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Valdis Verjonis Post Draft Interview
#1
(This post was last modified: 04-07-2021, 10:47 PM by BoloBill.)

Valdis Verjonis joined the SHJL signing as an undrafted free agent with the Anchorage Armada. An unknown to much of the league, the Latvian Defenseman shocked many when he was picked in the 1st round by the Chicago Syndicate. Fans and media alike were excited to get their first look at the newest member of the Syndicate.

Verjonis spoke after the Chicago rookie training camp about his Junior career and Draft day rise.

“First want to say Thank you to the Chicago organization. They have given me an incredibly warm welcome. Everyone from the top down has been amazing and I am excited for my future here in Chicago.”

Reporter: You were one of the more surprising picks of this draft. What led to your rise of draft boards?

“Pre-draft my agent and I talked, He thought I was going to be a 3rd Rounder early on. As the scouting interviews started heating up and my pro-day workouts went really well. We felt like I was moving up after that for sure. I had a lot of good scouting conversations leading up to the draft and had an idea I would end up with one of those teams. Lucky for me Chicago pulled the trigger.

Reporter: Take us through draft day.

“Really I had no idea where I was going to go or what pick. I wasn’t able to watch the draft live so that made the anticipation a little easier. I was out with some friends when I got the call that I went to Chicago. I didn’t know exactly where I was picked until the next day. I was beyond happy to end up in Chicago. I have a good amount of connections here so it really felt like home.

Reporter: Tell us about your path to SHL and time in Anchorage.

“After I missed the SMJL draft, I was hesitant to declare of the SHL. A lot of people were telling me that it would be better for my draft stock to play in Lativa and prepare for the S60 draft. Part of me understood why, but I wanted to hit the ground running. I knew I would always be a little bit behind the people in my class, but this in a Marathon, not a sprint. I have done everything I can up to this point and I don’t see that stopping any time soon. I was lucky to end up in a really good situation in Anchorage. They brought me up to speed really quickly. Hung with me through the growing pains. I’ve gotten to practice with a lot of great players there. Excited to get back to Anchorage and make another run for the 4 Star.”

Reporter: What are you most looking forward to as you move into your first full season?

“One of the first teams to reach out to me after I declared for the SHL was actually the Latvian National Team. They brought me into the fold right away and let me know how I fit into the future. I am excited to represent my country in international play at some point in the future. Outside of that, It will be finally being able to show what I can do on the ice with a full training camp. I feel like my performance during the season was not representative of what I can bring to the table. Anchorage has such a strong group of defensemen. We are really going to be in a position to succeed for the next few seasons.

Reporter: Do you feel any added pressure being drafted to a perennial contender like Chicago let alone a 1st rounder?

“Not at all. This is exactly the type of organization you want to go to. You know that they will be able to put you in a great position to be successful. I am incredibly grateful to be here. Being a 1st rounder is nice in theory, but we all start right back at square one each season. No one cares about draft position once the draft is over. You are either a good player or you’re not. For me, it has put a chip on my shoulder to prove they made the right pick.”

Reporter: How do you feel you fit in with Chicago?

“With Chicago, I have one of the clearest paths to playing time. They have great defenders but they are on the older side, no real prospects at this point so I am able to fit in the pipeline really well. That's what I am most pleased about is the transparency the organization has showed up to this point.”

Reporter: For the fans who didn’t follow you in Anchorage or know of you in Lativa, What sort of defenseman are you?

“I am a skater. I have good puck handling and quickness and can help out on both sides of the puck. I am undersized for a defenseman so I have to make up for it with my athleticism. Ideally, I will be able to use my mobility, but it’s all about what the team needs. I will fit whatever role is asked of me. I am a grinder that’s here for the long haul.”

Reporter: For a smaller player, you were involved in quite a few fights. Where does that come from?

“I never want to be picked on during a game. Some of these guys see a smaller player and think that they can bully them. I like to set them straight”

“I want to thank Chicago once again for giving me this opportunity as well as say hello to all the Syndicate fans out there. I am going to put in the work and be on the ice for you guys soon enough. Thank you”

Verjonis while a surprise is poised to make an impact both for Anchorage and eventually Chicago. Only time will tell if Verjonis was a reach or another brilliant bit of scouting, by one of the strongest teams in the league. Given their track record, my money is on the latter.



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1023 wc, first article bonus or draft media

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#2

You're a beast Billy, Chicago got a good one :cellyotter: Armada

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First SHL Goal:
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#3

Excited for how the future will unfold! syndicate

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#4
(This post was last modified: 04-08-2021, 11:50 AM by bluesfan55.)

BILLY Armada

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ty to @honkerrs, @sulovilen, @sköldpaddor, and @Ragnar for the sigs
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#5

@BoloBill I have graded this using the Draft Media x2 that we have going on currently. Save and use your first article bonus on your next submission! Have a good day!

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