By Harry The K The wait for new, exciting lacrosse content is almost over as the 2020 NLL Entry Draft is right around the corner. After a wild NLL season cut short by a global pandemic, this draft in particular could really help out a couple of teams, who before the cancelation, were on the outside looking in. Let’s see how it’s going to shape up with Mock Draft 1.0.
1. NY Riptide: Jeff Teat (F) - The easiest pick in the draft, Jeff Teat tears up every single league he plays in. He has 577 points with the Brampton Excelsiors Jr. A team/80 points in his debut MSL season and is currently sitting at third all time in both points and assists for Cornell. The Riptide can’t (and won’t) miss out on a talent like this.
2. Rochester Knighthawks: Jeff Henrick (D) - In a kind of tossup for a team that could use help in any position, I think that the Knighthawks will take Jeff Henrick in order to bolster their defence. A rock in the back, he currently is Ohio State’s active career leader in caused turnovers while being a two time captain and has notched 74 points in his Ontario Jr. A career.
3. Vancouver Warriors: Tre Leclaire (F) - This one was tough to choose, especially since both Leclaire and Ryan Smith have the capabilities to walk into any NLL team they want and succeed. Leclaire fits well for this Warriors team due to his high octane playing style, having scored 62 points in 15 games one season of Juniors. Plus, Leclaire is from British Columbia, so he would be right at home in Vancouver.
4. San Diego Seals: Reid Bowering (T) - As San Diego is already a team stacked with offensive threats like Connor Fields and Austin Staats, the wise choice this year would be to take Reid Bowering out of Drexel and Coquitlam. He can play on both sides of the floor, as he scored 102 goals for Drexel and was named the BCJALL Defender of the Year not once, not twice, but three times during his time in the Juniors.
5. Calgary Roughnecks: Ryan Smith (F) - Realistically, Smith could go anywhere in the top five, but due to the depth of the draft this year and the way things have shaken out, I have him falling to number five and winding up with the longest defending champs in NLL history. An absolute offensive stud, he has a 100 point season under his belt in Juniors and can create offense out of nothing. The Roughnecks will hope that he falls to them to accompany Dane Dobbie, Curtis Dickson, and Jesse King.
6. Georgia Swarm: Ty Thompson (F) - The first of many picks the Swarm have in Round One this year, it would be no surprise for them to pick Ty Thompson out of Hartford and Nepean. With a giant Zed Williams sized gap in the Swarm offense, Thompson would be an incredible replacement. Standing at 6’6”, 210 lbs, this massive attackman was a major part of the Orangeville Northmen’s Minto Cup win last year and stands to have a great career playing with the Thompson Brothers and Randy Staats, should Georgia take him.
7. Saskatchewan Rush: Ethan Walker (F) - The Rush acquired this pick via trade with the Philadelphia Wings for Ben McIntosh earlier this offseason, leaving them looking for a lefty to replace him. Enter Ethan Walker. Not the biggest guy in the world, but he has a nose for goal scoring. Walker amassed 142 goals in his career at Denver. He can be a good prospect and team player for this Saskatchewan team who want to go on a run this year.
8. Georgia Swarm: TD Ierlan (FO/T) - Something we talked about a little bit on the most recent episode of OTB, but this would be such a gutsy pick for a Georgia team with no real faceoff man. Possibly the most dominant Faceoff specialist in college, Ierlan would come into the Swarm locker room and the highly competitive Eastern Conference looking to prove himself in a big way. In four games this year, he won 84 faceoffs out of 110 proving that any team would be lucky to have him. The East would then be the standard for Face Off Athletes.
9. Buffalo Bandits: Mac O’Keefe (F) - Another pick for the future, Mac O’Keefe has shown year in and year out that he is one of the best goal scorers in lacrosse right now. With 189 career goals for Penn State with one more year to go, he’s on track to break Justin Guterding’s NCAA goal record of 212 tallies. A talented young gun like Mac is exactly what this Buffalo team needs to pair with Josh Byrne, Dhane Smith, and Chase Fraser.
10. Georgia Swarm: Ron John (T) - Regarded as one of the tougher transition players in the draft this year, Ron John brings grit and an elite mentality to every team he plays for. He doesn’t put up too many numbers, but he has torn up the field when playing for the Iroquois Nationals. Georgia at this point would just be piling on talent in a draft where they can really improve their team.
11. Halifax Thunderbirds: Tanner Cook (F) - A talented attackman during his time at UNC and the Whitby Warriors, if Cook falls this far in the draft, Halifax would be silly to pass on him. Cook scored 146 points collectively between the 2017-18 Jr. A seasons and has 82 points in 48 career games for the Tar Heels. He could easily go higher than 11, so keep an eye out for Cook next season.
12. Saskatchewan Rush: Harrison Matsuoka (T) - A quiet player who gets the job done on transition, Matsuoka could surprise a lot of people with his play. He would also be a pick for the future as he’s going back to Stony Brook for another year, but any team would be happy to have a double digit point scorer at transition. His stick skills will help him make the switch to a pro transition player very easy.
13. Georgia Swarm: Jordan Stouros (D) - Georgia have the ability to take an outfield player at every position in this round, so why not take the best available defenseman left with their final pick of the First Round? Jordan Stouros is a sturdy defender, not the biggest guy around, but he stands his ground in the back. He also comes from a winning culture in the MSL with the Peterborough Lakers, so that mentality will come in handy in the locker room and on the floor.
14. Halifax Thunderbirds: Brad McCulley (F) - The Thunderbirds are poised to have a massive upcoming season, so why not add another huge scoring threat to this already dangerous team? Brad McCulley just couldn’t stop scoring in Juniors, having back to back 72 point seasons for Victoria. Throwing him into this high scoring Halifax team will spell danger for their opponents.
15. San Diego Seals: Jackson Suboch (D) - Again, the Seals main focus in the draft this year should be their defense as their offense is already stacked enough, and the 6’5” Jackson Suboch would be an interesting pick for this team. A big body defenseman for a UMass team who led the CAA in caused turnovers per game, Suboch can slide easily into a Seals defense with players like Eli Gobrecht and Brodie Merrill.
16. Philadelphia Wings: Michael Sowers (F) - Hear me out. Sowers won’t be joining the NLL until at least 2021-22, and it just seems like such a Paul Day move to take one of the biggest talents lacrosse has seen a year before he’s actually due for the draft. The Wings have shown so much ambition during this summer, and adding a player like Sowers, if they’re able to, would show that they want that ring more than anything.