UFHL Playoff Preview: 16 Franchises Draft Rosters to Pursue the Klein Cup

The Klein Cup playoffs are rolling right along, with the first round now underway following the inaugural Playoff Draft for the Ultimate Fantasy Hockey League.

COVID caused a strange start to the postseason, with the UFHL mirroring the NHL’s play-in round by expanding to 24 franchises while awarding byes to the top four seeds from both conferences based on the regular-season standings. That produced the following results.

Play-In Round

Legends Conference

Byes = 1) Grizzlies 2) Gators 3) Titans 4) Monarchs

Matchups

7) Yetis defeated 10) Royals

8) Duckman’s Domination defeated 9) Blades of Steel

11) Stallions defeated 6) Elite Assassins

WC3) Crypto Knights defeated 5) Outlaws

Allan Conference

Byes = 1) Defenders 2) Strong Island 3) Tornadoes 4) Rock Republic

Matchups

5) Snipers defeated WC2) Murder Hornets

6) Power Players defeated WC1) West Coast Express

7) Battle Hawks defeated 10) Blizzard

8) Dynasty defeated 9) Bombers

As you can see, there were a couple upsets in the Legends Conference, while all the top seeds prevailed in the Allan Conference. The winning franchises advanced to the first round — the Round of 16.

First Round Matchups

Legends Conference

1) Grizzlies vs. 8) Crypto Knights

2) Gators vs. 7) Stallions

3) Titans vs. 6) Duckman’s Domination

4) Monarchs vs. 5) Yetis

Allan Conference

1) Defenders vs. 8) Dynasty

2) Strong Island vs. 7) Battle Hawks

3) Tornadoes vs. 6) Power Players

4) Rock Republic vs. 5) Snipers

Prior to the first round, the UFHL hosted its inaugural playoff draft on Monday night, with those 16 franchises filling out their 23-man rosters.

UFHL Playoff Draft Order

NOTE: This draft was non-snaking — meaning this order remained the same for every round.

1) Grizzlies (Connie & Andrea Charanduk)

2) Defenders (Miguel Vidal)

3) Strong Island (Brandon Broderick)

4) Gators (Lorne White)

5) Titans (Jacob Cambridge)

6) Tornadoes (Machen Mathews)

7) Monarchs (Ashley Murray)

8) Rock Republic (Donny Tulk)

9) Yetis (Colin Mills)

10) Duckman’s Domination (Dean Millard)

11) Snipers (Juha Soudunsaari)

12) Power Players (Justin Davis)

13) Battle Hawks (Serge Beauchesne)

14) Dynasty (Ryan Clements)

15) Stallions (Ian Constable)

16) Crypto Knights (Chericce Schulz)

The results from the UFHL Playoff Draft can be viewed here (click the Playoff Draft Results tab for a pick-by-pick, round-by-round summary). The event, which was held through a Jitsi Meet video conference, was also live streamed on the UFF Sports YouTube channel.

Here is how the franchises stack up for the first round, with a roster comparison followed by a bit of analysis.

NOTE: These 16 playoff franchises are leasing players from the 15 non-playoff UFHL franchises who are listed in parenthesis.

First Round Matchups

Legends Conference

1) Grizzlies vs. 8) Crypto Knights

1) Grizzlies

Forwards (14)

Gabriel Landeskog — Colorado vs. Arizona (Blades of Steel)

Nazem Kadri — Colorado vs. Arizona

J.T. Compher — Colorado vs. Arizona

Matt Nieto — Colorado vs. Arizona (Blizzard)

Nino Niederreiter — Carolina vs. Boston (Murder Hornets)

Warren Foegele — Carolina vs. Boston

Morgan Geekie — Carolina vs. Boston

Brock McGinn — Carolina vs. Boston (Vengeance)

William Karlsson — Vegas vs. Chicago

Nick Cousins — Vegas vs. Chicago (Warriors)

Jake DeBrusk — Boston vs. Carolina (Blades of Steel)

Sean Kuraly — Boston vs. Carolina

Jaden Schwartz — St. Louis vs. Vancouver

Jay Beagle — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Bombers)

Defencemen (8)

Samuel Girard — Colorado vs. Arizona (Brutes)

Erik Johnson — Colorado vs. Arizona (Vengeance)

Ryan Graves — Colorado vs. Arizona

Mikhail Sergachev — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Nick Holden — Vegas vs. Chicago

Haydn Fleury — Carolina vs. Boston (Blades of Steel)

Dean Kukan — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (UFHL Free Agent)

Derek Forbort — Calgary vs. Dallas (UFHL Free Agent)

Goaltenders (1)

Robin Lehner — Vegas vs. Chicago (West Coast Express)

8) Crypto Knights

Forwards (14)

Scott Laughton — Philadelphia vs. Montreal

Joel Farabee — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Bombers)

Michael Raffl — Philadelphia vs. Montreal

Tyler Pitlick — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Ice Vikings)

Mark Stone — Vegas vs. Chicago

Paul Stastny — Vegas vs. Chicago (Chilean Sea Bass)

Chandler Stephenson — Vegas vs. Chicago (Norse Stars)

David Perron — St. Louis vs. Vancouver

Oskar Sundqvist — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Elite Assassins)

Andrew Mangiapane — Calgary vs. Dallas

Austin Czarnik — Calgary vs. Dallas

Taylor Hall — Arizona vs. Colorado

Antoine Roussel — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Carl Hagelin — Washington vs. New York Islanders

Defencemen (8)

Mark Giordano — Calgary vs. Dallas

Noah Hanifin — Calgary vs. Dallas (Warriors)

Shea Theodore — Vegas vs. Chicago (West Coast Express)

Dmitry Orlov — Washington vs. New York Islanders

Shayne Gostisbehere — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Outlaws)

Brett Pesce — Carolina vs. Boston (Elite Assassins)

Luke Schenn — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Jordan Oesterle — Arizona vs. Colorado

Goaltenders (1)

Brian Elliott — Philadelphia vs. Montreal

ANALYSIS: The regular-season champion Grizzlies are loaded with Colorado and Vegas players from the West, plus a handful of Carolina players from the East. If Colorado comes out of the West, the Grizzlies could be the team to beat again in the playoffs. The Grizzlies are the betting favourites to win the Klein Cup according to the UFHL/NHL Playoff Pool where seven of the 23 entrants picked the Grizzlies as their champion. But don’t sleep on the Crypto Knights — the only wild-card franchise advancing from the play-in round and one of only two franchises advancing from the recent UFHL Redraft, along with Duckman’s Domination. The Crypto Knights are underdogs built around Philadelphia in the East and Vegas in the West, with plenty of Calgary players too. If the Crypto Knights can pull off this upset and Vegas goes on another run, they could enjoy a Cinderella story similar to the Golden Knights in their expansion season. This is an all-female matchup between Andrea and Chericce — girl power!

