TEAM-BY-TEAM DRAFT RECAP & BREAKDOWN
News, Notes and Photos from the 2007 NLL Entry Draft
"Every time a draft number and team name is read you think it could be you. And, then you hope he it's the next one, then the next one. When it finally happens, you think 'wow, it's such a relief, such a load off." --Colorado Mammoth draft pick Andrew Spack.
Arizona, who didn't hold a draft pick until the third round, picked Wingate University's Bryan Safarik at #42 overall. The Vancouver native was a two-time All-American and finished his collegiate career as Wingate's second all-time leading scorer with 118 goals.
Arizona head coach Bob Hamley (left) with top pick Bryan Safarik and NLL Deputy Commissioner George Daniel
The Sting also grabbed Brampton forward Jamie Pilon with #53 overall and defenseman Allan Downey from Mercyhurst College three picks later. Downey, a native of Waterloo, Ontario, served as team captain and led Mercyhurst to the DII National Championship Game. Teammate Scott Janssen was selected by Arizona at #69 overall. The New Westminster, British Columbia native scored 30 goals last year for Mercyhurst to earn 2007 East Coast Conference Second Team honors.
Arizona wrapped up their draft with their only trade of the day, dealing their 2008 sixth round pick to Buffalo for the #81 overall selection. They used the selection to pick up Whittier product David Gerbarg, a native of Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Boston may have had the busiest draft day, as head coach Tom Ryan orchestrated a series of trades to convert his #1 pick into five players. Ryan added transition player Matt Alrich from New York, forward Brock Boyle from Minnesota, defenseman Jack Reid from Rochester and defenseman Dan Finck from Edmonton before they drafted their first player.
Notre Dame de Namur graduate Keegan Davidson returns to his seat, hat in hand, after being selected in the second round by Boston
The expansion club finally selected Orangeville forward Matt Lyons at #11 overall before grabbing Notre Dame de Namur graduate Keegan Davidson and Burnaby, British Columbia native Curtis Ptolemy in the second round.
Boston added faceoff extroadinaire Alex Smith from University of Delaware at #32 overall, Fairfield University's Greg Downing at #43 overall, University of Denver's Ryan Zordani at #57 overall and Colgate University's Colin Hulme at #71 overall.
The Bandits didn't make any draft picks until the third round, but they certainly kept busy as GM/Head Coach Darris Kilgour pulled the trigger on three trades. Buffalo dealt #10 and #22 overall to Calgary for defenseman Ian Llord. A first-round selection by Philadelphia in the 2006 Entry Draft, Llord played in 11 games last season before he was dealt to Calgary in last month's Taylor Wray deal.
Brandon Swamp was dealt to Buffalo for a 2008 first round pick literally moments after he was selected in the second round by Minnesota
Buffalo also acquired Brandon Swamp, who played one season for SUNY Potsdam before renouncing his remaining NCAA eligibility. Swamp was selected at #18 overall by Minnesota, and traded almost moments later for #27 overall and Buffalo's 2008 first round pick. Kilgour then dealt #37 overall to Philadelphia in exchange for goaltender Ken Montour, who served as Buffalo's backup keeper in 2002 and 2006.
The Bandits finally drafted Wallaceburg, Ontario native Chris Lalonde at #39, and followed by selecting Jon Mason from Roanoke College at #65. Mason, a native of Orangeville, Ontario, led the NCAA last year with an incredible 76 goals and 15 assists. Buffalo completed their draft by selecting Brent Wiotowicz of Hamilton, Ontario, at #67 overall.
The Calgary Roughnecks made three trades, but their biggest move may have been selecting Elora, Ontario, native Dane Dobbie at #4 overall. The 21-year-old left-hander played JR A for Burnaby and scored 16 goals in seven playoff games to lead the league. Calgary then dealt Ian Llord to Buffalo in exchange for #10 and #22 overall, which they used to select Burnaby's Peter McFetridge and Jamie Lincoln.
