UFHL Playoff Preview: Higher Seeds Sweep, Advance to Second Round

The Klein Cup playoffs didn’t provide much suspense in the first round, with all eight of the higher seeds advancing and only one relatively close matchup.

The second round should be more competitive now that we’re into the conference semifinals, with the top four seeds facing off on both sides of the bracket.

First Round Results

Legends Conference

1) Grizzlies defeated 8) Crypto Knights

2) Gators defeated 7) Stallions

3) Titans defeated 6) Duckman’s Domination

4) Monarchs defeated 5) Yetis

Allan Conference

1) Defenders defeated 8) Dynasty

2) Strong Island defeated 7) Battle Hawks

3) Tornadoes defeated 6) Power Players

4) Rock Republic defeated 5) Snipers

Second Round Matchups

Legends Conference

1) Grizzlies vs. 4) Monarchs

2) Gators vs. 3) Titans

Allan Conference

1) Defenders vs. 4) Rock Republic

2) Strong Island vs. 3) Tornadoes

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

NOTE: These eight playoff franchises are leasing players from the 15 non-playoff UFHL franchises (listed in parenthesis).

Second Round

Legends Conference

1) Grizzlies vs. 4) Monarchs

1) Grizzlies

Forwards (9)

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

Nazem Kadri — Colorado vs. Dallas

J.T. Compher — Colorado vs. Dallas

Matt Nieto — Colorado vs. Dallas (Blizzard)

William Karlsson — Vegas vs. Vancouver

Nick Cousins — Vegas vs. Vancouver (Warriors)

Jake DeBrusk — Boston vs. Tampa Bay (Blades of Steel)

Sean Kuraly — Boston vs. Tampa Bay

Jay Beagle — Vancouver vs. Vegas (Bombers)

Defencemen (5)

Samuel Girard — Colorado vs. Dallas (Brutes)

Erik Johnson — Colorado vs. Dallas (Vengeance)

Ryan Graves — Colorado vs. Dallas

Mikhail Sergachev — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Nick Holden — Vegas vs. Vancouver

Goaltenders (1)

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

4) Monarchs

Forwards (10)

Nikita Kucherov — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

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

Tyler Johnson — Tampa Bay vs. Boston (Royals)

Anthony Cirelli — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Alex Killorn — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Yanni Gourde — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Mitchell Stephens — Tampa Bay vs. Boston (Vengeance)

Carter Verhaeghe — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Nate Thompson — Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders (UFHL Free Agent)

Ross Johnston — New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia

Defencemen (5)

Travis Sanheim — Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders (Chilean Sea Bass)

Justin Braun — Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders (UFHL Free Agent)

Victor Hedman — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Miro Heiskanen — Dallas vs. Colorado (Bombers)

Nikita Zadorov — Colorado vs. Dallas

Goaltenders (1)

Ben Bishop — Dallas vs. Colorado

ANALYSIS: This is going to be a great matchup between longtime friends and former university hockey teammates. It is another all-female matchup between Andrea Charanduk and Ashley Murray, who played together at the University of Regina. Andrea previously defeated Chericce Schulz’s Crypto Knights in the first round. Ashley’s Monarchs will present a bigger challenge, especially if Tampa Bay fares well against Boston and lights up Jaroslav Halak. The Monarchs are loaded with Lightning players, so that series is crucial to their success. The Grizzlies are heavy on Colorado players and will be hoping for a Colorado-Vegas matchup in the Western Conference final. The Monarchs have one extra skater in the second round, but this matchup will likely be decided by that Tampa Bay-Boston series.

