Season 7 Profile: Berlin Smurfs

pro-berlin

GM: Guybrush Threepwood (only GM in team’s history)

Coach: Adam Oates

Last season: 3rd overall (In the playoffs, defeated Lisbon, defeated Madrid, lost to Paris)

Ins and Outs

(Season 6 to Season 7)

Out:  David Krejci (traded), Patric Hornquist (free agent), Niklas Hjalmarsson (free agent), Aleksander Barkov (traded), Leon Draisaitl (traded), Joni Pitkanen (free agent), Tim Gleason (free agent)

In: Jeff Carter (trade), Andrey Bykov (trade), Calvin Pickard (trade), Siim Liivik (trade), Erik Gudbranson (waivers), Zack Kassian (waivers), Adam Mascherin (draft), Alex Debrincat (draft)

In Place

(Key players signed past Season 7)

Logan Couture, C; Loui Eriksson, LW; Calvin Pickard, G; Andrey Bykov, LW; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C3qs

 
Three Questions

1. They have been good forever; is this the year?  Over the last four EURO League seasons, the Smurfs have been a force. They finished in the top 3 in three of those four seasons and sixth the other time. The truth is, the competition has been really good and it will be again this year. But Berlin is definitely one of the first two or three words out of the mouths of people who are asked who they think will win the Cup this year. Last season, the Smurfs were second in the league in shots per game and second in fewest shots allowed. Their special teams units were both fourth in the league. Jimmy Howard was excellent in goal. In short, Berlin was a powerhouse last year. But the personnel changes Berlin made going into this season don’t point to the turbo boost the Smurfs need to go those one or two extra steps. On the surface, a trade that brought in Jeff Carter and shipped out David Krejci seems to be a slight downgrade for the Smurfs. But they have talent up the middle with Logan Couture and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and RNH gets more ice time now. Andrey Bykov came in a trade and Patric Hornquist left via free agency, but for Berlin fans, it’s as if one has replaced the other in the lineup and again, on paper, it seems like a downgrade, but Bykov made fans fast in Germany with 11 points in 8 games. Howard and Calvin Pickard in goal might be key to the season.

2. Where are the Smurfs weakest? The goalies look excellent. In fact, Coach Adam Oates has given Calvin Pickard six of the first seven starting gigs this year leaving the Season 5 Best Goalie Trophy winner sitting the bench for the most part. The team’s top line of Logan Couture and anyone – in this case Loui Eriksson and Ryan Callahan – will carry them far and the top 4 Dmen are very good. Stefan Ulmer and Erik Gudbranson seem like the wink links back there, but in their first games as partners, they have been spectacular. The fourth forward line is among the least experienced lines in the league and despite what Rose and Oates think about Erik Forssell, that line could be exploited. It won’t happen that often, but one or two bad goals at key moments can be costly in any hockey league. The key for Berlin fans will be when the top dogs like Alexander Edler, Callahan, Couture and others are on the prowl. They need to get enough goals to make up for any mistakes the young kids make.

3. How does the long-term future look? General Manager Guybrush Threepwood will do some nail biting after this season if if he really wants to keep his team together. Playing on the last year of their Type 3 contracts are a goalie, three starting defensemen and his four most-talented right wingers. But Threepwood seems to have seen that problem coming and over the last two seasons has made moves to lock in some younger talent. He used other young stars – Aleksander Barkov and David Pastrnak – plus draft picks to draw in Calvin Pickard, Andrey Bykov and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The GM also seems to have plans to give some players greater leadership roles on the team. Right now, Logan Couture is captain – no surprise there – but Dion Phaneuf and Ryan Callahan are not assistant captains. Young Nugent-Hopkins and Zack Kassian are filling those spots.