2) Gators vs. 7) Stallions

2) Gators

Forwards (14)

Anders Bjork — Boston vs. Carolina

Chris Wagner — Boston vs. Carolina (Vengeance)

Joakim Nordstrom — Boston vs. Carolina (UFHL Free Agent)

Nathan MacKinnon — Colorado vs. Arizona

Valeri Nichushkin — Colorado vs. Arizona

Vincent Trocheck — Carolina vs. Boston (Blizzard)

Justin Williams — Carolina vs. Boston (UFHL Free Agent)

Max Pacioretty — Vegas vs. Chicago (Outlaws)

Evgeny Kuznetsov — Washington vs. New York Islanders (West Coast Express)

James van Riemsdyk — Philadelphia vs. Montreal

Vinnie Hinostroza — Arizona vs. Colorado

MacKenzie MacEachern — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Norse Stars)

Tyler Motte — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Elite Assassins)

Zac Rinaldo — Calgary vs. Dallas (UFHL Free Agent)

Defencemen (7)

Nate Schmidt — Vegas vs. Chicago (Elite Assassins)

Alec Martinez — Vegas vs. Chicago

Brayden McNabb — Vegas vs. Chicago (Norse Stars)

Zdeno Chara — Boston vs. Carolina

Jaccob Slavin — Carolina vs. Boston

Jan Rutta — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Vengeance)

Oscar Fantenberg — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Murder Hornets)

Goaltenders (2)

Cam Talbot — Calgary vs. Dallas (Murder Hornets)

Thatcher Demko — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Bombers)

7) Stallions

Forwards (13)

Matthew Tkachuk — Calgary vs. Dallas

Derek Ryan — Calgary vs. Dallas (Warriors)

Lars Eller — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Royals)

Richard Panik — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Norse Stars)

Kevin Hayes — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Norse Stars)

Ondrej Palat — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Bo Horvat — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Brandon Saad — Chicago vs. Vegas

Nick Schmaltz — Arizona vs. Colorado

Jordan Staal — Carolina vs. Boston (Warriors)

Tyson Jost — Colorado vs. Arizona (Elite Assassins)

Ivan Barbashev — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Blades of Steel)

Karson Kuhlman — Boston vs. Carolina (Ice Vikings)

Defencemen (8)

Adam Pelech — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Andy Greene — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Noah Dobson — New York Islanders vs. Washington (West Coast Express)

Kevin Shattenkirk — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Braydon Coburn — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Royals)

Colton Parayko — St. Louis vs. Vancouver

Rasmus Andersson — Calgary vs. Dallas (Norse Stars)

Adam Boqvist — Chicago vs. Vegas (Red Army)

Goaltenders (2)

Jordan Binnington — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Royals)

Malcolm Subban — Chicago vs. Vegas

ANALYSIS: The Gators are fairly balanced but will also be pulling for Colorado and Vegas in the West, while hitching their wagon to the winner of that Boston-Carolina series in the East. The Stallions also went with the balanced approach and should have a good amount of players left regardless of the first-round results in the NHL if they can get past the Gators. If the Stallions are pulling for anybody, it might be St. Louis and Calgary in the West and Tampa Bay in the East, but they have players from 12 of the 16 NHL playoff teams on their roster. This is a matchup between two of the newest GMs in the UFHL, with Lorne (Gators) and Ian (Stallions) both hired in late July and looking to make a strong first impression through a successful playoff debut.

3) Titans vs. 6) Duckman’s Domination

3) Titans

Forwards (14)

Vladimir Tarasenko — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Bombers)

Tyler Bozak — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Royals)

Zach Sanford — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Murder Hornets)

Troy Brouwer — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (UFHL Free Agent)

David Pastrnak — Boston vs. Carolina

Nick Ritchie — Boston vs. Carolina

Travis Konecny — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Blizzard)

Nicolas Aube-Kubel — Philadelphia vs. Montreal

Conor Garland — Arizona vs. Colorado

Brad Richardson — Arizona vs. Colorado (West Coast Express)

Steven Stamkos — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Murder Hornets)

Reilly Smith — Vegas vs. Chicago

Andre Burakovsky — Colorado vs. Arizona

Micheal Ferland — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (IR)

Defencemen (7)

Philippe Myers — Philadelphia vs. Montreal

Robert Hagg — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Blizzard)

Robert Bortuzzo — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Norse Stars)

Carl Gunnarsson — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Norse Stars)

Cale Makar — Colorado vs. Arizona

Esa Lindell — Dallas vs. Calgary (Norse Stars)

Niklas Hjalmarsson — Arizona vs. Colorado (UFHL Free Agent)

Goaltenders (2)

Andrei Vasilevskiy — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Curtis McElhinney — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Norse Stars)

6) Duckman’s Domination

Forwards (14)

David Krejci — Boston vs. Carolina (Brutes)

Ondrej Kase — Boston vs. Carolina (Outlaws)

Nicklas Backstrom — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Murder Hornets)

Nic Dowd — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Norse Stars)

Nicolas Roy — Vegas vs. Chicago (Norse Stars)

Brandon Pirri — Vegas vs. Chicago

Jordan Weal — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (UFHL Free Agent)

Charles Hudon — Montreal vs. Philadelphia

Phil Kessel — Arizona vs. Colorado

Alex DeBrincat — Chicago vs. Vegas

Jordan Martinook — Carolina vs. Boston (Chilean Sea Bass)

Loui Eriksson — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (UFHL Free Agent)

Mark Jankowski — Calgary vs. Dallas

Luke Witkowski — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Defencemen (7)

Alexander Edler — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Troy Stecher — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Murder Hornets)

Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Arizona vs. Colorado (Norse Stars)

Jeff Petry — Montreal vs. Philadelphia

T.J. Brodie — Calgary vs. Dallas

Jake Gardiner — Carolina vs. Boston

Derrick Pouliot — St. Louis vs. Vancouver

Goaltenders (2)

Antti Raanta — Arizona vs. Colorado

Marc-Andre Fleury — Vegas vs. Chicago (Elite Assassins)

ANALYSIS: The Titans are heavy on Philly and St. Louis but also have ringers from Tampa Bay and Boston. Colorado is another team the Titans would like to see go far. Duckman’s are also on that Boston bandwagon but spread their talent around quite well and would welcome an Arizona upset over Colorado. Duckman’s would also be happy with Vancouver dethroning St. Louis. Duckman’s would be even happier if one of their goaltenders became starters again — ideally during this first round.

