Who doesn’t love a good mock draft? We sure do here at IL Indoor. So Marty O’Neill, Teddy Jenner, Stephen Stamp and Bob Chavez hunkered down to work through the first three rounds of this year’s amazingly deep draft. The order was established by random draw then was followed throughout the first two rounds. At that point, Chavez channeled his inner Ian Poole and thought it would be best if he was available if his wife went into labour, so the remaining three “GM”s finished up with the final nine selections. The choices are sure to stir some debate–heck, we don’t all agree with each other about them, that’s for sure–so hit the forums to have your say.
Remember, the first two rounds each have 10 slots because of residual trades with Boston. The “GM”s are choosing who they think teams should pick at each spot, not who they think the teams will. And Philadelphia’s pick at 23 overall was already made before it was traded to Washington Friday afternoon, so we’ll let it stand rather than redrafting the rest of the third round. The Stealth can feel free to “trade” the player if they would rather have someone else.
On with the show, starting with the defending finalists…
1 Edmonton Rush: Mark Matthews (chosen by Marty O’Neill)
Easiest decision in Rush history. Like a gift from the gods. First we trade a disgruntled player who was the key in moving team captain Brodie Merril for another disgruntled player. That doesn’t work out but circumstances do with Washington finishing last in the 9 team league giving Edmonton the first pick in Mark Matthews.
Matthews brings skill, size and speed to the most desirable position in this and many past drafts, the Offensive Lefty. He will direct the powerplay and be the focal point of the Rush offense. Derek Keenan has a winning history already with Mark which quiets any question about chemistry.
Matthews is the type of guy that can be the face of your organization for years. Hopefully he can bring success to a team that hasn’t had enough in its seven-year existence. Ironically, Bruce Urban lost the coin flip in 2005 at the entry draft and selected second behind Portland who took Brodie Merril whose trade out of Edmonton played into getting this first overall pick.
2 Minnesota Swarm: Brock Sorensen (chosen by Teddy Jenner)
Well, even though I tried to trade all of Minnesota’s picks to the Rush for the rights to Mark Matthews, they will be incredibly happy to add Brock Sorensen to their youth movement. Built much like Brodie Merrill with more of an offensive touch, Sorensen brings a winning attitude and a non-stop commitment to getting better every year. Add him to the likes of Suitor, MacIntosh, Watt and Haas; the Swarm will be one of the deepest transition games the NLL has ever seen. At 6′6, 220lbs, Sorensen is big, mean, fast and will contribute right away. Coming off an ACL injury, he had surgery in May and looks to be ready to go come the start of the NLL season.
3 Minnesota Swarm: Kiel Matisz (chosen by Stamp)
With all the youth and speed on the team, one thing Minnesota doesn’t have a lot of is size up front, especially with Kevin Ross off to Philly. Ross also represents 28 goals and 59 points gone from the roster. The perfect pick here would be a big, talented forward who already has experience playing against NLL players and is ready to step in and make an impact right away. So it’s handy that that is basically a description of the best player available, Kiel Matisz.
Matisz posted 18/22/40 totals in his third year with the MSL’s Brooklin Redmen. That experience, and the growth his game has shown during his Brooklin tenure, should make his transition to the NLL as easy as anyone’s in this year’s draft. He’ll even be joining Redmen teammates Dan Ball and Jeff Gilbert with the Swarm and I’m sure he’ll enjoy playing with, rather than against, the likes of Suitor, MacIntosh and Watt.
4 Minnesota Swarm: Shayne Jackson (chosen by Chavez)
There are some very attractive options here with the fourth pick, but I think Shayne Jackson makes the most sense. First, he’s got a crafty stick that gets goalies moving and he makes good decisions on the fly. Second, he’s a lefty and I’d count on him to provide some depth behind Ryan Benesch now that Kevin Ross is gone. And third, he gained some very valuable experience on a big stage with the Langley Thunder in the Mann Cup. And even if it doesn’t work out for some reason, the Swarm are so loaded with talent by this point, they can shop a few names in trades to bolster any other weaknesses they feel they have on the roster.