R-to-L: Roughnecks head coach Troy Cordingley, GM Kurt Silcott and Assistant Coach Terry Sanderson talk strategy
The Roughnecks dealt their two second round picks to Portland in exchange for forward Kelly Hall. The 27-year-old left-hander recorded 21 goals in 13 games last year. Roughnecks GM Kurt Silcott then traded their 2008 second round pick to Buffalo, for #38 overall and a 2008 third round pick. Calgary selected 20-year-old forward Scott DeFranseco, who scored 24 goals with Mississuaga, with the newly acquired pick.
Calgary wrapped up their draft by selecting transition player John McClure of Brampton, Ontario at #52, Calgary native Geoff Rainsford at #66 and forward Kyle Morwick of Victoria, British Columbia at #80. "We are pleased with all of our selections," said Silcott. "We feel that our first round selection Dane Dobbie will be able to make a huge impact at this year's training camp and possibly make the regular season roster."
The Shamrox were originally scheduled to select #5 overall, but dealt the pick, along with Zach Heffner to San Jose in exchange for forward Callum Crawford, forward Andrew Burkholder and #12 overall, which they used to select Kevin Ross from Canisius College. "I think the deal with San Jose was a good thing for the Shamrox," said Shamrox Head Coach and GM Jamie Batley. "We essentially got three guys for the price of two. Both Crawford and Burkholder are veterans of the NLL and they will be able to fill some holes for us."
L-to-R: Shamrox head coach Jamie Batley, Mack O'Brien, Kevin Ross, Matt Dasinger and Director of Operations Phil Ryan
Ross, a four-year leading scorer while at Canisius, put up huge numbers while at the school scoring a total of 126 goals, 185 points and eight career game-winning goals over his four-year career. "Kevin is going to make a great addition to the Chicago Shamrox team," said Randy Mearns, who is the Head Lacrosse Coach at Canisius College. "He is a big lefty that is strong as a bull. Not only can Kevin score, but he can create his own shot. Kevin definitely can play at this level."
Chicago also added Hamilton's Cory Stringer at #19 overall, Jake Byrne of Johns Hopkins University at #33, Matt Dasinger of Salisbury State at #47, Six Nations goaltender Ben Van Every at #61 and Peterborough's Mack O'Brien at #75.
The Mammoth hosted the 2007 NLL Draft at Pepsi Center, but didn't get into the mix until late in the second round, when they picked Rutgers University's Nathan Sanderson, a right-handed forward from Orangeville, Ontario. "The right-handed forward was a priority for us and Nathan will be a great addition," Colorado Mammoth general manager Steve Govett said. "He's a solid player with the ability to go through the middle."
Colorado GM Steve Govett (center) and Assistant GM Bill Hall (right), along with veteran forward Gavin Prout, wait out a chaotic first round
"I've seen him play and Nathan is definitely a steal at number 26," Colorado Mammoth captain Gavin Prout said. With an early third round pick at #30, the Mammoth took St. Catharines' Dylan Llord, "He's a good athlete with good size and will be good on the transition," Govett said. 20-year-old Matt Wilson, at #40, was the Mammoth's third pick, and Loyola's Andrew Spack, the only drafted player in attendance for Colorado, was picked at #54. Colorado wrapped up their draft by selecting Nanaimo's Ryan Clark at #82.
"Every time a draft number and team name is read you think it could be you. And, then you hope he it's the next one, then the next one," said Spack. "When it finally happens you think 'wow, it's such a relief, such a load off.
The Rush, who weren't slate to pick until #20, cut a deal with Boston to move up a few notches in order to grab Whitby's Steve Hutchins at #15 overall. Edmonton dealt Dan Finck and #20 to the expansion club for the early second-round pick. Hutchins, who had a six-goal game earlier this year, scored 24 goals in 18 games for Whitby.
After trading up in the second round to grab Hutchins, the Rush dealt #25 overall to Philadelphia for #45 and a 2008 second rounder
"We were able to watch him quite a bit and felt we should trade up to get him," said Rush Head Coach/GM Paul Day. "He's big and fast and really a dynamic scorer. He's got a great outside shot and he can go to the net."
