dangler Posted January 9 Report Share Posted January 9 (edited) In preparation of starting a line changes league, here's some proposed team rankings to help guide the drafting process. I'm excluding the bottom 5 expansion teams from this list (ANA, FLA, OTT, SJS, TBL) because they can barely ice one good line. So for the remaining 21 teams I will rank them based on my own opinion of who I'd prefer to play with. You'll notice throughout this topic, I will reference the recent SDL draft history to see how many of these players are included. You'll also notice that I will completely ignore goaltenders in my analysis, I'm only looking at the top 9 F and top 6 D because all SNES goalies suck anyways. All proposed lineups are just off the top of my head while trying to balance the top 2 lines slightly as they'll be the most used in a line change league. You'll want to practice some games and juggle some of the lines if things aren't gelling like you'd hoped. #1 Calgary Flames LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Fleury Roberts Reichel Suter MacInnis Line 2 Makarov Otto Nieuwendyk Musil Petit Line 3 Ashton Ranheim Lindberg Johansson Dahl This is my favourite team for line changes. Look at that depth in the top 2 lines. There is hardly a dropoff at all in skills and the 3rd line can definitely hold its own as well with Lindberg being the only player without SDL draft history. #2 Los Angeles Kings LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Carson Sandstrom Kurri Zhitnik Blake Line 2 Gretzky Robitaille Granato Sydor McSorely Line 3 Donnelly Millen Taylor Huddy Hardy This lineup is scary good as well. Sandstrom and Robitaille centering the top 2 lines with those lethal shots and very good wingers feeding them can definitely do some damage. A very solid top 4 D core as well. The 3rd line takes a bit of a drop off with Taylor and Hardy having no SDL draft history, but you can shield them by heavily using SC1 and SC2 #3 Montreal Canadiens LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Lebeau Muller Damphousse Schneider Desjardins Line 2 Savard Bellows Leclair Daigneault Ramage Line 3 Dionne Keane Leeman Odelein Brisebois There's no doubt about the forward depth on Montreal. The only question mark in that top 6 is Leclair but he can be very effective when he's having a good game. All 6 defensemen also have SDL draft history and anyone that knows me, knows I typically dress Odelein as a starter and I love me some Bellows. Leeman is the only player with no SDL draft history which actually surprises me because he's a pretty good, reliable player. #4 Detroit Red Wings LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Fedorov Yzerman Drake Lidstrom Coffey Line 2 Ysebaert Ciccarelli Probert Chiasson Konstantov Line 3 Gallant Primeau Ogrodnick Howe Racine Detroit is one of only two teams with 15/15 players with SDL draft history. I've tried to balance the lines so only the RW position is getting exposed. Right wingers don't kill penalties anyways so that's the best position for a weaker player in my opinion. Two lines centered by Yzerman and Ciccarelli will be a serious threat with those deadly shots. Thanks to AJ for catching me mistakenly having Ogrodnick on D. #5 Vancouver Canucks LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Bure Linden Ronning Lumme Lidster Line 2 Courtnall Nedved Adams Slegr Diduck Line 3 Momesso Ward Craven Murzyn Babych Vancouver is the other team that has 15/15 players with SDL draft history. They even have a 7th D-man (Plavsic) with some SDL history. That is some impressive depth for a line changes league! There is a bit of a dropoff in talent between line 1 and line 2 which bumps them down the list a bit. I'd be curious to see what Nedved can do with that 6 shot accuracy at 2C. They do probably have the best 3rd line options in the game though. #6 New York Rangers LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Tikkanen Gartner Nemchinov Leetch Patrick Line 2 Turcotte Messier Olczyk Lowe Zubov Line 3 Amonte Kovalev Graves Andersson Beukeboom No surprise that NYR has some depth in this game. Andersson is the only player without SDL draft experience. I like those top 2 lines especially and the 3rd line is decent enough to not get exposed while it's out there. #7 Pittsburgh Penguins PIT LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Jagr Lemieux Francis Samuelsson Murphy Line 2 Stevens Mullen Tocchet Stanton Samuelsson Line 3 Straka McEachern Tippett Taglianeti Ramsey It's a bit surprising to see arguably the best team in SNES 94 this far down the list, but their depth is not as good as others for a line changes league. That 3rd line is atrocious and you're not going to want them out here too long but thankfully the top 2 lines will be able to carry the majority of the play. #8 Toronto Maple Leafs TOR LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Cullen Gilmour Borshevsky Ellett Rouse Line 2 Anderson Andreychuk Clark Gill Macoun Line 3 Krushelski Zezel Foligno Mironov Berehowsky All of Toronto's forwards and all but one defense (Berehowsky) have SDL draft experience which is some impressive depth. The top 2 lines are pretty balanced and will be able to contribute. There's a bit of a drop off in line 3 but that's going to happen with all of the teams going forward. #9 Washington Capitals WSH LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Bondra Ridley Miller Iafrate Cote Line 2 Carpenter Khristich Pivonka Johansson Hatcher