History

Season                 Place        PTS        PP %      PK %      SPG        SAPG     GPG     GAPG    PIM

Season 6               3            112          20.6        85.9       34.41      26.46       3.62      2.60       8.72

Season 5               2            128          19.6        89.1       34.96     26.10        3.73       2.50       7.80

Season 4               6            106         19.7        83.8        33.17      26.79      3.62        2.74      8.46

Season 3              3             107          20.7        83.8        34.32     27.62       3.74       2.95      9.82

Season 2              18             83         16.1        81.1        30.05      30.62      3.27        3.59       9.80

Season 1              16             87         18.3        81.1        30.56      28.84        3.17        3.24       6.37

Top Draft picks

Season 1: Logan Couture, C, current age 28. Games played 466; Points 562, +48

Season 2: Mikko Lehtonen, RW, age 24. GP 400, Pts 140, +43

Season 3: Aleksander Barkov, C, age 22. GP 207, Pts 41, +5

Season 4: Leon Draisaitl, C, age 21. GP 4; Pts 0, plus-minus 0

Season 5: Christian Dvorak, C/LW, age 20.

Season 6: Timo Meier, RW, age 19.

Season 7: Adam Mascherin, C/LW, age 18.

Trade History

Season 2

Traded Mikhail Grigorenko, R.J. Umberger, Brayden Colburn and Round 2 pick later traded (Josh Morrissey?) to Madrid for Slava Voynov, Round 1 pick later traded to Stockholm in the Loui Eriksson deal and 2014 Round 2 pick (later traded) (Robert Hagg)

Traded Brian Campbell, 2014 Round 3 pick (Marko Dano) to Madrid for Erik Ersberg

Traded Colton Gillies to Helsinki for Jarkko Immonen

Traded Mikko Lehtonen and 2014 Round 1 pick (Madrid’s) (Sean Monahan) to Stockholm for Loui Eriksson

Traded Mikka Kiprusoff to Athens for Nathan Horton and 2014 Round 2 (Brian Flynn)

Traded Tim Erixon, Andrey Bykov and  2014 Round 2 pick  (Robert Hagg) to London for Semyon Varlamov *Apparently missing some trades here, although that first trade with Madrid might actually be several.

Season 3

Traded Joakim Lindstrom and Mathis Olimb to Milan for Matt Read and Gerhard Unterluggauer

Traded Semyon Varlamov and Jarkko Immonen to Oslo for Jimmy Howard

Traded Ryan Wilson to Munich for 2015 Round 3 pick (David Pastrnak)

Traded Kris Versteeg to Moscow for 2015 Round 1 pick (Leon Draisaitl)

Season 4

Traded Matt Read to Edinburgh for Tony Martensson

Traded Slava Voynov, Martin Erat and 2017 Round 3 pick to Copenhagen for Dion Phaneuf

Traded 2016 Round 2 pick (Marc Peninou(name changed to Alexander Kerfoot)) to Edinburgh for 2017 Round 3 pick (Niklas Svedberg)

Season 5

Season 6

Traded Erik Ersberg to Stockholm for 2019 Round 2 pick

Traded Brian Flynn and 2018 Round 2 pick (Tyler Benson) to Bern for 2018 Round 2 pick (later traded – Joonas Donskoi)

After Season 6 started:

Signed Tim Gleason  (free agent); claimed Martin Havlat  (waivers)

Traded 2019 Round 2 pick to St. Petersburg for Stefan Ulmer

Traded David Pastrnak and 2018 Round 1 pick (Dennis Cholowski) to Prague for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Traded 2018 Round 2 pick (formerly Bern’s – Joonas Donskoi) and 2019 Round 2 pick (formerly Stockholm’s) to London for Erik Forssell and 2018 Round 3 pick (Adam Mascherin)

Season 7

Traded Leon Draisaitl to Bratislava for Siim Liivik

Traded Aleksander Barkov to Prague for Calvin Pickard

Traded 2020 Round 1 pick and 2021 Round 3 pick to Prague for Andrey Bykov

Traded David Krejci and 2020 Round 2 pick to Stockholm for Jeff Carter and 2020 Round 1 pick

After season started: Traded 2019 Round 1 pick to Lisbon for Evgeny Kuznetsov and 2019 Round 2 pick

Traded Logan Couture, Loui Eriksson, Alexander Edler and 2021 Round 2 pick to Athens for Vadim Shipachyov, Staffan Kronwall and Tomas Vincour

Traded Josh Gorges and 2019 Round 3 pick to Bratislava for Simon Despres and Dante Fabbro

Traded Dion Phaneuf to London for 2019 Round 2 pick

Signed Matt Donovan (free agent) claimed Roman Polak (waivers)

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