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New England Black Wolves vs Rochester Knighthawks NLL 2017 Photo Jeff Melnik LaxAllStars.com

Americans Surge in NLL Training Camps – 29 in the Hunt for Roster Spots

29 Americans are currently in the hunt for 180 of the NLL’s active roster spots for the 2018 regular season.

Training camps are underway across the board in the NLL and each of the nine teams have a different situation. While some teams, like the Rush, are carrying lighter load of 31 (or so) familiar players, other squads, like the Bandits and Knighthawks, are sporting a full 40-man roster in hopes of uncovering new talent. Out of the 324 athletes that got invited to camp, 29 Americans will get a shot at making the cut.

That’s right under 9% of the entire league. First Nations athletes living on both sides of the border make up another 10%, while Canada claims all of the remaining pool. With an impending expansion draft looming just a year away, teams are going be keeping tabs on a wider field as they prepare to potentially loose a couple to Philadelphia or San Diego.

Vancouver Stealth 2017 NLL Photo: Garrett James
New Jersey product now coaching in Seattle, Chris O’Dougherty – Photo: Garrett James

16 of the Americans of 29 hail from New York, while no more than 2 come from any other state. 7 athletes were a member of both the WILC 2015 and Heritage Cup rosters, 6 only participated in in the WILC, and 4 competed solely on the the Heritage Cup roster. It’s worth noting, 14 members of the Heritage Cup lineup are not currently competing in the NLL.

Want more numbers?

  • 10 guys are attending camp for the first time.
  • 0 American goalies received a tryout.
  • 15 played in at least 1 NLL game in the past season.
  • Thul and Costabile are back on a roster (NEBW) for the first time since the 2014 season.
  • New England invited 10 Americans, 5 with NLL experience, 3 from the 2016 roster.
  • 100% of the Americans played NCAA lacrosse.
  • All but 5 have also competed in the MLL.

Americans in the NLL

Nick Ossello Wheat Ridge CO
Colorado Mammoth
Larken Kemp Greenwich CT
New England Black Wolves
Brent Adams Norwalk CT
Colorado Mammoth
Marty Bowes Quincy MA
New England Black Wolves
Jarrod Neumann Springfield MA
Colorado Mammoth
Davey Emala Baltimore MD
New England Black Wolves
Kevin Buchanan + Cockeysville MD
New England Black Wolves
Tommy McKee Holt MI
Rochester Knighthawks
Chris O’Dougherty * Kinnelon NJ
Vancouver Stealth
Garrett Thul + Flemington NJ
New England Black Wolves
Eli Gobrecht Ithaca NY
Vancouver Stealth
Kieran McArdle ^ Ronkonkoma NY Toronto Rock
Tom Schreiber ^ East Meadows NY Toronto Rock
Joe Resetarits * Hamburg NY
Rochester Knighthawks
Jake Froccaro ^ Sands Point NY
New England Black Wolves
Nick Mariano Yorktown Heights NY
New England Black Wolves
Ryan Hotaling + Syracuse NY
New England Black Wolves
CJ Costabile + New Fairfield NY
New England Black Wolves
Liam Byrnes ^ West Islip NY Georgia Swarm
John Ranagan + Yorktown NY Georgia Swarm
Courtney Fleming Middletown NY Georgia Swarm
Connor Cannizzaro Cazenovia NY
Colorado Mammoth
Greg Downing + Auburn NY
Colorado Mammoth
Donny Moss * Hilton NY Buffalo Bandits
Blaze Riorden * Fairport NY Buffalo Bandits
Tim Edwards * Jamesville NY Buffalo Bandits
Adam Osika Mason OH Georgia Swarm
Brett Manney * Newtown PA
New England Black Wolves
Isaiah Davis-Allen Alexandria PA Georgia Swarm

* Heritage Cup and WILC 2015, + WILC 2015 only, ^ Heritage Cup only

The regular season kicks off in exactly one month, with everyone but the Saskatchewan Rush competing on opening weekend. Teams will have to narrow down their rosters to 20 on the active roster, keeping up to 4 extra for the practice squad, and a maximum of 10 inactives, which includes injured and hold out list players.

Toronto Rock Buffalo Bandits Photo: Graig Abel NLL playoff picture
Tom Schreiber, Rookie of the Year in 2016 with Toronto – Photo: Graig Abel

Between the 29 guys on current NLL rosters and 14 more that competed in the Heritage Cup, we’ve got 43 of the best Americans putting some focus on box lacrosse. Those numbers, combined with US Lacrosse’s recent leap into the game, makes me believe that participation is about to boom.

We can debate when it will happen and if the US needs box to claim the gold medal in field all day. The point is, enough guys to make a full team (minus the goalies) and then some are getting a shot in 2018 to keep the momentum for American box lacrosse. Cheers to everyone working to keep the game growing.

Did we miss anyone? It’s possible! The data available online only runs so deep, but I did put quite a bit of time researching this list. Let me know in the comments below.

1 comment
  1. Interesting to see the full numbers. The majority of the American players who are in camp for the first time aren’t going to make final rosters, but that shouldn’t be seen as discouraging, I don’t think. When you think about it, the majority of Canadians and First Nations players in camps for the first time won’t make final rosters, either. It’s just the nature of the league right now. There aren’t a lot of roster spots and there aren’t a lot of practices before the rosters have to be set. That makes it hard for a newcomer to bump someone with whom the coaching staff is familiar. But going to camp is a big step. It allows players to learn more about the game at the pro level and what they need to do, where they need to be, to make it. More opportunities to play in entry level leagues will only help, as will expansion creating more jobs. So as to your point of debating when it will happen, I am glad to say that I agree with you that it’s a question of when, not if. I think it will be another few years before we see a large influx of Americans on active rosters in the NLL, but I think it’s coming soon and I think it is the best thing the league could see.

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