4) Monarchs vs. 5) Yetis

4) Monarchs

Forwards (14)

Nikita Kucherov — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Brayden Point — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Red Army)

Tyler Johnson — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Royals)

Anthony Cirelli — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Alex Killorn — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Yanni Gourde — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Mitchell Stephens — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Vengeance)

Carter Verhaeghe — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Pierre-Luc Dubois — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay

Devin Shore — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay

Lawson Crouse — Arizona vs. Colorado

Christian Fischer — Arizona vs. Colorado

Nate Thompson — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (UFHL Free Agent)

Ross Johnston — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Defencemen (8)

Travis Sanheim — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Chilean Sea Bass)

Justin Braun — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (UFHL Free Agent)

Victor Hedman — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Miro Heiskanen — Dallas vs. Calgary (Bombers)

Nikita Zadorov — Colorado vs. Arizona

Joel Edmundson — Carolina vs. Boston

Nick Jensen — Washington vs. New York Islanders

Jason Demers — Arizona vs. Colorado (Elite Assassins)

Goaltenders (1)

Ben Bishop — Dallas vs. Calgary

5) Yetis

Forwards (14)

Vladislav Namestnikov — Colorado vs. Arizona

Matt Calvert — Colorado vs. Arizona

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Colorado vs. Arizona (UFHL Free Agent)

Anthony Beauvillier — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Vengeance)

Jean-Gabriel Pageau — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Boone Jenner — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Ice Vikings)

Liam Foudy — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (UFHL Free Agent)

Derek Grant — Philadelphia vs. Montreal

Oskar Lindblom — Philadelphia vs. Montreal

Brock Boeser — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Robert Thomas — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Ice Vikings)

Mathieu Joseph — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (West Coast Express)

Barrett Hayton — Arizona vs. Colorado (Bombers)

Matthew Highmore — Chicago vs. Vegas (UFHL Free Agent)

Defencemen (7)

Zach Werenski — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay

Ivan Provorov — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Warriors)

Vince Dunn — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Brutes)

Jonas Siegenthaler — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Blades of Steel)

Johnny Boychuk — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Royals)

Connor Clifton — Boston vs. Carolina

Deryk Engelland — Vegas vs. Chicago

Goaltenders (2)

Joonas Korpisalo — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay

Philipp Grubauer — Colorado vs. Arizona (Brutes)

ANALYSIS: The Monarchs will go as far as Tampa Bay can take them, with a whopping nine players from the Lightning — eight forwards and Hedman as their horse on the back end. If the Lightning go all the way, the Monarchs will likely be left standing at the end too. But first things first, Tampa Bay has to avenge last year’s defeat against Columbus. Why so many Lightning players? Ashley Murray’s father-in-law is Al Murray, the Lightning’s assistant general manager and director of amateur scouting, so that may have something to do with her preference. The Yetis would love for Columbus to play spoiler again — especially with four Blue Jackets on their roster. That NHL series will be a determining factor in this matchup. The Yetis might also be quietly rooting for the Islanders over Washington as another live underdog.

Allan Conference

1) Defenders vs. 8) Dynasty

1) Defenders

Forwards (14)

J.T. Miller — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Tanner Pearson — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Tyler Toffoli — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Mikael Backlund — Calgary vs. Dallas (Elite Assassins)

Milan Lucic — Calgary vs. Dallas (UFHL Free Agent)

Tobias Rieder — Calgary vs. Dallas (UFHL Free Agent)

T.J. Oshie — Washington vs. New York Islanders

Garnet Hathaway — Washington vs. New York Islanders

Jamie Benn — Dallas vs. Calgary (Elite Assassins)

Denis Gurianov — Dallas vs. Calgary (Royals)

Brad Marchand — Boston vs. Carolina (Blizzard)

Sean Couturier — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Chilean Sea Bass)

William Carrier — Vegas vs. Chicago

Derek Stepan — Arizona vs. Colorado (Chilean Sea Bass)

Defencemen (7)

Michal Kempny — Washington vs. New York Islanders

Brenden Dillon — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Ice Vikings)

Jamie Oleksiak — Dallas vs. Calgary (Ice Vikings)

Andrej Sekera — Dallas vs. Calgary (Elite Assassins)

Alex Pietrangelo — St. Louis vs. Vancouver

Chris Tanev — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Ilya Lyubushkin — Arizona vs. Colorado (Ice Vikings)

Goaltenders (2)

Braden Holtby — Washington vs. New York Islanders

Darcy Kuemper — Arizona vs. Colorado (Blades of Steel)

8) Dynasty

Forwards (13)

Patrick Kane — Chicago vs. Vegas

David Kampf — Chicago vs. Vegas

Nick Suzuki — Montreal vs. Philadelphia

Brendan Gallagher — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (West Coast Express)

Brayden Schenn — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Blades of Steel)

Jacob de la Rose — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Royals)

Anders Lee — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Warriors)

Matt Martin — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Murder Hornets)

Sean Monahan — Calgary vs. Dallas

Gustav Nyquist — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Blizzard)

Carl Soderberg — Arizona vs. Colorado (Elite Assassins)

Andrew Cogliano — Dallas vs. Calgary (Blizzard)

Travis Boyd — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Brutes)

Defencemen (8)

Olli Maatta — Chicago vs. Vegas

Calvin de Haan — Chicago vs. Vegas (Warriors)

Erik Gustafsson — Calgary vs. Dallas (West Coast Express)

Oliver Kylington — Calgary vs. Dallas (Murder Hornets)

Justin Faulk — St. Louis vs. Vancouver

John Moore — Boston vs. Carolina (Murder Hornets)

Jordie Benn — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (UFHL Free Agent)

Taylor Fedun — Dallas vs. Calgary (UFHL Free Agent)

Goaltenders (2)

Thomas Greiss — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Blades of Steel)

Jake Allen — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (West Coast Express)

ANALYSIS: Defenders only drafted players from nine of the 16 NHL playoff teams, including five from Washington, four from Vancouver and Dallas, plus a forward trio from Calgary. But Defenders also have key individuals from Boston, Philadelphia and St. Louis. Defenders are looking strong in this matchup against Dynasty, so we’ll re-evaluate where they stand in a couple weeks’ time providing they prevail. Dynasty was in tough with 17 open roster spots for the playoff draft — 17 of 23, the most of any franchise. Ryan Clements missed the draft, which resulted in an auto-picked best player available approach that made Dynasty even more of an underdog on paper. Dynasty needs an upset here and also needs upsets from Chicago, Calgary and Montreal in the NHL in order to make any noise in the Klein Cup playoffs.

