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Building an NHL 19 Franchise from Scratch: The Anchorage Mammoth

NHL 19

Building an NHL 19 Franchise from Scratch: The Anchorage Mammoth

It’s been six months since NHL 19 was released, and perhaps the hours you invested into the online and World of Chel modes have, like mine, reached their maximum tolerance. Well, I thought it would be worth it to give franchise mode, specifically expansion mode a shot. The expansion draft option offers tons of customization options, from creating your team’s logo, colors and arena to picking your team’s location and city, setting ticket prices, budgeting etc. All that and then the best part is drafting your team. I detailed my first season below hoping to re-create the magic the Las Vegas Golden Knights created just last year.

STARTING MY FRANCHISE

(franchise length: 5 years, difficulty: superstar, trade difficulty: hard)

First things first, picking the location. I wanted to settle in on my city first thinking it would be easier to create a team name after finding my franchise’s locale. I randomly landed on Anchorage, Alaska for my city and decided to move forward with that selection. Wanting to make my new team feel authentic, I did a bit of research on Alaska and I discovered that the state fossil is the Woolly Mammoth. I thought that would make for an interesting logo/mascot. I got the mascot as close as I could get it. I also named our new arena “Arena 49” since Alaska was the 49th state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPANSION DRAFT

My plan going in was to establish a team full of younger veteran players with a few older veterans in hopes of being competitive right away. Listed below is who I drafted from each team. Also listed is their age, position, player type, overall and their role.

Anaheim Ducks – Michael Del Zotto D 28 years old (offensive defenseman) – 81 overall – top 4
Arizona Coyotes – Josh Archibald RW 26 years old  (sniper) – 75 overall – ahl top 6
Boston Bruins – Jordan Szwarz RW 27 years old (two way forward) – 73 overall – ahl top 6
Buffalo Sabers – Linus Ullmark G (hybrid) – 81 overall – starter
Calgary Flames – Kerby Rychel LW 24 years old (power forward) – 72 overall – bottom 6
Carolina Hurricanes – Brock McGinn LW 24 years old (two way forward) – 79 overall – top 9
Chicago Blackhawks – Anton Forsberg G 25 years old (hybrid) – 80 overall – fringe starter
Colorado Avalanche – Patrik Nemeth D 26 years old (defensive defenseman) – 80 overall – top 6
Columbus Blue Jackets – Riley Nash C 29 years old (sniper) – 80 overall – top 6
Dallas Stars – Marc Methot D 33 years old (defensive defenseman) – 76 overall – 7th D
Detroit Red Wings – Nick Jensen D 27 years old (two way defender – 82 overall – top 4
Edmonton Oilers – Adam Larsson D 25 years old (defensive defenseman) – 83 overall – top 4
Florida Panthers – Jamie McGinn RW 29 years old (two way forward) – 79 overall – bottom 6
Los Angeles Kings – Brendan Leipsic LW 24 years old (two way forward) – 78 overall – top 6
Minnesota Wild – Marcus Foligno LW 26 years old (grinder) – 80 overall – top 9
Montreal Canadiens – Michael Chaput C 26 years old (two way forward) – 73 overall – bottom 6
Nashville Predators – Ryan Ellis D 27 years old (two way defender) – 84 overall – top 4
New Jersey Devils – Kurtis Gabriel RW 25 years old (grinder) – 68 overall – ahl top 6
New York Islanders – Adam Pelech D 23 years old (defensive defenseman) – 78 overall – top 6
New York Rangers – Jesper Fast RW 26 years old (sniper) – 80 overall – bottom 6
Ottawa Senators – Bobby Ryan RW 31 years old (sniper) – 81 overall – bottom 6
Philadelphia Flyers – Michael Raffl LW 29 years old (two way forward) – 75 overall – top 9
Pittsburgh Penguins – Riley Sheahan C 26 years old (two way forward) – 76 overall – top 6
San Jose Sharks – Aaron Dell G 29 years old (hybrid) – 81 overall – backup
St. Louis Blues – Patrick Maroon LW 30 years old (power forward) – 81 overall – top 9
Tampa Bay Lightning – Ondrej Palat LW 27 years old (playmaker) – 84 overall – top 6
Toronto Maple Leafs – Garret Sparks G 24 years old (butterfly) – 69 overall – elite
Vancouver Canucks – Sam Gagner C 28 years old (playmaker) – 76 overall – bottom 6
Washington Capitals – Christian Djoos D 23 years old (offensive defenseman) – 82 overall – top 4
Winnipeg Jets – Joe Morrow D 25 years old (two way defender) – 75 overall – top 6

