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Americans make 2008 NLL Entry Draft a real record breaker

Johns Hopkins' Paul Rabil was the highest American taken since Ryan Powell in 2000.
Johns Hopkins' Paul Rabil was the highest American taken since Ryan Powell in 2000.

I probably didn’t buy into my own hype enough.

Earlier this year I really tried hammering home that the 2008 NLL Entry Draft was likely gonna see a ton of pretty high profile, and some not so high profile, American field studs giving the NLL a go like never before.

And then the other week, when we published our Hot 30 Prospects on the heels of the actual draft, I only snuck a couple Yanks in there. My bad.

Well, NLL GM’s had their say last week in Boston, and made the ‘08 draft one of, if not the, most American heavy draft the league has ever seen.

It was the first time since Ryan Powell was taken with the second overall pick by Buffalo in the 2000 draft that an American has gone as high as Johns Hopkins’ Paul Rabil went last week, when the San Jose Stealth used their second overall grab on him as well.

It was the first draft that saw five Americans taken within the first round (Rabil, Kevin Huntley, Matt Danowski, Kevin Buchanan, Joe Cinosky). Track-back the last few years, and the next highest versus this year’s five was all of… two!!

In fact, when you look at the percentage of straight American field laxers that made up this year’s draft, 42.11%, it buries anything else any draft previous to it had done. Yeah, there may have been more Americans taken in previous season, but those previous seasons also had about 40 more picks overall versus this year’s 76 selections. You also gotta remember, with all those extra rounds and picks back in the day, teams were fishing a lot more and willing to try and land an American late, more-so than in recent years for sure.

It’s also pretty interesting to note that the Stealth franchise (previously the Albany Attack) are the ones that really like to try their hand with the high profile Americans early. We went back over the last nine draft years (check ‘em out below), and in five of those drafts, San Jose or Albany was the first team to draft a Yankee. Josh Coffman, Ryan Boyle, Ed Brown, Frank Resetarits, and then obviously Rabil this year, make-up the five.

Anyways, check out some of the specs from over the last nine years below when looking at the American field influence on draft day. And check back Sunday for more post NLL Entry Draft coverage. What will these non-box ballers mean to the game? Why did teams go that route this year and how will those players fit into their lineups? Find out on NLL Insider when we continue to dissect this year’s draft.

2001

Total picks in draft: 117
Americans selected: 46
Percentage of Americans in the draft: 39.32%
Americans taken in the first round: 0
First American taken: Brendan Shook, Johns Hopkins

2002

Total picks in draft: 109
Americans selected: 37
Percentage of Americans in the draft: 33.94%
Americans taken in the first round: 2
First American taken: Josh Coffman, Syracuse

2003

Total picks in draft: 83
Americans selected: 28
Percentage of Americans in the draft: 33.73%
Americans taken in the first round: 1
First American taken: Josh Bergey, Salisbury

2004

Total picks in draft: 66
Americans selected: 23
Percentage of Americans in the draft: 34.85%
Americans taken in the first round: 1
First American taken: Ryan Boyle, Princeton

2005

Total picks in draft: 67
Americans selected: 13
Percentage of Americans in the draft: 19.40%
Americans taken in the first round: 1
First American taken: Ed Brown, Middlebury

2006

Total picks in draft: 77
Americans selected: 22
Percentage of Americans in the draft: 28.57%
Americans taken in the first round: 2
First American taken: Jack Reid, UMass

2007

Total picks in draft: 84
Americans selected: 24
Percentage of Americans in the draft: 28.57%
Americans taken in the first round: 2
First American taken: Frank Resetarits, Albany

2008

Total picks in draft: 76
Americans selected: 32
Percentage of Americans in the draft: 42.11%
Americans taken in the first round: 5
First American taken: Paul Rabil, Johns Hopkins

The foremost boxla writer, Tutka is a former NLL scout and a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at paul.tutka@nllinsider.com.

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