2) Strong Island vs. 7) Battle Hawks

2) Strong Island

Forwards (14)

Andrei Svechnikov — Carolina vs. Boston

Teuvo Teravainen — Carolina vs. Boston (Outlaws)

Ryan Dzingel — Carolina vs. Boston

Corey Perry — Dallas vs. Calgary (West Coast Express)

Blake Comeau — Dallas vs. Calgary (Royals)

Jason Dickinson — Dallas vs. Calgary

Alex Ovechkin — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Royals)

Patrice Bergeron — Boston vs. Carolina

Johnny Gaudreau — Calgary vs. Dallas (West Coast Express)

Jordan Eberle — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Max Domi — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Royals)

Brandon Sutter — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Cedric Paquette — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Bombers)

Ryan Carpenter — Chicago vs. Vegas

Defencemen (7)

Torey Krug — Boston vs. Carolina

Matt Grzelcyk — Boston vs. Carolina

Ryan Pulock — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Jakob Chychrun — Arizona vs. Colorado (Brutes)

Radko Gudas — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Ice Vikings)

Zach Bogosian — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Jon Merrill — Vegas vs. Chicago (Blades of Steel)

Goaltenders (2)

Jacob Markstrom — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Anton Khudobin — Dallas vs. Calgary (Warriors)

7) Battle Hawks

Forwards (14)

Ryan O’Reilly — St. Louis vs. Vancouver

Alex Steen — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Royals)

Claude Giroux — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Vengeance)

Jakub Voracek — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Brutes)

Alex Tuch — Vegas vs. Chicago

Tomas Nosek — Vegas vs. Chicago (Red Army)

Joe Pavelski — Dallas vs. Calgary (Vengeance)

Mattias Janmark — Dallas vs. Calgary

Josh Anderson — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Blades of Steel)

Riley Nash — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Royals)

Joonas Donskoi — Colorado vs. Arizona (Chilean Sea Bass)

Drake Caggiula — Chicago vs. Vegas (Murder Hornets)

Michael Dal Colle — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Brett Ritchie — Boston vs. Carolina (Warriors)

Defencemen (7)

John Klingberg — Dallas vs. Calgary

Matt Niskanen — Philadelphia vs. Montreal

Brandon Carlo — Boston vs. Carolina

Duncan Keith — Chicago vs. Vegas (Brutes)

David Savard — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay

Ian Cole — Colorado vs. Arizona (Blades of Steel)

Xavier Ouellet — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (UFHL Free Agent)

Goaltenders (2)

Semyon Varlamov — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Jaroslav Halak — Boston vs. Carolina

ANALYSIS: Strong Island is looking really strong for the first round but will suffer significant losses in the fallout from that Boston-Carolina series, with three quality players from each of those NHL teams. Strong Island also has go-to guys from both sides of that Capitals-Islanders series but should be pulling for Washington there with Ovechkin as their first-round pick in the playoff draft. Dallas and Vancouver are two of the other teams that Strong Island will be favouring. The Battle Hawks, who are flying high in leading the UFHL/NHL Playoff Pool following the play-in round, would also welcome a Dallas win but will be wanting St. Louis and Philadelphia to prevail first and foremost. A Blues-Flyers final would be ideal for the Battle Hawks, but they currently have their hands full with Strong Island.

3) Tornadoes vs. 6) Power Players

3) Tornadoes

Forwards (14)

Mathew Barzal — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Blades of Steel)

Brock Nelson — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Derick Brassard — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Blake Coleman — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Barclay Goodrow — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Pat Maroon — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Jonathan Toews — Chicago vs. Vegas

Dylan Strome — Chicago vs. Vegas (West Coast Express)

Tomas Tatar — Montreal vs. Philadelphia

Phillip Danault — Montreal vs. Philadelphia

Alexander Radulov — Dallas vs. Calgary (Warriors)

Radek Faksa — Dallas vs. Calgary

Tom Wilson — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Ice Vikings)

Nick Foligno — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay

Defencemen (7)

Shea Weber — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Outlaws)

Ben Chiarot — Montreal vs. Philadelphia

Devon Toews — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Warriors)

Scott Mayfield — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Dougie Hamilton — Carolina vs. Boston

Alex Goligoski — Arizona vs. Colorado

Connor Murphy — Chicago vs. Vegas (Norse Stars)

Goaltenders (2)

Pavel Francouz — Colorado vs. Arizona

Corey Crawford — Chicago vs. Vegas (Blizzard)

6) Power Players

Forwards (14)

Oliver Bjorkstrand — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Ice Vikings)

Alexandre Texier — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay

Alexander Wennberg — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Blizzard)

Emil Bemstrom — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Red Army)

Elias Pettersson — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Warriors)

Zack MacEwen — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (UFHL Free Agent)

Adam Gaudette — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Ice Vikings)

Dominik Kubalik — Chicago vs. Vegas

Alex Nylander — Chicago vs. Vegas (Outlaws)

Tyler Seguin — Dallas vs. Calgary (Bombers)

Charlie Coyle — Boston vs. Carolina (Vengeance)

Martin Necas — Carolina vs. Boston

Cal Clutterbuck — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Cody Glass — Vegas vs. Chicago (IR)

Defencemen (7)

Ryan Murray — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay

Scott Harrington — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Chilean Sea Bass)

Nick Leddy — New York Islanders vs. Washington (West Coast Express)

Sebastian Aho — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Warriors)

Tyler Myers — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Royals)

Slater Koekkoek — Chicago vs. Vegas

Michael Stone — Calgary vs. Dallas (Warriors)

Goaltenders (2)

Tuukka Rask — Boston vs. Carolina

David Rittich — Calgary vs. Dallas

ANALYSIS: Tornadoes have a few Tampa players but would really like to set sail with a few underdogs in the Islanders, Montreal and Chicago. If the Tornadoes get past the Power Players and two of those three underdogs advance in the NHL playoffs, Tornadoes will be well positioned to go on another run after reaching the final of the Corona Cup simulated playoffs — losing the championship series to Duckman’s in that EA Sports tournament designed to pass the time during the COVID shutdown. That was a one-off event for entertainment only but showed that Tornadoes are a well-rounded contender on paper. The Power Players went heavy on underdogs too, with six players from Columbus and four from Vancouver. That was a bold strategy, knowing Columbus was up against high-powered Tampa Bay and Vancouver was set to face defending champion St. Louis. But so far, so good for the Power Players, who also have a vested interest in Chicago and a couple big guns from Boston and Dallas. This will be one of the more intriguing matchups for the first round — and to see how the winner’s roster is shaping up for the second round.