Line 3 Elynuik Hunter MacDermid Cavallini Langway Really good balance in the top 2 lines here with hardly any flaws. I like to spread out Iafrate and Hatcher so you have a heavy D man on each of the top 2 lines. #10 Quebec Nordiques QUE LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Nolan Sundin Ricci Leschyshyn Duchesne Line 2 Kamensky Sakic Kovalenko Gusarov Tatatrinov Line 3 Twist Cavallini Young Huffman Foote Another well balanced top 2 lines and could be very even to Washington's team but I gave WSH the edge for their defense. There's probably slightly more skill and scoring touch on Quebec's top 6 F group. P.S. Tony Twist is terrible, don't use him. He was drafted once in SDL as a joke which is why he made it on this list. But he also scored 1 goal on 1 shot.. so maybe use him? #11 Boston Bruins BOS LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Oates Neely Juneau Sweeney Bourque Line 2 Kvartalnov Ruzicka Poulin Wesley Featherstone Line 3 Donato Heinze Pantaleyev Roberts Shaw Another surpise this team has dropped so far in my rankings but other than the top line, and 1 or 2 good spares, the depth is not there. Maybe you could split up Oates and Neely to spread it out a bit more but I still don't love the options with this team and that 3rd line is a severe liability. #12 New Jersey Devils NJD LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Semak Richer Zelepukin Fetisov Stevens Line 2 Stastny Lemieux Holik Niedermayer Driver Line 3 Nicholls MacLean Pellerin Albelin Daneyko I really like the depth at forward and the top 4 D on this group. I debated ranking them ahead of Boston. That 3rd line is not even that bad. Both top 2 lines have a great mix of skill and size to get the job done. #13 Winnipeg Jets WPG LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Steen Selanne Shannon Housley Olausson Line 2 Davydov Zhamnov Tkachuk Bautin Numminen Line 3 Borsato Eagles King Carlyle Ulanov The top 4 defense core is really solid without many flaws. The RW position is a bit lacking on both top 2 lines but there is enough balance that both lines can be effective and provide enough offense. #14 Chicago Blackhawks CHI LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Ruutuu Roenick Murphy Smith Chelios Line 2 Sutter Larmer Goulet Marchment Kucera Line 3 Murray Graham Noonan Muni Brown Again with a big drop off from one of the best teams in the game, but like mentioned above, aside from the top line the depth is not there. Goulet on the 2nd line? Gross. #15 Buffalo Sabres BUF LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Hawerchuk Mogilny Sweeney Svoboda Smehlik Line 2 Khmylev Lafontaine Errey Ledyard Bodger Line 3 Patterson Ray Audette Carney Moller Here's another team that's struggling with depth outside of the top line, that will be the story for the rest of the teams on this list so I'll stop mentioning it. I tried to spread things out with Lafontaine centering SC2 but he's got some garbage wingers to work with. The top 4 defense can hold their own though. #16 St. Louis Blues STL LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Janney Hull Sutter Brown Butcher Line 2 Emerson Shanahan Miller Giles Quintal Line 3 Bassen Wilson Korolev Norwood Zombo Not a bad top 2 line options, only the RW position being a bit on the weak end. Bob Bassen on the 3rd line can provide a scoring option as well if he gets out there. #17 Edmonton Oilers EDM LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Corson Klima Weight Manson Kravchuk Line 2 Ciger Simpson MacTavish Richardson Benning Line 3 Elik Todd Hudson Werenka Glynn Klima and Simpson provide great center options with those shots. EDM also can ice 6 pretty decent and reliable defensemen. The winger options do look a bit ugly outside of Corson though. #18 New York Islanders NYI LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Hogue Turgeon Ferraro Kasparaitis Malakhov Line 2 Thomas King Volek Norton Lachance Line 3 Mullen Flatley McInnis Kurvers Krupp I debated putting Hogue on line 2 here and it might be the better option to spread things out. Outside of Turgeon and Hogue all the wingers are pretty blah but the defense can hold its own, similar to EDM above. #19 Dallas Stars DAL LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Gagner Modano Broten Tinordi Sjodin Line 2 Dahlen Courtnall Gilchrist Hatcher Matvichuk Line 3 Craig McPhee Propp Ludwig Berry We're getting into the bottom few teams here and it's starting to show. Ony Tinordi and Sjodin have SDL draft experince on the D end so that is where this team is definitely lacking. The top 6 forwards are not that terrible. #20 Philadelphia Flyers PHI LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Eklund Lindros Dineen Yushkevich Galley Line 2 Brindamour Recchi Beranek Hawgood Nattress Line 3 Acton Fedyk Snuggerud Carkner McGill Haven't quite figured out what the optimal lineup would be here because it's really limited. There's only 5 forwards and 3 defensemen with SDL draft history on this team... it's bad. #21 Hartford Whalers HFD LW C RW LD RD Line 1 Sanderson Verbeek Janssens Zalapski Burt Line 2 Poulin Cassels Kron Weinrich Pederson Line 3 Leach Nylander Petrovicky Keczner Houda Similar to PHI, there's only 5 forwards and 3 defensemen with SDL draft history on this team and overall they're much worse than Philly. Edited January 10 by dangler 2 2 1 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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