Post Expansion Draft I walked away pretty happy with my defense but knew offense could be an issue. Next up the Prospects Draft. Here are the highlights from that draft:

  • Immediately entering the draft my news feed highlighted that Anaheim was putting one of their top offensive prospects Troy Terry on the trading block. Since I was questioning my team’s offense, I proposed a trade to the Ducks. They were looking for defensemen so I offered up Christian Djoos, a second and fourth-round pick for Terry and a fifth rounder. They accepted.
  • Later on in the draft, Detroit offered me their 70th pick and a fifth rounder for my 67th. I accepted to move back only three spots and pick up an additional pick.
  • Toronto offered me a fourth-round pick in 2019 for Marc Methot. Again, I accepted wanting to acquire more assets and build for the future.

Free Agency Period Notes

  • I lost Linus Ullmark G and Anton Forsberg G
  • I signed Brandon Pirri LW (27 years old sniper 78 overall – top 9) to add scoring
  • I signed Pheonix Copley G (26 years old 76 overall – fringe starter) for depth

Preseason Record: 2-4-1

Regular Season

Below are notes from how the season went. I broke the season up into four quarters. All games were simmed.

First Game Results:

  • 3-2 SOL
  • First Organization Goal: Ondrej Palat

Quarter Season Stats:

  • 5-13-2 (31st in league)
  • Goals For: 43 (29th in league)
  • Goals Against: 69 (32nd in league)
  • PP: 7.9% (29th in league)
  • PK: 78.1% (27th in league)
  • Goals: Riley Nash 7 in 20 gp
  • Assists: Ryan Ellis 9 in 20 gp
  • Points: Ryan Ellis 13 in 20 gp
  • +/-: Ryan Ellis +7 in 20 gp
  • PIM: Ryan Ellis 20 in 20 gp

Halfway Season Stats:

  • 12-24-4 (32nd in league)
  • Goals For: 80 (31st in league)
  • Goals Against: 127 (32nd in league)
  • PP: 9.7% (32nd in league)
  • PK: 78.9% (27th in league)
  • Goals: Ondrej Palat 11 in 40 gp
  • Assists: Patrick Maroon 14 in 40 gp
  • Points: Ryan Ellis 21 in 40 gp
  • +/-: Riley Sheahan -3 in 40 gp
  • PIM: Ryan Ellis 28 in 40 gp

3/4  Season Stats:

  • 19-37-4 (32nd in league)
  • Goals For: 129 (32nd in league)
  • Goals Against: 198 (32nd in league)
  • PP: 12.6% (30th in league)
  • PK: 74.3% (32nd in league)
  • Goals: Bobby Ryan 15 in 59 gp
  • Assists: Patrick Maroon 22 in 60 gp
  • Points: Patrick Maroon 34 in 60 gp
  • +/-: Ryan Ellis -1 in 60 gp
  • PIM: Ryan Ellis 36 in 60 gp

Final Season Stats:

  • 23-51-8 (32nd in league)
  • Goals For: 183 (31st in league)
  • Goals Against: 294 (32nd in league)
  • PP: 15.6% (29th in league)
  • PK: 71.7% (32nd in league)
  • Goals: Bobby Ryan & Ondrej Palat 20 in 79 & 82 gp
  • Assists: Patrick Maroon 28 in 82 gp
  • Points: Patrick Maroon & Ondrej Palat 47 in 82 gp
  • +/-: Michael Raffl -2 in 44 gp
  • PIM: Patrick Maroon 63 in 82 gp

So, it’s obvious the first season in franchise history didn’t go very well, but I’m excited to continue to try and build a Stanley Cup contender and continue with the Anchorage Mammoth.

League Notes:

  • Goals: John Tavares 62 in 82 gp
  • Assists: William Nylander 72 in 76 gp
  • Points: John Tavares 104 in 82 gp

End of Season Awards:

  • Art Ross: John Tavares
  • Hart: John Tavares
  • Norris: Drew Doughty
  • Lady Byng: Patrick Kane
  • Calder: Elias Pettersson
  • Conn Smythe: David Pastrnak
  • Vezina: Semyon Varlamov
  • Jennings: Sergei Bobrovsky
  • Masterton: Dustin Byfuglien
  • Selke: Anze Kopitar
  • Ted Lindsay: John Tavares
  • Maurice Richard: John Tavares

Final Thoughts

This mode was one I initially didn’t pay attention to, but with NHL 19 growing stale on me this take on franchise mode now has me totally invested again. For anyone looking for new challenges in NHL 19, expansion draft is where it’s at. Where will you place your organization? What will your first year results be?

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