5 Buffalo Bandits: Carter Bender (O’Neill)
New GM Steve Dietrich has some holes to fill but not the strongest draft to fill them. The righty “O” slot in Buffalo is the team’s strong point along with its veteran goalie. The draft is always a question of needs vs drafting the best available talent. The best available talent route doesn’t always work out which is why this team could draft an eastern defensive player like Carter Bender or Jordan Critch and be better off short term and possibly long term. There are great right handed prospects like Colton Clark and Dhane Smith and I’m sure that’s what the Bandits will do or move the pick at the draft table. If i’m drafting I’m taking Bender to get some more size and speed and transition THIS year.
6 Calgary Roughnecks: Jordan Critch (Jenner)
Well, the Roughnecks will be really upset to see Bender taken by the Bandits, who they might expect to take Dhane Smith, already having Billy Dee on their roster. The Necks are deep in right-handed offensive players, even with Kaleb Toth stepping away from the team. They really do need a solid left handed presence to join Daryl Veltman and Dane Dobbie. Jeff Shattler and Travis Cornwall are solid transition players who can contribute on the O end and with Shatts playing more and more out the front door, trying to snag a transition player in this spot might be the way for GM Mike Board and new HC Curt Malawsky.
Maybe the Necks till try to move up in order to secure Bender but if they are unable to they will have to go to plan B. Jordan Critch is a 3x Minto Cup winner out of Orangeville and nine times out of ten, when you pick up a Northmen Alum, you know what you’re getting and with Bruce Codd on the bench, Critch will be able to learn from one of the best to have ever played the high-pressure D-transition system used by the Necks.
7 Calgary Roughnecks: Dhane Smith (Stamp)
Calgary has a tough call to make here between Joe Resetarits–probably the most pro-ready player in the draft–and the sublimely talented Dhane Smith. Ultimately, with Smith available at this spot it’s just too hard to pass up that package of size, speed and skill. His game needs to grow before he can contribute consistently at the NLL level but when it does…watch out.
8 Edmonton Rush: Matthew Dinsdale (Chavez)
Matt Dinsdale of Coquitlam is the pick at this spot for the Edmonton Rush. The BCJALL’s leading scorer this past summer will add some offensive depth on the right side but he’ll also be a valuable addition to the transition game as well. He’s a team guy in an unsung-hero sort of way because he works at the same level of energy whether the ball is in his stock or not. And he won’t be a defensive liability should he get stuck in that end for a shift or two. The bonus, besides the experience of playing in several Minto Cup tournaments, is that he’s a relative local.
9 Colorado Mammoth: Curtis Knight (O’Neill)
This team revamped its offence last year and some of the defence as well. At this point the Mammoth can afford a project instead of drafting a player who they would be pressured to play right away. In this case they have to take Curtis Knight for his overall abilities and his long term upside. Many good right handed offensive players slide to the second round in this draft, making the earlier picks of this round some of the best we’ve ever seen in a second round.
10 Minnesota Swarm: Robbie Campbell (Jenner)
At the 10th pick the Swarm have a number of different ways they can go- but you can never go wrong with adding a big bruising work horse in your D-end that can run the floor, put the ball in the net and has a bit of mean streak. Robbie Campbell fits all of those roles. Campbell is a 6′2″, 210lb monster out of Delta, BC who was drafted by Coquitlam of the WLA in 2011, averaged a point per game, but opted not to play this past summer. The Stoney Brook grad has size, speed and the ability to play a couple different roles and if allowed to have some freedom to play his game, would really fit in well with the Swarm.
11 Washington Stealth: Joe Resetarits (Stamp)
If there is one position that Washington probably needs less than any other, it’s right-shooting forward. But with Joe Resetarits still on the board, it’s impossible to pass him up, especially given that: all four of the top-tier lefties are gone and one of the next tier will be available when the Stealth have two more picks at 19 and 21; and, they have pick 12 with which to grab one of the coterie of solid defenders who have yet to be taken. Resetarits is arguably the player in the draft most ready to play pro. He could step in and contribute on pretty much any roster in the NLL on opening night. He’s a smart, dedicated player who has shown versatility by playing a variety of roles with Brampton the last two summers. His game has grown by leaps and bounds. Also, it doesn’t hurt to be able to add a talented American to your roster in a league that needs to build its American content.
12 Washington Stealth: Cody Hawkins (Chavez)
Defence isn’t a glaring need for the Stealth, but it never hurts to get younger. Especially with a guy like Cody Hawkins, who was named BCJALL Defender of the Year for his ability to shut down and force turnovers. The commute won’t be a big deal for Hawkins and he’ll have a stable full of wise veterans in Mike Grimes, Jeff Moleski, Kyle Sorensen and Matt Beers from which to learn the game. Hawkins was captain of his Delta Islanders team, so he knows what’s expected of him when it comes to working with a team.
