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NLL Draft Results And Commentary

55 players were drafted into the NLL last night in Oakville, Ontario. The Lacrosse Network held a LIVE Hangout, which was a lot of fun, and can be seen above. See below for the complete 2013 NLL Draft Results and some commentary on how it all went down. I’ll provide some general observations, and name a couple of guys worth watching!

Photo Credit: Larry Palumbo

1. Minnesota (from Buffalo) – Logan Schuss, Ohio State University
2. Minnesota – Jason Noble, Cornell University
3. Colorado – Dillon Ward, Bellarmine University
4. Minnesota* (from Edmonton via Philadelphia) – Cameron Flint, University of Denver
5. Edmonton (from Minnesota) – Robert Church, Drexel University
6. Calgary – Tor Reinholdt, Limestone College
7. Minnesota (from Toronto) – Scott Jones, UMBC
8. Vancouver – Cody Bremner, Cornell University
9. Toronto (from Rochester via Colorado) – Ethan O’Connor, Hobart College

10. Calgary** (from Buffalo) – Karsen Leung, Bellarmine University
11. Edmonton (from Minnesota) – Riley Loewen, Limestone College
12. Philadelphia (from Colorado) – A.J. Masson, University of Vermont
13. Edmonton (from Philadelphia via Minnesota) – Adrian Sorichetti, Hofstra University
14. Buffalo (from Edmonton) – Nick Diachenko, University of Delaware
15. Buffalo** (from Calgary) – Mitch Wilde, Robert Morris University
16. Toronto – Mike Woods, University of Albany
17. Vancouver – Nick Weiss, Peterborough, ON
18. Philadelphia (from Colorado via Buffalo via Rochester) – James Delaney, Seton Hill

19. Philadelphia (from Buffalo) – Tucker Durkin, Johns Hopkins University
20. Vancouver*** (from Buffalo via Minnesota via Philadelphia) – Tyler Digby, Robert Morris University
21. Minnesota (from Colorado) – Reid Acton, Loyola University
22. Vancouver (from Philadelphia) – Kevin Neufeld, Robert Morris University
23. Minnesota (from Edmonton) – Zach Palmer, Johns Hopkins University
24. Calgary – Garrett MacIntosh, Drexel University
25. Toronto – Keegan Bal, New Westminster, BC
26. Vancouver – Brett Dobray, Langley, BC
27. Rochester – Mark White, University of Southern Maine
28. Toronto (from Boston) – Eric Law, University of Denver

29. Minnesota (from Buffalo) – Jordan Houtby, University of Detroit Mercy
30. Edmonton^ (from Minnesota) – Reid Mydske, New Westminster, BC
31. Colorado – Cody McMahon, Orangeville, ON
32. Colorado (from Philadelphia) – Cameron Mann, Jacksonville University
33. Philadelphia (from Edmonton) – Don Alton, Six Nations, ON
34. Calgary – Peter Dubenski, Coquitlam, BC
35. Toronto – Emerson Clark, Whitby, ON
36. Vancouver – Blair Goss, Orangeville, ON
37. Rochester – Taylor Northway, Delta, BC

38. Buffalo – Eric Penney, St. Catharines, ON
39. Minnesota – Dominique Alexander, Ohio State University
40. Colorado – Dom Sabastiani, University of Delaware
41. Vancouver (from Philadelphia) – Josh Hawkins, Loyola University
42. Minnesota^ (from Edmonton) – JJ Laforet, Stony Brook University
43. Calgary – Jake Hayes, Robert Morris University
44. Toronto – Alex Lubczuk, Kitchener, ON
45. Vancouver – Brendan Rouse, New Westminster, BC
46. Rochester – Zac Reid, Mercyhurst University

47. Buffalo – Kevin Pym, Okotoks, AB
48. Calgary (from Minnesota) – Brendan Ranford, New Westminster, BC
49. Colorado – Jake Weidner, Brampton, ON
50. Philadelphia – Rob Pannell, Cornell University
51. Edmonton – Ben Snider, Delta, BC
52. Minnesota**** (from Edmonton via Calgary) – Nicholas Jonas, University of Minnesota
53. Buffalo^^ (from Toronto) – Dylan Goddard, Clarington, ON
54. Vancouver – Chris Wardle, Victoria, BC
55. Rochester – Brandon Styres, Six Nations, ON

Takeaways & Observations

Every single player in the first round, and the top 16 players drafted, attended a US college, where they played field lacrosse. Does this mean more American players are making it in the NLL, and getting drafted? No. It means more top level Canadians are coming down to play college ball, and STILL making it in the NLL. Nick Weiss was the first non-college player selected at #17, and we didn’t see another non-college player drafted until Keegan Bal was taken at #25 by Toronto.

4 years of college may mean less box lacrosse for these guys, but it also means excellent strength and conditioning work, practice every day, and the installation of a professional attitude, where lacrosse comes first. Playing field is clearly not hurting these guys’ stock. Are you going to draft an 18 year old kid, or a 22 year old man? I’m going with the latter 9 times out of 10. So are NLL teams.

My favorite Pick is AJ Masson. Philly needs some help on offense, and Masson can deliver. He’s a lefty, and used to drawing a lot of attention, as he was UVM’s top player, at least in my opinion, over the last couple years. He’s got decent size, good speed, and can score or feed. He can also take face offs and Philly could use some help there. His flexibility as a forward and tranny player, who is also pretty darn good on D, makes him a valuable asset, and I could see Masson contribute in Philly right away if he meshes well with the team.

Tucker Durkin, Rob Pannell, Josh Hawkins, and Dominique Alexander were all drafted. None of these guys have a ton of box experience, but all four have some serious potential. Durkin should make any team as a defender once he gets comfortable. He’ll be a beast in no time, following in the shoes of Mike Manley. Hawkins could play transition with a little practice, and Dominque Alexander could be a tranny or D guy with his size, speed, and strength. I think Pannell will have the hardest time adjusting, but I’m interested to see if he can make an impact.

With the NLL shrinking rosters down to 16, most teams will probably run 6 or 7 offensive players, and as a rookie it will be hard to break into that group. As a rookie with little to no box experience it gets even harder. I’m thinking Pannell could pan out though simply because he wants lacrosse to be his life. Dedication can go a long way in a league like the NLL. Either way, it’s something to keep an eye on, and if there is a place that an American will be given more than a fair shot, it’s Philly!

Best Draft Class goes to… It’s hard to say anyone but Minnesota “won” the draft, and that is determined by the fact that Minny simply had so many picks in the first round. They had 10 picks of the total 55, and will have a roster filled with youth, and a couple of veterans. Training Camp for the Swarm should be particularly tough and intense with all these guys vying for spots.

Mr. Irrelevant is not so irrelevant. The last guy drafted is usually referred to as Mr. Irrelevant, but in this case, that’s far from fair. Brandon Styres was selected by the Rochester Knighthawks with the 55th pick. Brandon plays goalie, and I played with him in Prague for the Salt Shakerz two years ago. His father, Curt, owns the Knighthawks.

No European Players Selected… this year. Perhaps 2014 will be the year where Dominik Pesek (Czech Republic/Victoria) gets drafted. Be on the lookout for European based players to start making the jump in the next couple of years. We aren’t there yet, but I believe we are getting closer.