The 2016 MLL Draft, Collegiate Edition, is officially in the books. Barring future trades, we now know how each team is really shaping up heading into the spring. There was some great talent available this year, so several teams were able to fill their needs, and add firepower on both ends of the field.
MLL teams used to throw their recent college draftees into the mix right away, but these days you really need to be a truly dynamic player to see time quickly and consistently. This was a strong draft class though, and a good number of the players below could make an impact with their new franchises. When I say a player “can contribute immediately”, it’s meant as a huge compliment.
It’s simply not an easy thing to do in the modern MLL.
Let’s take a look at how it went down!
2016 MLL Draft – Round 1
Atlanta Blaze – Myles Jones, Midfield, Duke – I don’t think anyone was shocked here. Jones became just the second Duke player to be chosen as the first overall player (Ned Crotty was the first in 2010). Jones has improved every year he has been on campus. After his first two years, everyone wanted to see him combine his incredible athleticism with better stick skills and field vision, also known as “putting it all together”. In 2015, he did. He may not be cradling through five MLL defenders like he does now in college, but his ability to feed others after drawing a slide will make Atlanta very dangerous.
Charlotte Hounds – Dylan Donohue, Attack, Syracuse – Donohue, like Jones, has been a poster child for improving your game in college. He did not start his career at Syracuse, but thrived once he was teamed with Kevin Rice. Last year’s Notre Dame game proved that he has a lot more to offer than just being able to finish off of a feed, and do so against a very good defense. He can create on his own and will be leading the Orange in 2016. He should fit in well with Charlotte’s existing attack as he doesn’t mirror anyone else’s skill set on the team.
Florida Launch – Matt Landis, Defense, Notre Dame – Going with defense here made a ton of sense for Florida. They already have an explosive offense, but they have left their goalies on an island way too often over the past few seasons. Adding Landis as that defender is about as sure as you can get. He has been a force in South Bend ever since he arrived on campus. Excellent pick by the Launch.
Charlotte Hounds – Ryan Brown, Attack, Johns Hopkins – Brown is a big time scorer who can take over games. He also played a year at midfield for the Blue Jays, which should offer some of the versatility many MLL teams like. Combining him with Donohue, Joey Sankey, Kevin Crowley and Friends? Charlotte has built themselves a dangerous offense.
Denver Outlaws – Matt Kavanagh, Attack, Notre Dame – The narrative of Kavanagh last season change from lofty expectations to wondering where his production went. The end of the season revealed that he had been playing (severely?) injured nearly all season long helped a little, but season of questions had already been played. If he is healthy and plays true to his expected form, he’s set for a huge 2016 season for the golden domers and should be immediately productive for Denver. What’s even better is he likely won’t play NLL, giving the Outlaws a stellar full-season attackman.
Boston Cannons – Greg Coholan, Midfield, Virginia – Coholan was stellar for the Cavaliers this past season. With James Pannell fighting injuries, Coholan was able to rise up. He also split time between Midfield and Attack, which was not a big part of what the Cannons did a year ago, but with a new coach in Boston, he adds some versatility.
Rochester Rattlers – Matt Dunn, Defense, Maryland – The Rattlers traded up for this pick before the draft, and that was likely to make sure they had a pick of a defender. Last year’s championship game had the Rattlers fading as the game went on and their poles just could not hold back the Lizards anymore. Dunn should fit into the Rochester defense well. He has been a major contributor since he arrived in College Park.
Ohio Machine – Michael Quinn, Defense, Yale – Quinn has started nearly every game since he first showed up to Yale. He anchored a defense that was in the top ten last year in goals against. He led the team in caused turnovers and in ground balls amongst non-faceoff players. He should be a factor immediately for the Machine.
Boston Cannons – Brandon Mullins, Defense, Syracuse – While the Cannons did just trading away Ratliff, they still picked up a pair of long poles in that trade. This leaves them with multiple options at the LSM spot, but there is still an opening in the rotation at close defense. With Brodie Merrill and Mitch Belisle both being in the NLL, this puts Mullins in a great spot to make immediate contributions both this year and next.
2016 MLL Draft – Round 2
Atlanta Blaze – Deemer Class, Midfield, Duke – Combining Class with Jones means an impressive midfield duo is going to be dropped into Atlanta once the Duke season is over. They already have Syracuse grads and former teammates Kevin Rice and Randy Staats, so there is some instant chemistry in that young offensive group.
