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(GRADED)Deep Dive #2 - Rando's Projected Cup Contenders 2/2
(This post was last modified: 11-24-2022, 08:42 AM by CptSquall. Edited 1 time in total.)

In this season's deep dives, I will be evaluating and presenting the two teams that I expect to be competing for this season's four-star cup by the season's end. The second of the two teams that I believe have what it takes to win it all this season is the Anchorage Armada. If you haven't checked out the previous iteration regarding the other team I expect to be in the Four-Star Cup final, then check it out here. The Armada share many similarities to their rival contender, but also some differences that will eventually prove to be the difference when all is said and done.

Like before, I'll give context to the analysis. The SMJHL rulebook dictates that a minimum of 2 goalies and 15 skaters must be dressed, this typically results in teams lining up three forward lines and defensive pairs. Therefore, in this analysis of the Armada's on-ice strength relative to the rest of the league, I will present the average applied TPE of the top nine forwards, their top six defencemen, as well as their goaltender tandem.

At the forward position, the Armada have exactly nine players under contract, leading to an above-average strength at the position. The average TPE for the Anchorage forwards rests at 321 at the moment of publication. This is an incredible feat given that there are two rookies who have the growth potential to elevate that number closer to 350 by the time meaningful games arrive for the season.

On the backend, the Armada are even stronger with their exact six-man crew on the blueline, likely above average in relation to the entire league. As things currently stand, the average amount of applied TPE for the Anchorage defencemen is 293. This number is slightly higher than that of our other top contending team, with additional room to grow into on top of that.

Where Anchorage truly distinguishes itself from the other teams in contention for this season's championship is at the goaltending position. Their starter, August Von Hecht, is capped at 425 and still has another season of junior eligibility after this one. Their backup, like Carolina's, is an inactive 155 TPE player, but will only need to feature in a smaller portion of games this season.

As was briefly mentioned above, another aspect of this analysis is the growth potential of the teams as the season progresses toward the much more important playoff games. Most of Anchorage's growth potential comes at the forward position with their two rookie selections being at that position, meaning that they will be able to slightly close that TPE gap with Carolina at the position. One thing that could make or break the season for the Armada is whether some of their more experienced players who have stagnated to a certain extent will be able to return to their former glory and round out their games. If they get some more growth out of these second and third year players, it could really push them over the edge if their goaltender can get hot in the playoffs.

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Approved, +5 TPE to @Randominoe

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