2018 Expansion: NLL Mock Draft!
With all of the preparation and speculation going into the NLL Expansion Draft, Jack Goods of the Buffalo News and I got together and had our own NLL Mock Draft for the expansion efforts. As the man from out East, Jack had the Philadelphia Wings and as I’m the one out West, I had the San Diego Seals.
Unfortunately we ran into technical difficulties with the audio from our mock draft, so the written
version will have to do. Both of us agreed that taking UFA’s was kind of out of the question except if we ran into a franchise situation, which may not have even been possible for San Diego with the Buchanan trade. For me, going young was going to be important where players were relatively even in talent as I wanted to build a contender 4 to 5 years down the road and not this season. Also for both of us, positioning wasn’t overly critical as we were only picking 9 of our 20 roster players in this. We also realized that some of these players were certainly going to be drafted to then be traded either back to the team we took them from or to someone else.
Once again, a quick recap of the rules:
Jack as Philly had the 1st pick. San Diego won a coin toss and chose the 1st pick of the entry draft in September, which gives Philly the 1st pick of the expansion draft.
Each team loses two players, but one expansion team can pick both players from one team.
1st Round NLL Mock Draft
Philadelphia Wings – Kiel Matisz (Georgia)
Goods – Clearly the most talented player that isn’t an unrestricted free agent in this draft, Matisz is a player that you can clearly start to build an offense around. He’s clearly the #1 choice in the draft.
Schemenauer – Agreed, he’s clearly the #1 player. Also since Georgia has a lot of picks in the next
several years, he could be easily traded back to the Swarm.
San Diego Seals – Josh Currier (Rochester)
Schemenauer – Currier was a player that shocked me was even on the unprotected list. He fits the
mould of going young, and is also a value pick. Even if he doesn’t want to head out west, he will be a hot commodity to be traded.
Goods – Agreed that he is a surprise not to be protected and he will go quickly. A player He was hoping would be available to him out East, but is now off the board.
2nd Round NLL Mock Draft
Philadephia Wings – Cory Vitarelli (Rochester)
Goods – Felt forced to pick a Rochester player now that I picked one. Vitarelli is a proven goal scorer on the Rochester roster that fits with his first pick. Rochester is now off the board.
Schemenauer – He’s a talented player, but much older and a year away from being a free agent. This would have steered me away from him (note: you will see in my projection that Frank Brown was the 2nd player I would have taken). But agreed that Rochester players won’t last long in this draft.
San Diego Seals – Frank Scigliano (Calgary)
Schemenauer – Now that I have a proven goal scorer up front, I wanted to shore up my back end.
Scigliano is certainly the best goaltender on the available list that is a free agent, and is a starter that is in the unfortunate position of having a better starter in front of him.
Goods – Certainly a good goaltender, but to take a goalie second was too early for him. He was thinking of taking a goalie late in the draft.
3rd Round NLL Mock Draft
Philadelphia Wings – Joel White (Georgia)
Goods – Another proven goal scorer on a Georgia team loaded with goal scorers. Georgia players won’t last long in this draft and once again needed to secure Eastern players while they were available. Georgia is now off the board.
Schemenauer – a pick I didn’t agree with because White has had problems making games the last two seasons because of work commitments. If you’re going to draft him, you’ll want to talk to him first and make sure he’s going to be available to play.
San Diego Seals – Adrian Sorichetti (Saskatchewan)
Schemenauer – the reason for taking Sorichetti now is I don’t think he’ll last much longer and the Seals will have to look at some East based players that have the ability to move out West, which Sorichetti has that ability. Plus Rush players won’t last that long either.
Goods – Sorichetti was high on his list for his next pick.
4th Round NLL Mock Draft
Philadelphia Wings – Brett Hickey (Toronto)
Goods – Hickey is an older player that has had injury problems, but you can’t pass up a former 50 goal scorer. You couldn’t find many players like him to score in bunches and get the crowds roaring in Philly again.
Schemenauer – out of all the players on Toronto’s unprotected list, he’s certainly the most talented.
Age is a concern, but wouldn’t fault anyone from taking him given what he can do.
San Diego Seals – Cam Holding* (Colorado)
Schemenauer – I’m taking this one with an asterisk as I don’t know his injury status. If the injury is
worse than first thought, the pick is certainly different, likely Tim Edwards. But on a Colorado team with a ton of defensive talent, he’s the best of the best available.
Goods – Certainly talented but the injury is a concern. He would likely go with something that is more certain in this case.
5th Round NLL Mock Draft
Philadelphia Wings – Chase Fraser (Buffalo)
Goods – Taking a good young talent that can be a forward or a defender, and really didn’t have much of a chance to shine in Buffalo. He is from out west, so he would also be a big target for me soon.
Schemenauer – Fraser would have been my next pick.
San Diego Seals – Marty Dinsdale (Saskatchewan)
Schemenauer – I’m taking this pick as Rush players won’t last much longer and this is truly a value pick. The situation with Cornwall is too uncertain for me to go in that direction. I fully believe that Keenan will want Dinsdale back and I can work out a favorable trade to make that happen. Saskatchewan is now off the board.
Goods – Dinsdale is the right pick off the Saskatchewan roster and yes, working in a trade would make sense in this case as he is far more valuable for the Rush.
6th Round NLL Mock Draft
Philadelphia Wings – Zach Higgins (Buffalo)
Goods – Now that he has taken Fraser, he needs to shore up a goalie and it was one of Buffalo’s goalies he wanted. Buffalo admitted they would be working on a deal to direct the expansion teams to take the goalie they wanted them to take, so likely there is a deal in place to take Higgins and another player or pick is on their way to Philly. Buffalo is now off the board.
Schemenauer – I fully believe that Higgins is the better of the two Buffalo goalies to begin with so if I get additional players to take the guy I want anyways.
San Diego Seals – Ryan Lee (Colorado)
Schemenauer – A number of people might roll their eyes at this pick, and I know that I don’t have much defensively, but I am a big fan of the rookie Lee, that unfortunately found himself as the healthy scratch when Stephen Keogh had a red hot season. When you’re looking for a team full of youth, Lee is the correct way to go. Colorado is now off the board.
Goods – Asked me if it was help if he told me he thought I wasn’t crazy by picking Lee. If you’re looking to build for the future, Lee has a lot of upside.
7th Round NLL Mock Draft
Philadelphia Wings – Kieran McArdle (Toronto)
Goods – He knows he needs defense, but having an American player to market to the Philly crowd is simply too desireable to pass up with McArdle. Toronto is now off the board.
Schemenauer – agreed on both points.
San Diego Seals – Ryan Martel (Calgary)
Schemenauer – once again I realize I don’t have much for defense but that can be addressed later with draft picks, trades or free agents. The pick came down to Martel or Riley Loewen. The combination of Martel being younger and having a higher potential upside made me direct the pick to him. I also wanted to get someone off of Calgary here as I was certain that there was nobody on Vancouver the Wings would target, but Digby would be a definite target for the Wings. Calgary is now off the board.
Goods – agreed that Martel has the upside playing on a team that is loaded at forward. With my team headed young, Martel is the guy to take.
At this stage, all teams except Vancouver and New England are off the board.
8th Round NLL Mock Draft
Philadelphia Wings – Johnny Powless (New England)
Goods – there isn’t much for options when it comes to New England and Powless is the best option out there. He will be playing relatively close to home, although he’s on the move once again which is problematic.
Schemenauer – He is correct in that there aren’t many good options and Powless may be the best
San Diego Seals – Seth Oakes (Vancouver)
Schemenauer – A former first round pick that didn’t get much of a chance in New England, but did
relatively well when he played a few games in Vancouver. I would be willing to gamble on his potential upside and take him.
Goods – Considered taking Oakes with his last pick given that he has already played out East, so a good thing I took him first.
9th Round NLL Mock Draft
Philadelphia Wings – Jay Thorimbert (New England)
Goods – this pick is more out of the fact that there really isn’t a good other option in New England, and since Philly would still have its franchise player available, Thorimbert could be slotted into that pick.
Schemenauer – I wouldn’t argue with most any pick at this stage as there is thin pickings in New England (Note: in my projection the 2 nd player was Anthony Joaquim).
San Diego Seals – Casey Jackson (Vancouver)
Schemenauer – I still haven’t done much with my defense, but I’m not impressed with the defensive
options in Vancouver. I’ll listen to my friends out in BC, and take Jackson who has been lighting it up in the WLA this summer.
Goods – he’s heard a lot about Jackson from everyone out west and the pick makes sense.
Well there you have it. Its our attempt at being armchair general managers for a day. Tell us what you think, are we right? Are we crazy? Leave us your comments below!