The National Lacrosse League has released the date for the 2019 NLL Expansion Draft coin toss.
After adding two expansion teams for the second year in a row, with the New York Riptide and the new Rochester Knighthawks franchise, the National Lacrosse League has officially set the ceremonial expansion coin toss for Game 1 of the NLL Finals in Buffalo, NY on Saturday, May 18. The coin toss will determine which team will claim the first selection of the Expansion Draft to be held in July 2019.
On Sunday, February 17, 2019, the National Lacrosse League’s 13th franchise unveiled its branding as the New York Riptide. The NLL’s 12th franchise in Rochester, NY, which was officially acquired by Pegula Sports & Entertainment on September 13, 2018, will be holding its launch event on May 29, 2019. Both franchises are set to begin play in the 2019-2020 season. The ceremonial coin toss will begin the quest to build both teams’ rosters through the Expansion Draft and later the Entry Draft. Following the Expansion Draft in July 2019, the Entry Draft will be held following the conclusion of the NLL Combines later in the Summer.
The ceremonial coin toss will determine the order of selection. From the coin toss, the winning expansion franchise will elect to have either the first player selection during the Expansion Draft or the first selection at the Entry Draft. The other team will then have the first pick at the draft not selected by the winning team. The New York Riptide’s Lance Basler and Rochester’s Dan Carey will represent their teams respectively at the coin toss held during halftime of Game 1 of the NLL Finals in Buffalo, NY on Saturday, May 18.
“This Saturday night will be monumental for our organization as we enter a new era of Rochester Knighthawks lacrosse,” said Dan Carey, Knighthawks general manager and vice president of lacrosse operations. “The outcome of the coin toss essentially serves as a springboard for our franchise and will help us define our identity as we begin to build our organization over the next several months through both the NLL Expansion Draft and Entry Draft.”
Lance Basler, assistant general manager and director of lacrosse operations for the Riptide, added: “Over the past several months we have been focused on building a first-class staff with a championship mentality, and we are excited to now take the first step toward forming the Riptide roster. We are hard at work preparing for the Expansion and Entry Drafts, and look forward to building a team that will proudly represent New York and Long Island with the same heart and dedication as our passionate fans.”
With only two entering teams the Expansion Draft held this coming July, current member clubs are able to protect a total of eleven players, comprised of up to one goalie and ten runners or eleven runners and no goalie. In both scenarios, only five of the protected runners can be offensive players which must be approved by the Commissioner. In addition, no member club shall be required to lose more players than the number of expansion teams entering the Expansion Draft. Clubs are not allowed to protect more players once a current player has been drafted.
At the Entry Draft, to be held in September of 2019, both expansion teams will have picks in the first round of the Draft. They will have one additional selection at the end of the Second, Third and Fourth Rounds. Given there are two teams, the order of selection determined from the coin toss on May 18, will be reversed in each alternating round at the Entry Draft.
The May 18 coin toss will be held at halftime of Game 1 of the 2019 NLL Finals with Commissioner Sakiewicz presiding over the ceremonies. The coin toss will be streamed live on B/R Live, and Fanseat.