The Rush selected Edmonton native John Lintz of Coquitlam, a left-handed defenseman at #34, before picking Clarington's Steve Conrad, a 235 pound defenseman, at #45, and left-hander Dan Hartzell of St. Andrew's College in North Carolina at #48. Hartzell scored 31 goals in an All-American Senior year. Edmonton also added Coquitlam's Calvin Craig at #62 overall and Brock University's Jordan Coffey at #76 overall.
Minnesota was one of the more active teams in the 2007 NLL Draft, as Marty O'Neill wheeled' and dealed' to add seven new players to the Swarm roster. The Swarm parted with Kasey Beirnes, Brock Boyle and a pair of draft picks in order to acquire Six Nations forward Craig Point, who Boston selected at #3 overall. Point led the Iroquois Nationals in scoring at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships in May and led Onondoga Community College to a perfect 18-0 record and a National Championship in 2006, his only collegiate season.
Swarm GM Marty O'Neill made six draft day deals, including a blockbuster to bring sharpshooter Craig Point to the Twin Cities
The Swarm also selected Bellarmine University's Justin Norbraten at #9 overall, before picking Brandon Swamp at #18 and immediately trading him to Buffalo in exchange for their 2008 first round pick. Minnesota also dealt Spencer Martin and Michael Kilby to Portland in exchange for a conditional 2008 first round selection and #23 overall, which they used to draft Whitby's Marc Jackson.
Minnesota wrapped up their draft by selecting 19-year-old defenseman Chris Courtney of Six Nations at #27 overall, 250-pound goaltender Angus Goodleaf of Burnaby at #51, Canisius College defenseman Brad Favero at #60 and New Westminster forward Mike Paul at #79.
NEW YORK TITANS
The New York Titans held the first overall pick in 2006, which they traded to San Jose for forward Ryan Boyle. In 2007, it was the Titans trading for the first pick, as they dealt Matt Alrich and #3 overall to Boston for the right to draft University of Delaware transition player Jordan Hall, who was touted as the best overall player in the draft.
Jordan Hall smiles with his parents by his side after being selected first overall by New York
NLL scouts rave about his versatility. "He was a midfielder in college. In the indoor game, he runs transitional defense and can play both ends. He's the most NLL-ready player in the draft", said one scout. "His learning curve will be short, Best equipped to step and do some damage. I'm not sure if he's an absolute offensive dynamo, but he's the best overall player in the draft. Look for him to make an immediate impact."
The Titans then selected Cornell defender Mitch Belisle at #13 overall, Brampton's Rory Smith at #17, Delaware's Rob Smith (unrelated) at #29, Johns Hopkins' Jamison Koesterer at #36, Virginia defender Ricky Smith at #50, Villanova's Mike Haas at #59 and Loyola's Dan Bauers at #68.
The Wings brought an old star home and added a new one on draft day, as they dealt a pair of picks to Boston for forward Jake Bergey, who was lost in the expansion draft, and selected Albany's Merrick Thomson, who scored four goals in Friday's combine game, at second overall. Thomson was the career scoring leader at the University of Albany with 188 goals and 56 assists for 244 points. He helped lead Albany to the NCAA quarterfinal round for the first time in the program's history, and a school-record 15-3 mark.
Merrick Thomson is interviewed on the floor of Pepsi Center after he is selected second overall by Philadelphia
"Merrick is a big, strong, left-handed forward," said Wings General Manager Lindsay Sanderson. "He's a great finisher and will be a great asset to our offense."
Philadelphia traded a pair of picks to Edmonton to move up to #25 overall, where they selected Cornell's David Mitchell. The Wings also drafted UMBC's Drew Westervelt at #37, Maryland's Jim Borell at #41, Drexel's Adam Crystal at #74 and Notre Dame's Brian Hubschmann at #77.
Portland pulled the trigger on a pair of big trades, and selected transition player Tyler Codron of with at #6 overall at the 2007 draft. Codron led Port Coquitlam with 13 goals and 35 assists in 2007. "We came here looking for offense in the first round," said Keenan. "When it came to our pick we felt Codron was the best player. He was the most athletic player in the draft and we could not pass on him. I think he can come in right away and contribute."
NLL Commissioner Jim Jennings (right) and LumberJax GM/Head Coach Derek Keenan welcome Codron after he is selected sixth overall
The Jax dealt #23 overall and a 2008 conditional first rounder to Minnesota for Spencer Martin and Michael Kilby, and then dealt Kelly Hall to Minnesota for a pair of draft picks -- #16, which was used to pick Stony Brook University forward Cory Conway, and #24, which the Jax spent on Akewesasne's Peter Jacobs. "Conway is another big body who has the chance to come in and compete for a spot," said Keenan. "Jacobs is a young left-handed player who is very skilled."
The Jax finished the draft by selecting goaltender Joel Weber of Whitby at #44, Orillia forward Jason Mainer at #58 and Orillia transition player Brodie Barfoot at #72.
Rochester selected two players from Ontario in the first round -- Orangeville's Matt McLeod and St. Catharines' Andrew Potter -- at #8 and #14 overall.
Knighthawks head coach Ed Comeau snacks on some popcorn as the draft rolls into its third hour
The Knighthawks dealt defenseman Jack Reid to Boston in exchange for the eighth overall pick, which they used to pick McLeod, a 19-year-old forward who scored 30 goals, good for fifth in the Ontario JR ranks. Potter was also in the top 20 in scoring with 28 goals and 25 assists for St. Catharines.
The Knighthawks didn't pick again until the fifth round, when they selected Lucas Miller of Six Nations, before wrapping up their draft with the final two picks -- Chad Amidon of Nazareth College at #83 and Cody Richardson of Orangeville at #84. Amidon, a native of Syracuse, was Nazareth's second leading scorer and the team's top scoring midfielder in 2007 with 34 goals and 22 assists.
SAN JOSE STEALTH
The Stealth got two premiere first-rounders in Albany's Frank Resetarits at #5 overall, and Bellarmine's Tom Johnson at #7, but they gave up a lot to get them. The Stealth dealt forwards Callum Crawford and Andrew Burkholder, as well as #12 overall to Chicago in exchange for the fifth pick and second year player Zach Heffner.
L-to-R: Stealth head coach Walt Christianson, Frank Resetarits, San Jose GM Johnny Mouradian and NLL Commissioner Jim Jennings
A formidable attackman in the field game, Resetarits has also taken the time to learn the nuances of the indoor game. He's played three seasons of summer lacrosse for the St. Catharines. "In addition to his talent, he's got a big body that's well suited for the NLL game", said one GM. "He's a righty who plays well with or without the ball. He should have only a short learning curve when he gets to our league."
San Jose also selected Syracuse's Steve Panarelli at #31 overall, Coquitlam's Tyler Richards at #46, Victoria's Trevor Scott at #64, Maryland's Ray Megill at #73 and UMass' Andrew Recchione at #78.
The Rock dealt a pair of picks -- #11 and #51 overall -- to Minnesota in exchange for forward Kasey Beirnes. The Elora native recorded 23 goals and 20 assists last year, and has 138 goals over six seasons in the NLL. Rock Director of Lacrosse Operations Mike Kloepfer says Beirnes is a proven scorer and "will be a quality addition to the right side of our team."
Toronto Rock head coach Glenn Clark welcomes Hobart's Wes McDonald
Toronto used their first draft pick on Mark Scherman, who tallied 39 points in his Senior year at Notre Dame de Namur University. The Calgary native also had 14 goals for Burnaby this summer.
Toronto also selected Orangeville's Matt Baker at #35 overall, Whitby's Tyler Warden at #49, Wes McDonald of Hobart College at #55 and Wes McFarlane of Roanoke College at #63.