TRADE!!! Ohio has this pick by trading Dana Wilbur to Chesapeake in a draft day trade
Ohio Machine – Kyle Bernlohr, Goalie, Maryland – This is a stellar pickup by Ohio, who is only carrying two goalies in Scott Rodgers and Adam Fullerton. I would fully expect Bernlohr to compete for the starting job right away.
Florida Launch – Henry West, Midfield, Maryland – West started every game for the Terps and recorded 20 goals, good for fourth on the team. Going to Florida will be a big switch in style, but he should have a shot at making the game day roster once he is available.
Charlotte Hounds – Pat Young, Midfield, Maryland – A UMBC transfer, Young was highly productive for his first three years of NCAA play. The Hounds have a completely different look to them going into this year, but their strength is in the attack. Young is a good pick here for the Hounds. By the way, we’re now 13 picks in and four of Maryland’s seniors have been selected. Terps looking to be a serious contender in 2016. Ok, back to the pro stuff.
Denver Outlaws – Stephen Jahelka, Defense, Harvard – A two time captain, Jahelka only played in two games in 2015 which may have him way under the radar. Denver is looking for a new defensive identity, so it is perfect timing for Jahelka to venture out west.
TRADE!!! Boston traded this pick to Atlanta as part of the Ratliff trade
Atlanta Blaze – Tyler Albrecht, Midfield, Loyola – A scoring midfielder, Albrecht should complement his fellow Blaze teammates well. He has seen consistent field time throughout his career with the Greyhounds.
Ohio Machine – Bryan Cole, Midfield, Maryland– The third Maryland midfielder selected, Cole bring excellent size to Ohio and looks to be a good fit in their high ball movement offense. Ohio’s first lines of middies are pretty set in stone, but Cole should be able to find a spot in the rotation.
Rochester Rattlers – John Edmonds, Attack, Cornell – Edmonds had some big names ahead of him last year in Ithaca, but he is poised to take over as the face of that offense. Rochester is looking to retool their offense a bit after a rough offseason, so Edmonds might be showing up at the perfect time.
Charlotte Hounds – Nick Doktor, Attack, Penn – Penn’s leading scorer in 2015, Doktor is going to lead the Quakers once again. He is more of an assist guy, which means he could mesh perfectly with Dylan Donohue and Ryan Brown.
2016 MLL Draft – Round 3
Atlanta Blaze – Greg Danseglio, Defense, Maryland – Before this year, he spent three years with Virginia where he was seeing playing time in nearly every game as a freshman. We have another Maryland guy off the board, and if this high MLL pick works out like the Blaze coaches think he will, the Terps are stacked with upperclassmen. Danseglio could re-emerge this year as a potential game changer.
Charlotte Hounds – Colin Woolford, Midfield, Denver – What’s really crazy about this pick is that the college team viewed as the Denver Outlaws farm team has so far only had one player drafted, and it was to Charlotte. Woolford is big, tough, and could be a prototypical MLL middie. His potential is as big as his frame.
Florida Launch – Liam Byrnes, LSM, Marquette – This was a huge pick for NCAA reasons. Marquette’s a brand new program who made some noise last year and cracked the rankings. Seeing them get a player drafted already is great news for growth!
TRADE!!! Florida traded this pick to Chesapeake for Nikko Pontrello
Chesapeake Bayhawks – John Maloney, Midfield, Albany – Maloney is a player who when you watched Albany and ignored the attack line for a few plays, stood out immediately. He was absolutely overshadowed but has some great talent.
Denver Outlaws – Matt Hossack, LSM, RIT – Division 3 pick! Hossack has been dominant for and RIT team that hasn’t lost a regular season game since 2013, when they also made a championship appearance. Last season, he took the DIII player of the year award, not defender, player. He also won the midfielder of the year award.
New York Lizards – James Pannell, Attack, Virginia – Another Pannell in the MLL, be afraid! James may not be collecting the same type of hardware that his brother Rob did at Cornell, but do not mistake that for lacking talent. Pannell is a great player who is a central cog in the Cavaliers’ offense. He has had injuries holding him back, but when he was healthy, he loaded up some points against his ACC rivals. Now we get to see them together!
Florida Launch – Steve Pontrello, Midfield, UNC – Pontrello is poised for a huge year with the Tar Heels in 2016. With Joey Sankey and Jimmy Bitter now in the MLL, Pontrello should see his increase even more in of most exciting offenses in the NCAA over the past few years.
Charlotte Hounds – Brendan Caputo, Midfield, Brown – Caputo was fourth on the team in scoring last year for the high scoring Brown squad. He could fit in perfectly with these new look Hounds, and Brown’s up and down, never stop style of play will could with his MLL adjustment.