4) Rock Republic vs. 5) Snipers

4) Rock Republic

Forwards (13)

Elias Lindholm — Calgary vs. Dallas (Murder Hornets)

Sam Bennett — Calgary vs. Dallas

Dillon Dube — Calgary vs. Dallas

Jonathan Drouin — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Blizzard)

Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Bombers)

Sammy Blais — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Blades of Steel)

Jordan Kyrou — St. Louis vs. Vancouver

Sebastian Aho — Carolina vs. Boston

Mikko Rantanen — Colorado vs. Arizona

Jonathan Marchessault — Vegas vs. Chicago

Christian Dvorak — Arizona vs. Colorado

Jake Virtanen — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Casey Cizikas — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Defencemen (8)

Charlie McAvoy — Boston vs. Carolina

Jeremy Lauzon — Boston vs. Carolina

Seth Jones — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Vengeance)

Vladislav Gavrikov — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay

Ryan McDonagh — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Ice Vikings)

Erik Cernak — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Vengeance)

Brady Skjei — Carolina vs. Boston

Brett Kulak — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Blizzard)

Goaltenders (2)

Carter Hart — Philadelphia vs. Montreal

Petr Mrazek — Carolina vs. Boston (Warriors)

5) Snipers

Forwards (14)

Artturi Lehkonen — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Blades of Steel)

Joel Armia — Montreal vs. Philadelphia

Paul Byron — Montreal vs. Philadelphia

Jakub Vrana — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Blades of Steel)

Ilya Kovalchuk — Washington vs. New York Islanders

Josh Bailey — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Leo Komarov — New York Islanders vs. Washington

Clayton Keller — Arizona vs. Colorado (Bombers)

Michael Grabner — Arizona vs. Colorado

Cam Atkinson — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Murder Hornets)

Stefan Matteau — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay

Roope Hintz — Dallas vs. Calgary

Kirby Dach — Chicago vs. Vegas (Bombers)

Ryan Reaves — Vegas vs. Chicago

Defencemen (7)

John Carlson — Washington vs. New York Islanders

Quinn Hughes — Vancouver vs. St. Louis

Sami Vatanen — Carolina vs. Boston

Markus Nutivaara — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay

Marco Scandella — St. Louis vs. Vancouver

Stephen Johns — Dallas vs. Calgary

Juuso Valimaki — Calgary vs. Dallas

Goaltenders (2)

Carey Price — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Norse Stars)

James Reimer — Carolina vs. Boston (Vengeance)

ANALYSIS: This is a fun matchup — arguably the marquee matchup of the first round — because there is a real world element with Hart and Price going head-to-head in goal here too. Ironically, both managers, Donny and Juha, are fans of the Montreal Canadiens but safe to say Donny’s assistant GMs with Rock Republic are rooting for Hart and Philadelphia in that NHL series. For the record, Snipers have four Habs counting Price to Rock Republic’s three. So that Montreal-Philadelphia series will continue to be in the spotlight throughout this matchup. The irony doesn’t end there. Juha is Finnish — the Snipers are based in Finland — but Rock Republic’s roster features two of the best Finns in the NHL in Carolina’s Aho and Colorado’s Rantanen. Juha’s Snipers have their share of Finns too — including a couple of those Habs’ forwards — but Rock Republic gets the edge up front thanks to a few Flames that have heated up in the playoffs. Both these franchises are deep on defence, but Snipers have the upper hand there with Carlson and Hughes over Jones and McAvoy. If the skaters cancel each other out, it could come down to Hart versus Price. Stay tuned!

Non-Playoff Franchises

NOTE: These 15 non-playoff UFHL franchises are loaning players to the 16 playoff franchises who are listed in parenthesis. The non-playoff franchises are listed from most players participating in the Klein Cup playoffs to the least.

Blades of Steel

Forwards (9)

Gabriel Landeskog — Colorado vs. Arizona (Grizzlies)

Jake DeBrusk — Boston vs. Carolina (Grizzlies)

Jakub Vrana — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Snipers)

Artturi Lehkonen — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Snipers)

Brayden Schenn — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Dynasty)

Mathew Barzal — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Tornadoes)

Josh Anderson — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Battle Hawks)

Ivan Barbashev — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Stallions)

Sammy Blais — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Rock Republic)

Defencemen (4)

Ian Cole — Colorado vs. Arizona (Battle Hawks)

Haydn Fleury — Carolina vs. Boston (Grizzlies)

Jonas Siegenthaler — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Yetis)

Jon Merrill — Vegas vs. Chicago (Strong Island)

Goaltenders (2)

Darcy Kuemper — Arizona vs. Colorado (Defenders)

Thomas Greiss — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Dynasty)

ANALYSIS: Blades of Steel are tied for the most with 15 players participating, including Landeskog as the first overall pick in this year’s playoff draft. Landeskog is one of three players now representing the regular-season champion Grizzlies, so Blades of Steel will be among those cheering for the betting favourites. Blades of Steel also have two players with Snipers, Battle Hawks and Dynasty, so any of those four franchises would be a welcome winner of the Klein Cup.

The way it works with the payouts and the loan system, the eventual champion will be paying out approximately $17 per leased player on their 23-man roster — $17 translates to 850 score coins (SCO), which is the in-game token on the UFF Sports’ platform. The total prize for the Klein Cup champion is $780 USD, which equates to 39,000 SCO, with 50 per cent of that purse ($390 USD or 19,500 SCO) going straight to the winning franchise (owner/GM), while the other 50 per cent is evenly distributed to every player on their roster. Like the NHL, this is a winner-takes-all tournament, with only the Klein Cup champion receiving a prize — at least for this year.

Warriors

Forwards (7)

Jordan Staal — Carolina vs. Boston (Stallions)

Derek Ryan — Calgary vs. Dallas (Stallions)

Elias Pettersson — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Power Players)

Anders Lee — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Dynasty)

Alexander Radulov — Dallas vs. Calgary (Tornadoes)

Nick Cousins — Vegas vs. Chicago (Grizzlies)

Brett Ritchie — Boston vs. Carolina (Battle Hawks)

Defencemen (6)

Michael Stone — Calgary vs. Dallas (Power Players)

Sebastian Aho — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Power Players)

Ivan Provorov — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Yetis)

Noah Hanifin — Calgary vs. Dallas (Crypto Knights)

Devon Toews — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Tornadoes)

Calvin de Haan — Chicago vs. Vegas (Dynasty)

Goaltenders (2)

Petr Mrazek — Carolina vs. Boston (Rock Republic)

Anton Khudobin — Dallas vs. Calgary (Strong Island)

ANALYSIS: The Warriors also have 15 players participating, with three on the Power Players — including their franchise player in Elias Pettersson, who went second overall behind Sidney Crosby in last month’s UFHL Redraft. There are two Warriors on the Tornadoes, Stallions and Dynasty, so the Warriors will likely jump on the bandwagon for whoever prevails in that Tornadoes-Power Players matchup.