2) Gators vs. 3) Titans

2) Gators

Forwards (8)

Anders Bjork — Boston vs. Tampa Bay

Chris Wagner — Boston vs. Tampa Bay (Vengeance)

Joakim Nordstrom — Boston vs. Tampa Bay (UFHL Free Agent)

Nathan MacKinnon — Colorado vs. Dallas

Valeri Nichushkin — Colorado vs. Dallas

Max Pacioretty — Vegas vs. Vancouver (Outlaws)

James van Riemsdyk — Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders

Tyler Motte — Vancouver vs. Vegas (Elite Assassins)

Defencemen (6)

Nate Schmidt — Vegas vs. Vancouver (Elite Assassins)

Alec Martinez — Vegas vs. Vancouver

Brayden McNabb — Vegas vs. Vancouver (Norse Stars)

Zdeno Chara — Boston vs. Tampa Bay

Jan Rutta — Tampa Bay vs. Boston (Vengeance)

Oscar Fantenberg — Vancouver vs. Vegas (Murder Hornets)

Goaltenders (1)

Thatcher Demko — Vancouver vs. Vegas (Bombers)

3) Titans

Forwards (8)

David Pastrnak — Boston vs. Tampa Bay

Nick Ritchie — Boston vs. Tampa Bay

Travis Konecny — Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders (Blizzard)

Nicolas Aube-Kubel — Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders

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

Reilly Smith — Vegas vs. Vancouver

Andre Burakovsky — Colorado vs. Dallas

Micheal Ferland — Vancouver vs. Vegas (IR)

Defencemen (4)

Philippe Myers — Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders

Robert Hagg — Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders (Blizzard)

Cale Makar — Colorado vs. Dallas

Esa Lindell — Dallas vs. Colorado (Norse Stars)

Goaltenders (2)

Andrei Vasilevskiy — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

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

ANALYSIS: This promises to be another terrific matchup on paper. The Gators have three more skaters (counting Ferland’s injury absence), but the Titans have the only starting goaltender. That should balance out. This matchup could come down to whether Steven Stamkos returns for Tampa Bay, which would give the Titans a big boost in terms of offensive firepower. Regardless, two Harty Trophy contenders are going head to head in this matchup with Nathan MacKinnon on the Gators and David Pastrnak on the Titans. They will be big factors, but the Titans seem to have more scoring depth despite having fewer skaters.

Allan Conference

1) Defenders vs. 4) Rock Republic

1) Defenders

Forwards (8)

J.T. Miller — Vancouver vs. Vegas

Tanner Pearson — Vancouver vs. Vegas

Tyler Toffoli — Vancouver vs. Vegas (IR)

Jamie Benn — Dallas vs. Colorado (Elite Assassins)

Denis Gurianov — Dallas vs. Colorado (Royals)

Brad Marchand — Boston vs. Tampa Bay (Blizzard)

Sean Couturier — Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders (Chilean Sea Bass)

William Carrier — Vegas vs. Vancouver

Defencemen (3)

Jamie Oleksiak — Dallas vs. Colorado (Ice Vikings)

Andrej Sekera — Dallas vs. Colorado (Elite Assassins)

Chris Tanev — Vancouver vs. Vegas

Goaltenders (0)

None

4) Rock Republic

Forwards (4)

Mikko Rantanen — Colorado vs. Dallas

Jonathan Marchessault — Vegas vs. Vancouver

Jake Virtanen — Vancouver vs. Vegas

Casey Cizikas — New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia

Defencemen (4)

Charlie McAvoy — Boston vs. Tampa Bay

Jeremy Lauzon — Boston vs. Tampa Bay

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

Erik Cernak — Tampa Bay vs. Boston (Vengeance)

Goaltenders (1)

Carter Hart — Philadelphia vs. New York Islanders

ANALYSIS: Rock Republic produced the most fantasy points of any franchise in the first round but also lost the most skaters. The Defenders have two more skaters for the second round (three if Toffoli returns from injury), but Rock Republic have the lone goaltender left. On paper, the Defenders appear to have an advantage thanks to their extra forwards, so Rock Republic might need a couple more shutouts from Hart.

2) Strong Island vs. 3) Tornadoes

2) Strong Island

Forwards (7)

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

Blake Comeau — Dallas vs. Colorado (Royals)

Jason Dickinson — Dallas vs. Colorado

Patrice Bergeron — Boston vs. Tampa Bay

Jordan Eberle — New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia

Brandon Sutter — Vancouver vs. Vegas

Cedric Paquette — Tampa Bay vs. Boston (Bombers)

Defencemen (5)

Torey Krug — Boston vs. Tampa Bay

Matt Grzelcyk — Boston vs. Tampa Bay

Ryan Pulock — New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia

Zach Bogosian — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

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

Goaltenders (2)

Jacob Markstrom — Vancouver vs. Vegas

Anton Khudobin — Dallas vs. Colorado (Warriors)

3) Tornadoes

Forwards (8)

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

Brock Nelson — New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia

Derick Brassard — New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia

Blake Coleman — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Barclay Goodrow — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Pat Maroon — Tampa Bay vs. Boston

Alexander Radulov — Dallas vs. Colorado (Warriors)

Radek Faksa — Dallas vs. Colorado

Defencemen (2)

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

Scott Mayfield — New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia

Goaltenders (1)

Pavel Francouz — Colorado vs. Dallas

ANALYSIS: Strong Island has three more players for the second round — two skaters and one goaltender — but the Tornadoes shouldn’t be counted out, especially now that Francouz has been thrust into Colorado’s starting role with the Game 1 injury to Philipp Grubauer. Strong Island will need a big effort from Boston, while the Tornadoes will be wanting another upset from the Islanders. Both have a vested interest in Dallas as well, but whoever has a better showing between Boston and the Islanders could tilt this matchup.

Non-Playoff Franchises

NOTE: These 15 non-playoff UFHL franchises are loaning players to the eight playoff franchises. The non-playoff franchises are listed in order of most players remaining in the Klein Cup playoffs.

Blizzard

Forwards (5)

Brad Marchand — Defenders

Travis Konecny — Titans

Vincent Trocheck — Gators

Jonathan Drouin — Rock Republic

Matt Nieto — Grizzlies

Defencemen (2)

Brett Kulak — Rock Republic

Robert Hagg — Titans

Goaltenders (1)

Corey Crawford — Tornadoes

ANALYSIS: Blizzard are now leading the pack with eight players spread across the final eight playoff franchises — two each on Titans and Rock Republic. 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.

Blades of Steel

Forwards (4)

Gabriel Landeskog — Grizzlies

Jake DeBrusk — Grizzlies

Mathew Barzal — Tornadoes

Sammy Blais — Rock Republic

Defencemen (2)

Haydn Fleury — Grizzlies

Jon Merrill — Strong Island

Goaltenders (1)

Darcy Kuemper — Defenders

ANALYSIS: Blades of Steel are one of three franchises with seven players left, including three for the regular-season champion Grizzlies.

Norse Stars

Forwards (1)

MacKenzie MacEachern — Gators

Defencemen (5)

Esa Lindell — Titans

Robert Bortuzzo — Titans

Carl Gunnarsson — Titans

Brayden McNabb — Gators

Connor Murphy — Tornadoes

Goaltenders (1)

Curtis McElhinney — Titans

ANALYSIS: Norse Stars also have seven players left and will continue cheering for the Titans, who are rostering four of them, while two others are with the Gators.

Vengeance

Forwards (3)

Brock McGinn — Grizzlies

Chris Wagner — Gators

Mitchell Stephens — Monarchs

Defencemen (4)

Seth Jones — Rock Republic

Erik Cernak — Rock Republic

Erik Johnson — Grizzlies

Jan Rutta — Gators

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: Vengeance are the third franchise with seven players left, including two for the Grizzlies, Gators and Rock Republic.

Royals

Forwards (6)

Alex Ovechkin — Strong Island

Max Domi — Strong Island

Blake Comeau — Strong Island

Tyler Johnson — Monarchs

Tyler Bozak — Titans

Denis Gurianov — Defenders

Defencemen (0)

None

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: The Royals are one of six franchises with six players remaining, including three on Strong Island’s roster.

West Coast Express

Forwards (5)

Johnny Gaudreau — Strong Island

Corey Perry — Strong Island

Evgeny Kuznetsov — Gators

Dylan Strome — Tornadoes

Brad Richardson — Titans

Defencemen (0)

None

Goaltenders (1)

Robin Lehner — Grizzlies

ANALYSIS: West Coast Express also have six, including two with Strong Island.