OK folks, from here on out, I’ll add a few comments for some of the players, but it will mostly just be the draft results:
2016 MLL Draft – Round 4
Charlotte Hounds – Tyler White, Goalie, Towson – White is an outstanding goalie. Unfortunately, this is one of the toughest position to break into in the MLL. The Hounds already have a handful of keepers on the roster, so it will be interesting to see if he is able to make the active roster after his NCAA season wraps up.
Florida Launch – Gunnar Waldt, Goalie, Bryant – Waldt was the difference when Bryant shocked the lacrosse world in their win over Syracuse in 2014’s NCAA opening round. Florida has good goalies already, but they have also shown that they are willing to experiment with this position.
Florida Launch – Robby Haus, Defense, Ohio State
Chesapeake Bayhawks – Mark Glicini, Midfield, Yale – A defensive midfielder, he might be great to team up with Matt Abbott. Not afraid to push the ball in transition, he recorded seven assists on the year to go with one goal.
Denver Outlaws – Sam Llinares, Attack, Hofstra – The returning CAA player of the year, Llinares lead the Pride in scoring and is poised to have a huge senior season. There is potential for him in Denver.
Boston Cannons – Challen Rogers, Midfield, Stony Brook – Stony Brook has been challenging Albany for the Amercia East crown for a few years now. Much of that is due to Rogers in the midfield.
Ohio Machine – Bobby Schmidt, Defense, Bellarmine
Rochester Rattlers – TJ Neubauer, M, Fairfield – With just their third pick of the draft, this was a good grab for Rochester. They need to build up their midfield, and Neubauer should give them a nice option. Fairfield has been very strong the past few years.
New York Lizards – Jacob Richard, Defensive Midfield, Marquette – The second Marquette player taken, having a shot at the defensive side of the ball is the best shot in New York. They are loaded all across the field, and have some established D-mids, so this is tough group to crack.
2016 MLL Draft – Round 5
Atlanta Blaze – Warren Hill, Goalie, Syracuse – If this draft was after the NCAA season, Hill may have been called earlier. He has limited NCAA experience to pull from, but his NJCAA and international record are fantastic. Coach Desko has spoken very well of him and has high hopes. Great potential for Atlanta.
Charlotte Hounds – Goran Murray, Defense, Maryland – Murray was a lock for a starting spot heading into last season, but wound up being ineligible and sat the season out for the Terps. He is also not on the 2016 Maryland roster. With his name being called here, it looks like he may be moving on from college, but it will be interesting to see if he makes it onto the field for the Hounds.
Ohio Machine – Dan Lomas, Attack, High Point – Similar to the Marquette comments, this is great news for a young High Point program. For the second straight year, they are getting their players names’ called, but this is no charity pick. Lomas is a scorer and could be a name you hear a lot in the future.
New York Lizards – Ryan Ambler, Attack, Princeton
Denver Outlaws – BJ Grill, Defense, Marquette – The third Marquette player taken. If you had any doubts as last year’s squad being a one hit wonder, start rethinking that now!
Boston Cannons – Jake Matthai, Midfield, UNC
Ohio Machine – Mike Messenger, Midfield, Limestone – This might be my favorite pick of the draft. Messenger can dominate and is a great fit for Ohio’s offense. He has a great shot at making this team.
New York Lizards – David Manning, Defense, Loyola
2016 MLL Draft – Round 6
Ohio Machine – Cameron Williams, Midfield, Colgate
Charlotte Hounds – Jospeph Radin, Attack, Marist – Marist really was able to point some points up last year. Even though they came short against Syracuse, Radin has some great skills.
Florida Launch – Devin Dwyer, Attack, Harvard
Chesapeake Bayhawks – Zach Herreywers, Attack, Loyola
Denver Outlaws – Tim Barber, Midfield, Syracuse – Barber is really equal parts midfield and attack. He only has one season of NCAA under his belt, but I would not be shocked to see him on the field in Denver this year. He’s crafty and tough.
Boston Cannons – John Uppgren, Attack, Tufts – Boston went local, grabbing a stellar DIII player who plays not even four miles from Harvard Stadium. Uppgren has some potential for the Cannons a la Mike Stone.
Ohio Machine – Zack Powers, Defense, UNC
Rochester Rattlers – Blaze Riorden, Goalie, Albany – Rochester loves upstate New York guys. Riorden happens to be a Rochester player on top of going to an upstate college. I can’t imagine him replacing John Galloway, but this is a good grab since their primary backup is Army grad Sam Somers. Somers is a great goalie, but West Point grads are always questionable for the first few years due to military commitments.