Norse Stars

Forwards (6)

Kevin Hayes — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Stallions)

Richard Panik — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Stallions)

Nicolas Roy — Vegas vs. Chicago (Duckman’s Domination)

Nic Dowd — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Duckman’s Domination)

Chandler Stephenson — Vegas vs. Chicago (Crypto Knights)

MacKenzie MacEachern — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Gators)

Defencemen (7)

Esa Lindell — Dallas vs. Calgary (Titans)

Robert Bortuzzo — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Titans)

Carl Gunnarsson — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Titans)

Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Arizona vs. Colorado (Duckman’s Domination)

Rasmus Andersson — Calgary vs. Dallas (Stallions)

Brayden McNabb — Vegas vs. Chicago (Gators)

Connor Murphy — Chicago vs. Vegas (Tornadoes)

Goaltenders (2)

Carey Price — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Snipers)

Curtis McElhinney — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Titans)

ANALYSIS: The Norse Stars are the third and final non-playoff franchise with 15 representatives in the Klein Cup playoffs — led by Price with the Snipers as their second-round pick from the UFHL Redraft. However, the Norse Stars will be rooting for the Titans, who are rostering four of their lesser-known players, but every player — from star forward to backup goaltender — earns the same payout for being on the champion’s roster. So the more players, the better — not the better the player, the more the payout. The Norse Stars also have three players on the Stallions and Duckman’s, so that Titans-Duckman’s matchup is of particular interest to the Norse Stars. Ditto for Stallions-Gators, to a lesser degree, with two players on the Gators as well.

Royals

Forwards (10)

Alex Ovechkin — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Strong Island)

Max Domi — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Strong Island)

Blake Comeau — Dallas vs. Calgary (Strong Island)

Alex Steen — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Battle Hawks)

Riley Nash — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Battle Hawks)

Tyler Johnson — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Monarchs)

Tyler Bozak — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Titans)

Lars Eller — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Stallions)

Denis Gurianov — Dallas vs. Calgary (Defenders)

Jacob de la Rose — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Dynasty)

Defencemen (3)

Tyler Myers — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Power Players)

Braydon Coburn — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Stallions)

Johnny Boychuk — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Yetis)

Goaltenders (1)

Jordan Binnington — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Stallions)

ANALYSIS: The Royals have 14 players participating and will be throwing their support behind Strong Island and Stallions, who are both rostering three Royals. Strong Island selected Ovechkin from the Royals as the third overall pick in the playoff draft, while Stallions took Binnington from the Royals as their first-rounder. Strong Island and Stallions aren’t in the same conference and thus could clash in the final, which would be a dream scenario for the Royals.

West Coast Express

Forwards (7)

Johnny Gaudreau — Calgary vs. Dallas (Strong Island)

Corey Perry — Dallas vs. Calgary (Strong Island)

Evgeny Kuznetsov — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Gators)

Brendan Gallagher — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Dynasty)

Dylan Strome — Chicago vs. Vegas (Tornadoes)

Brad Richardson — Arizona vs. Colorado (Titans)

Mathieu Joseph — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Yetis)

Defencemen (4)

Shea Theodore — Vegas vs. Chicago (Crypto Knights)

Erik Gustafsson — Calgary vs. Dallas (Dynasty)

Nick Leddy — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Power Players)

Noah Dobson — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Stallions)

Goaltenders (2)

Robin Lehner — Vegas vs. Chicago (Grizzlies)

Jake Allen — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Dynasty)

ANALYSIS: West Coast Express have 13 players participating and would also welcome a Strong Island win, with two of their players now starring for that franchise, which finished third in the regular-season standings. Ideally, Dynasty would defy the odds and come out on top with three players from West Coast Express, but that seems like more of a pipedream. Strong Island is probably the best bet for West Coast Express.

Murder Hornets

Forwards (8)

Steven Stamkos — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Titans)

Zach Sanford — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Titans)

Nicklas Backstrom — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Duckman’s Domination)

Elias Lindholm — Calgary vs. Dallas (Rock Republic)

Cam Atkinson — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Snipers)

Nino Niederreiter — Carolina vs. Boston (Grizzlies)

Drake Caggiula — Chicago vs. Vegas (Battle Hawks)

Matt Martin — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Dynasty)

Defencemen (4)

John Moore — Boston vs. Carolina (Dynasty)

Oliver Kylington — Calgary vs. Dallas (Dynasty)

Troy Stecher — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Duckman’s Domination)

Oscar Fantenberg — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Gators)

Goaltenders (1)

Cam Talbot — Calgary vs. Dallas (Gators)

ANALYSIS: The Murder Hornets have 13 players participating, including three for the underdog Dynasty, but they will also be pulling for the winner of that Titans-Duckman’s matchup with two players representing each of those franchises. The Murder Hornets have two players on the Gators as well, but best-case scenario would see Stamkos get healthy and lead the Titans to the title as their first-round pick (fifth overall). Failing that, the Murder Hornets would be throwing their support behind the Gators — or perhaps Duckman’s if they knock off the Titans in the first round.

Vengeance

Forwards (7)

Claude Giroux — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Battle Hawks)

Joe Pavelski — Dallas vs. Calgary (Battle Hawks)

Anthony Beauvillier — New York Islanders vs. Washington (Yetis)

Charlie Coyle — Boston vs. Carolina (Power Players)

Brock McGinn — Carolina vs. Boston (Grizzlies)

Chris Wagner — Boston vs. Carolina (Gators)

Mitchell Stephens — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Monarchs)

Defencemen (4)

Seth Jones — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Rock Republic)

Erik Cernak — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Rock Republic)

Erik Johnson — Colorado vs. Arizona (Grizzlies)

Jan Rutta — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Gators)

Goaltenders (1)

James Reimer — Carolina vs. Boston (Snipers)

ANALYSIS: Vengeance have 12 players participating and no real rooting interest since they have representatives on eight of the UFHL playoff franchises. That includes two for the Grizzlies, Gators, Rock Republic and Battle Hawks. Vengeance’s better players are on the Battle Hawks and Rock Republic, but that won’t matter in the big picture and they would be thrilled with any of those four franchises winning the Klein Cup.