13 Buffalo Bandits: Colton Clark (O’Neill)
With a surplus of rights in the draft and most NLL teams being fully stocked in that position it is interesting to see the quality of right handed shooters still on the board. None more surprising than the big and experienced Colton Clark. Clark is well rounded with his Bellermine and Sr Lakers background and isn’t a green rookie. Buffalo has shown it will draft western players high in the last few years and this will be no exception. Clark brings some skill and size up front that Buffalo will need to maintain with some aging vets closing in on retirement.
14 Toronto Rock: Mike Lum-Walker (Jenner)
The Toronto Rock have always been a team built from the back out. Having an intimidating defense allows you to pressure the ball all over the floor, creating turnovers and turning them into immediate offense. While he may not have scored a ton of goals with Whitby, Mike Lum-Walker could/will be a great fit into Troy Cordingley’s system. Fast, athletic and carries a mean streak that is ideal in today’s game. Not over-the-edge undisciplined but right on the verge of in-your-face smash-mouth lacrosse. A great project for the Rock after losing Codd and Ryan Sharp.
15 Edmonton Rush: Alex Crepinsek (Stamp)
This draft is hip-deep in solid defenders and the run is on with Campbell, Hawkins and Lum-Walker going in the last five picks. With the nine-team league placing unprecedented importance on players being ready to step into the league and play a role, Alex Crepinsek is the perfect pick for Edmonton here. He’s already shown he can play with the big boys, facing elite offensive players in MSL the last two years. He’s frustrated the likes of John Grant, Jr. with his tenacious one-on-one D. He won’t wow you with anything flashy. He won’t score a bunch. But he’ll stop the other team from putting the ball in the net and help the Rush get it moving back up the floor.
16 Buffalo Bandits: Robert Koger (Chavez)
The big man, at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, just wrapped up his career at Georgetown and has 2 MSL seasons under his belt in Ajax. Robert Koger paid his Junior A dues with Toronto before he was traded to Orangeville, where he helped the Horn Heads to an OLA championship in 2010. So he’s got some experience with not only playing, but winning. It’s hard not to want more of that after you’ve experienced it and in Buffalo, Darris Kilgour will accept nothing less than the effort to get there. The young legs could benefit the Bandits as well.
17 Calgary Roughnecks: Billy Hostrawser (O’Neill)
If there is one thing the 2012 should be remembered for it will be the overall strength of not just the first two rounds but even the third. Many players will be drafted for their fit on team needs leaving potential roster making talent on the board late into the third round.
Calgary could use a left shot but they have too much available on the defensive end. Western based T.J. Cowx looked good this past summer with the Senior Lakers and has good feet for the NLL game. Michael Cudmore out east has a few years in the Senior loop and also looks to be pro ready. Calgary has done well drafting the Harnett bros. out of Orangeville and know those players can step in and play their pressure defense system. The question is which one of the Northmen defenders as Orangeville has a few to offer. Bill Hostrawser is my pick from the Minto Cup Champs. He plays physical and looks like a good fit for Calgary’s back end with time to develop.
18 Buffalo Bandits: Michael Cudmore (Jenner)
Since the Roughnecks passed on him, the Bandits will take defender Michael Cudmore from the Brooklin Redmen and Hartford U. The versatile d-man can play in the high tempo defensive system that Darris employs as well as run the floor to start the transition. He already has a year of playing with and against some of the best in the game with Brooklin in the MSL and can definitely step in if needed. With the addition of Koger at #16, adding Cudmore will definitely create a battle in camp but having young hungry defenders is never a bad thing.
19 Washington Stealth: Hayden Smith (Stamp)
This just shows the depth of this draft in defenders. Hayden Smith easily could have gone in the late first or very early second round. As it is, the Stealth will be thrilled to add this tough and athletic defender to their stable out the back door. Smith will have a very real shot at making the team this year. At the very least, he’ll compete hard for a spot and push everyone on the roster to work harder to hold on to their positions.
