and D Jesse Graham.
Jeff has 6 picks in the SICHL draft but not more important than the 1st overall pick in the 2015 draft. With this pick, Jeff will most certainly draft young phenom Connor McDavid. However, this is a pick that he may deal away before the draft. Why you ask? Cause Jeff has the stones to do it, if a team were to offer a king's ransom. If such a trade is made, the Revolution could go from playoff bubble team to a playoff team.
We caught up with Jeff at his summer resort in the Muskoka to get his thoughts on the Revolution. "Havana is bursting with talent, excitement and ambition! The Revolution is nearing and it’s all due to our young guns coming up through the ranks. Very pleased with our goaltending talent pool, and lots of high end forwards! We are very close to a 'Bay of Pigs' type defining moment!" he says while sipping on his tall glass of cognac and puffing on his trademark Cuban cigar.
In conversation with another SICHL GM, he had this to say about Prozeller's team "Oh Havana, that team is so good. At losing. Every year it’s the same, Jeff goes into free agency ranting and raving how this is going to be his year and then two weeks later he’s in full fire sale mode. The best (or worst depending on your perspective) part is that no one on that team is leaving via free agency, he’s stuck with that roster. Yeah he’ll add a pretty good player via the draft but even McDavid can’t single handily turn a losing attitude into a successful franchise. Jeff is in for the long run here. Maybe he should just trade McDavid to London, I hear they could use some more offensive firepower". Wonder who this GM might be?
Well there you have it. The Revolution could look massively different when the regular season starts. Better keep your cellphone charged up and chequebook opened Jeff! A potential playoff bubble team in its current state we believe.
Can't be any worse than 14/15, right?