Ice Vikings

Forwards (7)

Robert Thomas — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Yetis)

Boone Jenner — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Yetis)

Oliver Bjorkstrand — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Power Players)

Adam Gaudette — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Power Players)

Tom Wilson — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Tornadoes)

Tyler Pitlick — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Crypto Knights)

Karson Kuhlman — Boston vs. Carolina (Stallions)

Defencemen (5)

Brenden Dillon — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Defenders)

Jamie Oleksiak — Dallas vs. Calgary (Defenders)

Ilya Lyubushkin — Arizona vs. Colorado (Defenders)

Ryan McDonagh — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Rock Republic)

Radko Gudas — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Strong Island)

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: The Ice Vikings also have 12 players participating, with three of their defenders now representing the Defenders, who enter the Klein Cup playoffs as the second-place franchise from the regular season and the Allan Conference’s top seed. The Ice Vikings have two players on the Yetis and Power Players, but they can clearly cheer on the Defenders.

Elite Assassins

Forwards (6)

Jamie Benn — Dallas vs. Calgary (Defenders)

Mikael Backlund — Calgary vs. Dallas (Defenders)

Carl Soderberg — Arizona vs. Colorado (Dynasty)

Oskar Sundqvist — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Crypto Knights)

Tyson Jost — Colorado vs. Arizona (Stallions)

Tyler Motte — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Gators)

Defencemen (4)

Nate Schmidt — Vegas vs. Chicago (Gators)

Brett Pesce — Carolina vs. Boston (Crypto Knights)

Jason Demers — Arizona vs. Colorado (Monarchs)

Andrej Sekera — Dallas vs. Calgary (Defenders)

Goaltenders (1)

Marc-Andre Fleury — Vegas vs. Chicago (Duckman’s Domination)

ANALYSIS: Elite Assassins have 11 players participating and are also now on Team Defenders! Elite Assassins have three players on the Defenders, with two on the Gators as well as the Crypto Knights. Elite Assassins would prefer to still be competing in the Klein Cup playoffs, but the Defenders can expect an outpouring of emotional support from their passionate owner Jason Hofer once Elite Assassins get on that bandwagon.

Blizzard

Forwards (8)

Gustav Nyquist — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Dynasty)

Andrew Cogliano — Dallas vs. Calgary (Dynasty)

Brad Marchand — Boston vs. Carolina (Defenders)

Travis Konecny — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Titans)

Vincent Trocheck — Carolina vs. Boston (Gators)

Jonathan Drouin — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Rock Republic)

Alexander Wennberg — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Power Players)

Matt Nieto — Colorado vs. Arizona (Grizzlies)

Defencemen (2)

Brett Kulak — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Rock Republic)

Robert Hagg — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Titans)

Goaltenders (1)

Corey Crawford — Chicago vs. Vegas (Tornadoes)

ANALYSIS: The Blizzard have 11 players participating, with two on the Titans, Rock Republic and Dynasty. The Defenders took Brad Marchand second overall in the playoff draft, but that won’t get them any love over the aforementioned three franchises. The more, the merrier, and that means the Blizzard will be warming up to the Titans, who took two Philadelphia players, as well as Rock Republic, who took two Montreal players. The result of that Philadelphia-Montreal series in the NHL will likely determine the Blizzard’s rooting interest in the UFHL.

Bombers

Forwards (9)

Clayton Keller — Arizona vs. Colorado (Snipers)

Kirby Dach — Chicago vs. Vegas (Snipers)

Vladimir Tarasenko — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Titans)

Tyler Seguin — Dallas vs. Calgary (Power Players)

Joel Farabee — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Crypto Knights)

Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Rock Republic)

Barrett Hayton — Arizona vs. Colorado (Yetis)

Cedric Paquette — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Strong Island)

Jay Beagle — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Grizzlies)

Defencemen (1)

Miro Heiskanen — Dallas vs. Calgary (Monarchs)

Goaltenders (1)

Thatcher Demko — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Gators)

ANALYSIS: The Bombers have 11 players participating on 10 different UFHL playoff franchises, with the Snipers becoming the Bombers’ new favourite team with two. Just two, but that is one more than the other nine franchises, who are rostering individual Bombers. On the bright side, as long as one of those 10 franchises win the Klein Cup, the Bombers will be getting a little bonus. So the Bombers can cheer for the Snipers but otherwise sit back and enjoy the playoffs — hoping one of those 10 (out of 16) franchises winds up being the big winner.

Brutes

Forwards (3)

David Krejci — Boston vs. Carolina (Duckman’s Domination)

Jakub Voracek — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Battle Hawks)

Travis Boyd — Washington vs. New York Islanders (Dynasty)

Defencemen (4)

Samuel Girard — Colorado vs. Arizona (Grizzlies)

Vince Dunn — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Yetis)

Jakob Chychrun — Arizona vs. Colorado (Strong Island)

Duncan Keith — Chicago vs. Vegas (Battle Hawks)

Goaltenders (1)

Philipp Grubauer — Colorado vs. Arizona (Yetis)

ANALYSIS: The Brutes have eight players participating, including two for the Battle Hawks and Yetis. Those franchises are both underdogs in opposing conferences, but the underdogs have been faring quite well in the NHL and shouldn’t be overlooked in the UFHL either. The Yetis lost Connor McDavid and Mitch Marner from their play-in round roster or they certainly could have been contenders for the Klein Cup. The Battle Hawks might now be in better shape on paper for the first round, but they are also in tough against Strong Island. The Brutes will keep rooting for those two franchises but may need a new bandwagon for the second round.

Chilean Sea Bass

Forwards (5)

Sean Couturier — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Defenders)

Derek Stepan — Arizona vs. Colorado (Defenders)

Paul Stastny — Vegas vs. Chicago (Crypto Knights)

Joonas Donskoi — Colorado vs. Arizona (Battle Hawks)

Jordan Martinook — Carolina vs. Boston (Duckman’s Domination)

Defencemen (2)

Travis Sanheim — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Monarchs)

Scott Harrington — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Power Players)

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: The Chilean Sea Bass have seven players participating and will also be throwing their support behind the Defenders, who drafted the Sea Bass’ franchise player in Couturier with the second pick of the second round. The Sea Bass would like to see Philadelphia go deep, which would also benefit the Monarchs with Sanheim, but as long as the Defenders come out on top, the Sea Bass will be reeling in a decent bonus.