20 Toronto Rock: Joel Matthews (Chavez)
The Rock are in good shape up and down their roster and while Joel Matthews wouldn’t exactly be a project, he would be a nice addition to the stable whether he’s on the active roster or practice roster. He’s a proven scorer with nearly 300 points in junior, mostly at St. Catharines. And no matter which roster he ends up on, active or practice, he’ll learn some valuable lessons working with guys like Garrett Billings, Stephan Leblanc, Colin Doyle and Blaine Manning that will pay off down the road, if not sooner.
21 Washington Stealth: Jackson Decker (O’Neill)
Righty Jackson Decker is a steal for the third round but his commitment to finishing his degree scares people and Washington will have him on ice if he can’t make the season or parts of it.
22 Buffalo Bandits: Tom Newton (Jenner)
Not often do we see a kid from outside BC, Ontario and Alberta drafted to the NLL but it’s also not often we see those kids playing a high level of lacrosse. Tom Newton from Saskatoon was very impressive this year with the Bellies in the BCJALL. He’s like a sponge and could really develop under Darris Kilgour. A definite project but that’s what the third round is for. Diamonds in the rough.
23 Philadelphia Wings: Austin Powell (O’Neill)
With the Wings first pick of the draft they take Austin Powell from Belermine and the Victoria Senior Shamrocks. Sam Bradman would have needed a jackhammer to get playing time on the Wings right side so the Wings add an American who is good in the faceoff circle and learning the Canadian box game fast. Powell played SR A all season and was a noticable player on defense for the Rocks during their 6 six game playoff with the Adanacs. Not affraid to get physical either.
24 Minnesota Swarm: Chris Attwood (Stamp)
The third round is also a good time to take a chance on a huge talent with some question marks. The Swarm are loaded with tons of young players, so if a pick at this point doesn’t work out, it’s not a huge loss. Therefore, they roll the dice and pick Chris Attwood. The kid’s got first-round talent. He’s possibly the best pure shooter in the draft and has great hands. He also showed an ability to play defence/transition when he’s motivated to. The big question is, can he play in a system and be a reliable NLL player? If he can, the Swarm get a fantastic bargain with the 24th pick. If not, he returns to rip up CLax for another year, because if there’s one thing we know this kid can do it’s score.
25 Toronto Rock: Mike Teeter (Jenner)
Picking out of their own backyard has been a huge advantage for the Toronto Rock. Mike Teeter is a typical Rock pick. Winning pedigree, knows the pressure D-system, great work ethic and family with players and coaches. He spent the year in Victoria and really learned how to play at a higher level. He may not crack the roster right away, but in years past we’ve seen rookies get one chance then never come back out.
26 Rochester Knighthawks: Davide Diruscio (Stamp)
The Knighthawks finally get to enter the draft and they make a big splash–and we mean big. They need a goalie more than any other team in the league and they grab one in 6′4″, 300-pound Davide Diruscio. He’s an Oakville guy who was terrific for the Coquitlam Adanacs leading to and at the Minto Cup. He’s remarkably athletic for such a big guy. He’s got goalie of the future written all over him. There’ll be no need to rush him with goalie of the present Matt Vinc firmly entrenched among the best in the game, so the K’Hawks will be able to develop him slowly. He should be a prize when he hits his prime.
27 Toronto Rock: Kevin Brownell (O’Neill)
Toronto can’t pass up this guy, especially with old age creeping up on the Rock offense. Kevin Brownell missed a summer of box but has 2 years of Senior A under his belt now. A Robert Morris grad and product of the Burlington system this righty could push for a regular spot with the Rock…just not sure what work/school has in store for him in his personal life. Either way the Rock can put him on ice and wait or put him to work.
28 Edmonton Rush: Simon Giourmaetakis (Jenner)
Never hurts to select a home town guy with big league experience. A junior hockey stud, Minto champ and with a season of WLA ball under his belt, Simon Giourmaetakis would be a great addition to the left handed offence to help free up Matthews and get him the ball.
29 Rochester Knighthawks: Kyle Buchanan (Stamp)
With Jarrett Davis dealt for Paul Rabil and Mike Accursi 37 years old, Rochester can use another solid righty like Kyle Buchanan in the fold. He scored 60 points for Brooklin two years ago and totaled 273 as a junior, including a pair of 30-goals seasons. Buchanan’s definitely on the small side at 5′8″ and 160 pounds, but that weight represents an increase of about 20 pounds over the last few years as he’s matured. He should be strong enough to withstand the rigors of the pro game and add some offence.Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Rate This Story: