Another member of the Rock Republic ownership group has left the fold to land their own franchise in the Ultimate Fantasy Hockey League.
Dylan Wheaton, who had recently been promoted to assistant GM with Rock Republic following the departure of Donny Tulk, is now the sole owner of the Blizzard franchise. Wheaton bought the Blizzard from Christopher Shane over the weekend for $1,500 CAD ($1,175 USD) — just 48 hours after Tulk purchased the Defenders from Shane’s business partner Miguel Vidal, with both those franchises moving from Ontario to Newfoundland.
“While I was quite happy with the role I was filling with Rock Republic, the opportunity to own my own franchise in the UFHL was just too great to pass up,” said Wheaton, a 23-year-old financial advisor who had previously been serving as a capologist for Rock Republic. “I’d like to thank everyone at the UFHL, Kyle and David from Rock Republic, and Donny and Paul of Easton’s Scouting Solutions (formerly of Rock Republic), for giving me such a great experience. Now, however, I’m looking forward to the competition between me, the boys, and the rest of the owners in the UFHL.”
Shane sold his franchise within 24 hours of putting up the “for sale” sign. Shane and Vidal have been working long hours in expanding their real estate business and Shane has also been busy coaching his son as a rep-level goaltender, leaving little time to pursue his passion for fantasy hockey and prompting him to sell the Blizzard franchise before the upcoming NHL season.
“Being an original owner in this league has been a blast, but with a work schedule of 90 hours a week, plus a son in competitive hockey and a daughter in equestrian, it was hard to even manage at the best of times,” said Shane. “I built a strong core, which I know will carry on. All the best to the owners moving forward.”
Suddenly, there are four franchises based in the Canadian province of Newfoundland — Rock Republic, Ice Vikings, Defenders and Blizzard. The first trade between two Newfoundland franchises also took place on the weekend, with Defenders sending Chris Kreider and a 2022 second-round pick to the Ice Vikings for Adam Lowry, Matt Boldy, Cross Hanas and a 2021 first-round pick.
Rock Republic remains that province’s flagship franchise — the first to join the UFHL as an original franchise last January — and remains in good hands, with Kyle Roberts taking over as Tulk’s successor as general manager and David Brown continuing as marketing director and social media manager. Easton’s Scouting Solutions is also still affiliated with Rock Republic despite Easton joining Tulk as assistant GM for the Defenders.
“It’s unfortunate that I have lost a second member of my organization within a week span. Dylan will be missed. He provided a lot of behind-the-scenes tasks for Rock Republic, which included cap management and creating cap charts,” said Roberts, referring to this impressive project resembling CapFriendly that Wheaton has offered to produce for rival franchises.
“It’s a business, though, and remaining idle will not help you grow,” added Roberts (pictured below). “I wish him all the best with the Blizzard franchise. That team is ready to contend already and I expect it to only get better with the management change.”
The Blizzard were ranked No. 20 in the UFHL’s preseason Power Rankings, with a roster that includes Brad Marchand, Max Pacioretty, Travis Konecny and Kaapo Kakko up front, plus Moritz Seider on the blue line and Jacob Markstrom between the pipes.
Wheaton is a Flames fan who also has a soft spot for the Bruins — making this a perfect fit, with Marchand as the Blizzard’s franchise player and a fellow Maritimer, while Markstrom is now backstopping his favourite NHL team.
“I feel I have a great mind for fantasy hockey but, for various reasons, I haven’t lived up to what I believe my potential to be,” said Wheaton. “Hopefully in this great league that potential will pay off!”
For the record, Ice Vikings were ranked sixth, just ahead of Rock Republic in seventh, and the Defenders were 19th — right in front of the Blizzard at 20th among the 31 UFHL franchises.
The Ultimate Fantasy Hockey League has released its first-ever Power Rankings ahead of the 2021 season and there is plenty of parity with very little consensus among the 11 franchises that cast their votes: https://t.co/wfnwSgpkdm pic.twitter.com/WxEwG6pNC2— Ultimate Fantasy Hockey League (@ufhleague) December 4, 2020
Turnover will be inevitable in the early years as the UFF Sports platform emerges as a leader in the fantasy industry for its unique appeal of digital asset ownership on the blockchain.
The UFHL will be welcoming a 32nd franchise in 2021 — mirroring the Seattle expansion process in the NHL. That franchise auction will likely start in January and end in March on the same date that Seattle makes its final payment to officially join the NHL. The UFHL’s expansion draft will also take place on the same date as the NHL under the same rules, so that franchise promises to be in high demand with the newest owner getting the full expansion experience.
Worth noting, once UFF Sports and the UFHL transition to the Zilliqa blockchain this winter, the existing 31 franchises will all technically be for sale at all times. The current owners will be able to list their franchise for a set price on the sale block but outsiders will also be able to submit offers in the form of bids on any franchise at any time.
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