Outlaws

Forwards (4)

Teuvo Teravainen — Carolina vs. Boston (Strong Island)

Max Pacioretty — Vegas vs. Chicago (Gators)

Ondrej Kase — Boston vs. Carolina (Duckman’s Domination)

Alex Nylander — Chicago vs. Vegas (Power Players)

Defencemen (2)

Shea Weber — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Tornadoes)

Shayne Gostisbehere — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Crypto Knights)

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: The Outlaws have six players participating but no real allies or allegiances since all six are representing different franchises. That is fitting for the Outlaws, who tend to stand alone and answer only to themselves. The Outlaws don’t have to cheer for anyone, but Strong Island sounds like a place where Outlaws would be welcomed. The Outlaws might also be fans of the Broad Street Bullies, which could have them pulling for Philly’s Gostisbehere and the wild-card Crypto Knights. On the other hand, Weber looks like he could play the role of an Outlaw in a western film once he rides off into the hockey sunset, so maybe the Outlaws follow Weber to the Tornadoes if Montreal upsets Philadelphia in that matchup. Whatever the case, the Outlaws can do as they see fit when it comes to following the Klein Cup playoffs.

Red Army

Forwards (3)

Brayden Point — Tampa Bay vs. Columbus (Monarchs)

Tomas Nosek — Vegas vs. Chicago (Battle Hawks)

Emil Bemstrom — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Power Players)

Defencemen (1)

Adam Boqvist — Chicago vs. Vegas (Stallions)

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: Red Army only have four players participating in the Klein Cup playoffs, with the rest of their roster back in Russia preparing for next season behind the Iron Curtain. Technically, Montreal is the Motherland for the New MRA — Montreal, not Moscow — and these playoffs are all about the present, not the past. The future awaits, but Red Army may as well support the Monarchs in the meantime and hope that Point can help deliver a championship in both leagues — for Tampa Bay in the NHL and the Monarchs in the UFHL. Point delivered that fifth-overtime winner to open the first round and could become a Conn Smythe contender as playoff MVP if the Lightning make it all the way.

UFHL Free Agents

Forwards (13)

Justin Williams — Carolina vs. Boston (Gators)

Joakim Nordstrom — Boston vs. Carolina (Gators)

Zac Rinaldo — Calgary vs. Dallas (Gators)

Liam Foudy — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Yetis)

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare — Colorado vs. Arizona (Yetis)

Matthew Highmore — Chicago vs. Vegas (Yetis)

Milan Lucic — Calgary vs. Dallas (Defenders)

Tobias Rieder — Calgary vs. Dallas (Defenders)

Loui Eriksson — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Duckman’s Domination)

Jordan Weal — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Duckman’s Domination)

Nate Thompson — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Monarchs)

Troy Brouwer — St. Louis vs. Vancouver (Titans)

Zack MacEwen — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Power Players)

Defencemen (7)

Dean Kukan — Columbus vs. Tampa Bay (Grizzlies)

Derek Forbort — Calgary vs. Dallas (Grizzlies)

Jordie Benn — Vancouver vs. St. Louis (Dynasty)

Taylor Fedun — Dallas vs. Calgary (Dynasty)

Niklas Hjalmarsson — Arizona vs. Colorado (Titans)

Justin Braun — Philadelphia vs. Montreal (Monarchs)

Xavier Ouellet — Montreal vs. Philadelphia (Battle Hawks)

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: A total of 20 free agents were picked in the UFHL Playoff Draft, including a couple veteran forwards with bad contracts that wouldn’t be wanted on rosters in the regular season when the NHL salary cap is in effect for the UFHL — those being Lucic (Defenders) and Eriksson (Duckman’s), who are both having a positive impact for Calgary and Vancouver to start this postseason. Williams in another wily veteran — a grey beard believed to be on his last legs, already coming out of retirement once — but he could prove to be a valuable playoff asset for the Gators as Carolina’s captain.

There were also a couple younger players selected as budding forwards who are still rookies and Calder eligible for next season in Foudy (Yetis) and MacEwen (Power Players). Foudy will also be available in the upcoming Already Drafted Auction (Aug. 22-28, with Foudy on Aug. 25), so he’ll likely be property of another franchise for next season unless the Yetis purchase his rights there. MacEwen was five regular-season games short of being eligible for the UFHL Redraft — West Coast Express attempted to pick him, getting denied by that technicality — but he was deemed available for the UFHL Playoff Draft since his rights will be relinquished again following the Klein Cup playoffs. Scouts will have first dibs on MacEwen, with the open market starting September 1, but it’s likely he’ll end up on a UFHL roster for next season as a free-agent addition. West Coast Express could circle back on MacEwen if he impresses for Vancouver — and the Power Players — during these playoffs.

The rest of these UFHL free agents aren’t that noteworthy and will more so serve as depth filler for the franchises throughout their playoff runs. Any points are better than no points is the thinking there — and every point counts across several categories in the UFHL!

UFHL Entry Auction Lottery

NOTE: The UFHL also held their Entry Auction Lottery — also known as the Lafreniere Lottery — this week for the 15 non-playoff franchises. It was a weighted lottery, counting down from 15th to first overall, with 23 total balls in a bingo machine and the following odds:

1 bingo ball (7 non-playoff franchises)

Ice Vikings (Jeff Brown & Brian Smith)

Norse Stars (Cameron Turner)

Vengeance (Jeff McCarthy)

Chilean Sea Bass (Hernan Salas)

Red Army (Luc Grenier)

Warriors (Sean Cosgrove)

Brutes (Jesse Gill)

2 bingo balls (8 play-in round losers)

Outlaws (John Kleinsasser & Adam Stephens)

Blades of Steel (Mike Bender)

Elite Assassins (Jason Hofer)

Royals (Tieran & Ireland Charanduk/Dylan Earle & Brady Mangin)

Bombers (Brock Holowachuk)

Blizzard (Christopher Shane)

West Coast Express (Aaron Bell & Brandon Kohinsky)

Murder Hornets (Arlo Schulz)

This lottery proved more eventful and entertaining than the NHL’s Phase 2 Draft Lottery that was held an hour before the UFHL’s version.

UFHL Entry Auction Order

NOTE: That video is worth the watch — for the suspense as well as the humour — but here was the end result, with the order of auction spots determined for the Entry Auction that will take place on October 10 (the same weekend as the 2020 NHL Entry Draft).

1) Vengeance

2) Outlaws

3) Brutes

4) Chilean Sea Bass

5) Blades of Steel

6) Murder Hornets

7) Warriors

8) Elite Assassins

9) Blizzard

10) Royals

11) Ice Vikings

12) West Coast Express

13) Red Army

14) Bombers

15) Norse Stars

The Entry Auction is the UFHL’s version of the annual NHL Entry Draft but works a little differently with the top five franchises from that lottery all getting a chance to bid on the NHL’s first overall pick. That will almost certainly be Alexis Lafreniere of the New York Rangers, who won the NHL’s lottery as a play-in round loser.

For more information on the UFHL Entry Auction and the other prospect auctions that start this Saturday with the official launch of UFF Sports’ fantasy scouting, check out the UFHL’s upcoming schedule article.