New York Lizards – Brody Eastwood, Attack, Stony Brook – Coach Spallina had to be thrilled having a shot at Eastwood. He’s a fantastic player who Spallina has probably seen plenty of as the Stony Brook women’s coach. This is a near impossible attack unit to crack, but even if he is just a practice player, he will be a great asset.
2016 MLL Draft – Round 7
Atlanta Blaze – Case Matheis, Attack, Duke – Yet another Blue Devil to this team is a scary thing. The Blaze team could have fantastic chemistry early on in their franchise history. That’s key!
Charlotte Hounds – Evan Connell, Defense, UNC
Chesapeake Bayhawks – Michael Howard, Defense, UVA
Chesapeake Bayhawks – Carter Brown, Attack, Ohio State
Denver Outlaws – Jack Kelly, Goalie, Brown
Boston Cannons – Matt Thistle, Attack, High Point – Another High Point pick, and another kid who can play. Thistle is originally from Massachusetts, giving him a good shot at sticking with the team if he returns home after graduation.
Ohio Machine – Vince Gravino, Attack, Canisius
Rochester Rattlers – Eric DeJohn, Midfield, St. John’s – Another upstate New York native (from Syracuse), he started his career at Syracuse but found himself in a crowded lineup. He has really performed well at St. John’s and has a good shot at helping a rebuilding Rochester midfield.
Charlotte Hounds – Zack Sikora, Defense, Rutgers
2016 MLL Draft – Round 8
Rochester Rattlers – Austin Schutlz, Defense, Army
Charlotte Hounds – Shane Morrell, Attack, Bryant
Florida Launch – Alex Spring, Defense, Bucknell
Chesapeake Bayhawks – Holden Cattoni, Midfield, Johns Hopkins – I was shocked to see Cattoni fall this far, but the Bayhawks landed a great pick here.
Denver Outlaws – Conor Helfrich, FO, Tufts – Another DII player, and a FOGO to boot. The Outlaws are trying to find a long term answer at this spot on the field, so he has a good shot at making the team. Craig Bunker’s career should give Helfrich plenty of hope. Read more on Conor Helfrich HERE.
Boston Cannons – Cameron Bell, Goalie, Endicott – New Boston Cannons coach Sean Quirk was at Endicott up until this past year. When he grabs a former player in his first draft, you have to think his confidence is high in their abilities.
Ohio Machine – Derek Kihembo, Defense, Johns Hopkins
Rochester Rattlers – Sal Tuttle, Attack, Adelphi
New York Lizards – Scott Bieda, Attack, Rutgers
Not a fan of team “Round 6” or the “Fightin’ Round 3″s?
Do you actually follow a specific team?
GOOD! Pick a team to follow, make them yours!
Don’t worry, here’s the team by team breakdown:
Atlanta Blaze – 6 total selections
Round 1 – Pick 1 – Myles Jones, Midfield, Duke
Round 2 – Pick 1 – Deemer Class, Midfield, Duke
Round 2 – Pick 6 – Tyler Albrecht, Midfield, Loyola
Round 3 – Pick 1 – Greg Danseglio, Defense, Maryland
Round 5 – Pick 1 – Warren Hill, Goalie, Syracuse
Round 7 – Pick 1 – Case Matheis, Attack, Duke
Boston Cannons – 7 total selections
Round 1 – Pick 6 – Greg Coholan, Midfield, Virginia
Round 1 – Pick 9 – Brandon Mullins, Defense, Syracuse
Round 4 – Pick 6 – Challen Rogers, Midfield, Stony Brook
Round 5 – Pick 6 – Jake Matthai, Midfield, UNC
Round 6 – Pick 6 – John Uppgren, Attack, Tufts
Round 7 – Pick 6 – Matt Thistle, Attack, High Point
Round 8 – Pick 6 – Cameron Bell, Goalie, Endicott
Charlotte Hounds – 12 total selections
Round 1 – Pick 2 – Dylan Donohue, Attack, Syracuse