Murder Hornets

Forwards (4)

Steven Stamkos — Titans

Zach Sanford — Titans

Elias Lindholm — Rock Republic

Nino Niederreiter — Grizzlies

Defencemen (1)

Oscar Fantenberg — Gators

Goaltenders (1)

Cam Talbot — Gators

ANALYSIS: Murder Hornets have six, including two for the Gators and Titans.

Ice Vikings

Forwards (1)

Tom Wilson — Tornadoes

Defencemen (5)

Brenden Dillon — Defenders

Jamie Oleksiak — Defenders

Ilya Lyubushkin — Defenders

Ryan McDonagh — Rock Republic

Radko Gudas — Strong Island

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: Ice Vikings have three of their six with the Defenders.

Elite Assassins

Forwards (3)

Jamie Benn — Defenders

Mikael Backlund — Defenders

Tyler Motte — Gators

Defencemen (3)

Nate Schmidt — Gators

Jason Demers — Monarchs

Andrej Sekera — Defenders

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: Elite Assassins also have three of their six with the Defenders, plus two more with the Gators.

Bombers

Forwards (4)

Vladimir Tarasenko — Titans

Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Rock Republic

Cedric Paquette — Strong Island

Jay Beagle — Grizzlies

Defencemen (1)

Miro Heiskanen — Monarchs

Goaltenders (1)

Thatcher Demko — Gators

ANALYSIS: Bombers are the last with six left, having one player on six different franchises — all but the Defenders and Tornadoes.

Warriors

Forwards (2)

Alexander Radulov — Tornadoes

Nick Cousins — Grizzlies

Defencemen (1)

Devon Toews — Tornadoes

Goaltenders (2)

Petr Mrazek — Rock Republic

Anton Khudobin — Strong Island

ANALYSIS: Warriors have five players left, including two with the Tornadoes.

Chilean Sea Bass

Forwards (2)

Sean Couturier — Defenders

Derek Stepan — Defenders

Defencemen (1)

Travis Sanheim — Monarchs

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: Chilean Sea Bass are down to three players, with two on the Defenders.

Outlaws

Forwards (2)

Teuvo Teravainen — Strong Island

Max Pacioretty — Gators

Defencemen (1)

Shea Weber — Tornadoes

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: Outlaws also have three left, with three different franchises.

Brutes

Forwards (0)

None

Defencemen (2)

Samuel Girard — Grizzlies

Jakob Chychrun — Strong Island

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: Brutes have just two left, with the Grizzlies and Strong Island.

Red Army

Forwards (1)

Brayden Point — Monarchs

Defencemen (0)

None

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: Red Army have only left one, with the Monarchs now their last hope.

UFHL Free Agents

Forwards (7)

Justin Williams — Gators

Joakim Nordstrom — Gators

Zac Rinaldo — Gators

Milan Lucic — Defenders

Tobias Rieder — Defenders

Nate Thompson — Monarchs

Troy Brouwer — Titans

Defencemen (4)

Dean Kukan — Grizzlies

Derek Forbort — Grizzlies

Niklas Hjalmarsson — Titans

Justin Braun — Monarchs

Goaltenders (0)

None

ANALYSIS: There are still 11 UFHL free agents left on Klein Cup rosters, led by three with the Gators, while the Grizzlies, Defenders, Titans and Monarchs have two each.

UFHL Entry Auction Order

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

16) Crypto Knights

17) Stallions

18) Dynasty

19) Battle Hawks

20) Power Players

21) Snipers

22) Duckman’s Domination

23) Yetis

The Entry Auction is the UFHL’s version of the annual NHL Entry Draft but works a little differently with five franchises getting to bid on every prospect. So 1-5 will be bidding on the NHL’s first overall pick, with the remaining four and 6 bidding on the NHL’s second overall pick.

The franchises from 16-23 lost in the first round of the Klein Cup playoffs and are placed in reverse order of their regular-season standings. The 24-31 auction spots will also be determined by the remaining playoff results.