So much hype was thrown on last year’s class of National Lacrosse Rookies and, for the most part, the hype was backed up. But it got us to thinking here at ILIndoor: where does this Class of 2011 rank among ALL of the first-round draft classes the NLL has produced? We’re not ones to back down from a challenge, so we crunched the numbers and did some analyzing. What it produced is ILIndoor’s ranking of all the 24 first-round draft classes, based on stats, impact on the game and legacy. We couldn’t go with straight-up numbers because some fellas have come and gone, and some are just getting started. You also have to factor in the work of defensemen, who don’t have the numbers of their offensive counterparts. So let’s get started with No. 24 and work our way up over the next few weeks.
But first, more perspective. The early classes were difficult to rank because statistics turned out to be sparse or even non-existent for some guys. But we dug up what we could. We used stats, of course, but also factored in averages to help even the playing field for players young and old.
We looked at regular season stats, playoff stats, awards, impact and legacies. It’s not an exact science and we’re sure some of the rankings will stir a bit of debate. That’s why we have WingsZone, so you can sound off on this and other lacrosse topics.
For each installment, we’ll give you stats we found, analyze the production and impact these players went on to have in the game and polish that up with a big, fat number for an overall ranking. So with that said, let’s get started.
1988 first-round draft picks
1. David Desko (Blazers)
2. Ron Martinello (Turbos)
3. Tom McClelland (Thunder)
4. Andy Wilson (Wings)
5. Tim Goldstein (Saints)
Regular season statistics
(Statistics for this class, taken from the NLL’s directory, are based on Martinello. Desko and Wilson did play in the league, but their statistics are not listed in the NLL’s directory)
Goals: 7 (1.4 average)
Assists: 16 (3.2)
Points: 23 (4.6) (ranks No. 24 and No. 24 out of 24 classes)
Goals: 3 (0.6)
Assists: 3 (1.0)
Points: 6 (1.2) (No. 24 and No. 24)
Overall ranking: 24
Not much to say here other than Martinello, who was the only member of this class for whom we could find statistics. Martinello is the only player of this class listed in the NLL record book, so those are the numbers we used to compile the rankings. To that end, Martinello didn’t even play in the league until 1992, but he did win an NLL title with the Turbos, so he made out well. Desko, who played at Syracuse when his brother, current coach John Desko was an assistant there, played 3 seasons, but stats for him aren’t available and McClelland was a goalie out of Loyola. Wilson was another Loyola product, but was in Philadelphia to score goals. Unfortunately, his career stats aren’t available either but we do know he played at least 3 seasons and scored 35 goals in 1989. Goldstein forged a US Lacrosse Hall of Fame career at Cornell but didn’t play box lacrosse when his NCAA career wrapped up. Not to knock the guys from this class who did play, but there isn’t a lot to get excited about as far as production goes for an overall class. The guys who did play, especially Wilson, helped pave the road for the perks NLL players of today enjoy, so there’s definitely something to be said for that. But someone’s got to get the list started, so we give you the Class of 1988.Chavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to RochesterSports.com.
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