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(GRADED) Deep Dive #2: How the S52 Rage were Built
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(This post was last modified: 03-30-2021, 01:34 AM by leafs1997.)

Travel back in time with me for a moment, just a few seasons really, back to the offseason after S52. The Manhattan Rage were Challenge Cup champions, their first since S38. All the good reporters in the world were asking the same few questions: how did the Rage get built? How did they assemble this exact group of players that was able to get the team across the finish line and win the most coveted trophy in the simulated hockey world? Well, dear reader, I am here to do exactly that, even if it is a few seasons after anyone really would care, and tell you how that Manhattan Rage team came to be. 

Starting with the most important position on the ice, goaltender, Manhattan actually had a fairly easy time acquiring both players in question for the S52 team. Starting goaltender Peter Larson was a second round selection in the S46 SHL Entry Draft, a pick that Manhattan had to trade up to acquire from the Toronto North Stars. The trade worked out for the Rage as Larson would win the Razov as Playoff MVP, the Khan as MVP as voted by the players, and the McBride as best goaltender in the S52 season in route to backstopping the Rage to the Cup. Backup goaltender and Colorado Raptors legend Scottey Crawfling was not a Rage draft pick, but in fact a Seattle Riot first round pick in the S42 SHL Entry Draft. Crawfling would be traded to the Rage in exchange for a S47 second round pick (Boruvka Banananak) after starting just 6 games for the Riot over two seasons. 

On defense, the Rage were overwhelmingly home grown, with just two of their seven dressed defensemen for Game 6 against the Pride was not a Rage draft pick. Derek Bohne Jr. was originally drafted in the first round of the S49 SHL Entry Draft by the Toronto North Stars before being traded to the Rage in for a S54 second round pick (Alexei Petrikov). The other member of the Rage defense to not be a Rage draft pick was Noah Andros. Originally drafted by the Hamilton Steelhawks, Andros would sign with the Rage as a free agent before the start of the S52 season and would win his second championship in a row. The other members of the Rage defensive corps, Barret McCarthy (S44 second round), David Vent (S46 fourth round), Andrej Doskocil (S46 first round), Reginald MacIntyre (S41 first round), and Craig Finley (S43 third round), were all drafted and developed by the organization. 

The forward group for the Rage was a blend of draftees and external additions. However, four were still originally drafted and developed by the Rage. Luke Thomason, originally selected in the first round of the S43 SHL Entry Draft by the San Francisco Pride, was traded to the Rage for an S48 first round pick (Timmo Kyllonen) and an S49 first round pick (Noah Brusky). Winger Rainbow Dash, originally drafted first overall by the New England Wolfpack, was traded by the Calgary Dragons for a S53 second round pick, which would eventually be trade back to the Rage, and used to select Santtu Rasanen. Luca Vecelli was originally selected by the Pride as well, in the second round of the S50 SHL Entry Draft, was acquired by the Rage, along with a S55 third round pick (later traded to Baltimore), for defenseman Tokek Takshak and a S55 second round pick (Nicolae Andrescu). Bruising winger Anastasia O’Koivu was acquired from the Tampa Bay Barracuda, despite being drafted originally in the first round by the Hamilton Steelhawks in the S46 SHL Entry Draft, in exchange for an S53 fourth round pick (Alexander Roach). Key forward Austin Roenick, drafted by the Barracuda in the first round of the S47 SHL Entry Draft, was acquired for a S53 second round pick (Jerry Huuveri) and was the last member of the forward group to not be drafted by the organization. David Kastrba (S42 first round), Alex Winters (S43 first round), Phineas Gold (S50 first round), and Jax Aittokallio (S43 sixth round) were all original selections by the Rage.  

Hopefully this gives you some insight, just under a decade later, into how the S52 Rage team that would win the Challenge Cup was built! 

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