Round 1 – Pick 4 – Ryan Brown, Attack, Johns Hopkins
Round 2 – Pick 4 – Pat Young, Midfield, Maryland
Round 2 – Pick 9 – Nick Doktor, Attack, Penn
Round 3 – Pick 2 – Colin Woolford, Midfield, Denver
Round 3 – Pick 8 – Brendan Caputo, Midfield, Brown
Round 4 – Pick 1 – Tyler White, Goalie, Towson
Round 5 – Pick 2 – Goran Murray, Defense, Maryland
Round 6 – Pick 2 – Jospeph Radin, Attack, Marist
Round 7 – Pick 2 – Evan Connell, Defense, UNC
Round 7 – Pick 9 – Zack Sikora, Defense, Rutgers
Round 8 – Pick 2 – Shane Morrell, Attack, Bryant
Chesapeake Bayhawks – 6 total selections
Round 3 – Pick 4 – John Maloney, Midfield, Albany
Round 4 – Pick 4 – Mark Glicini, Midfield, Yale
Round 6 – Pick 4 – Zach Herreywers, Attack, Loyola
Round 7 – Pick 3 – Michael Howard, Defense, UVA
Round 7 – Pick 4 – Carter Brown, Attack, Ohio State
Round 8 – Pick 4 – Holden Cattoni, Midfield, Johns Hopkins
Denver Outlaws – 8 total selections
Round 1 – Pick 5 – Matt Kavanagh, Attack, Notre Dame
Round 2 – Pick 5 – Stephen Jahelka, Defense, Harvard
Round 3 – Pick 5 – Matt Hossack, LSM, RIT
Round 4 – Pick 5 – Sam Llinares, Attack, Hofstra
Round 5 – Pick 5 – BJ Grill, Defense, Marquette
Round 6 – Pick 5 – Tim Barber, Midfield, Syracuse
Round 7 – Pick 5 – Jack Kelly, Goalie, Brown
Round 8 – Pick 5 – Conor Helfrich, FO, Tufts
Florida Launch – 8 total selections
Round 1 – Pick 3 – Matt Landis, Defense, Notre Dame
Round 2 – Pick 3 – Henry West, Midfield, Maryland
Round 3 – Pick 3 – Liam Byrnes LSM Marquette
Round 3 – Pick 7 – Steve Pontrello, Midfield, UNC
Round 4 – Pick 2 – Gunnar Waldt, Goalie, Bryant
Round 4 – Pick 3 – Robby Haus, Defense, Ohio State
Round 6 – Pick 3 – Devin Dwyer, Attack, Harvard
Round 8 – Pick 3 – Alex Spring, Defense, Bucknell
New York Lizards – 6 total selections
Round 3 – Pick 6 – James Pannell Attack Virginia
Round 4 – Pick 9 – Jacob Richard, Defensive Midfield, Marquette
Round 5 – Pick 4 – Ryan Ambler, Attack, Princeton
Round 5 – Pick 8 – David Manning, Defense, Loyola
Round 6 – Pick 9 – Brody Eastwood, Attack, Stony Brook
Round 8 – Pick 9 – Scott Bieda, Attack, Rutgers
Ohio Machine – 10 total selections
Round 1 – Pick 8 – Michael Quinn, Defense, Yale
Round 2 – Pick 2 – Kyle Bernlohr, Goalie, Maryland
Round 2 – Pick 7 – Bryan Cole, Midfield, Maryland
Round 4 – Pick 7 – Bobby Schmidt, Defense, Bellarmine
Round 5 – Pick 3 – Dan Lomas, Attack, High Point
Round 5 – Pick 7 – Mike Messenger, Midfield, Limestone
Round 6 – Pick 1 – Cameron Williams, Midfield, Colgate
Round 6 – Pick 7 – Zack Powers, Defense, UNC
Round 7 – Pick 7 – Vince Gravino, Attack, Canisius
Round 8 – Pick 7 – Derek Kihembo, Defense, Johns Hopkins
Rochester Rattlers – 7 total selections
Round 1 – Pick 7 – Matt Dunn, Defense, Maryland
Round 2 – Pick 8 – John Edmonds, Attack, Cornell
Round 4 – Pick 8 – TJ Neubauer, M, Fairfield
Round 6 – Pick 8 – Blaze Riorden, Goalie, Albany
Round 7 – Pick 8 – Eric DeJohn, Midfield, St. John’s
Round 8 – Pick 1 – Austin Schutlz, Defense, Army
Round 8 – Pick 8 – Sal Tuttle, Attack, Adelphi
Well, that’s it. The 2016 MLL Draft is done, and now players can officially start thinking about their MLL debut, except not really, because they still have a full college season to play! As I said in my opening, cracking an MLL game roster is incredibly tough. To do so against guys who have been prepping for it all year makes it ever harder. Good luck to all the 2016 MLL Draftees!