The second group of IL Indoor’s Top 50 prospects for the 2013 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft features a phalanx of transition players, which is probably the strongest position in the draft this year. There are some athletic guys who play defence but really excel when it comes to moving the ball up the floor. Then there are the D-first guys who look to take care of their own end and see transition as something to think about once you know your zone is secured. There’s also a goalie who’s put up excellent numbers over the past two Jr A seasons and the top American player in this year’s draft. Perhaps surprisingly, the American is not the same player who was drafted as a tight end by a professional football league, but he’s in here too. So there’s plenty of variety to view when you make the jump to numbers 16-30 in this year’s list. READ MORE »
Archive for the ‘Futures Report’ Category
The National Lacrosse League Entry Draft is just five days away, held early this year on September 16 at Oakville’s Toronto Rock Athletic Centre. That means it’s time once again for IL Indoor’s annual adventure in prospect prognostication. We look at the Top 50 prospects who are entered in this year’s draft. It’s a difficult year to figure out how the draft may go. It appears that there are a handful of players who would be candidates for the first round in any year, then about two dozen who have the feel of second rounds. Obviously, some of the latter will jump up to the first round and some will fall to the third and even fourth round. So while this draft may not be as stoked with high-end talent as last year’s, or the ones coming in 2014 and 2015 for that matter, there are plenty of high-value picks to be had as the rounds progress. Following are IL Indoor’s picks for the 31st to 50th top prospects entering the 2013 draft. READ MORE »
Jordan Houtby has made the transition from Junior A lacrosse to Major Series pretty smoothly. Now he’s hoping his athletic and aggressive approach to playing defence will translate into a high selection in the National Lacrosse League draft this September and a chance to land on an NLL roster when the 2014 season opens.
Houtby spent most of his junior career with the St. Catharines Saints before joining the Whitby Warriors for their 2012 Minto Cup run that ultimately saw them fall short of their goal of winning the national title. The experience did give him a chance to play for another NLL coach in Derek Keenan, after having been coached by Darris Kilgour in St. Kitts. Now he’s playing for the Brooklin Redmen, where he gets to line up beside and learn from NLL defenders like Jeff Gilbert, Derek Suddons and Cam Holding. READ MORE »
Last week, the Prospect Tracker took at look at the early candidates for the top picks in the 2014 draft. We also put in a tease about the 2015 crop of players. Well, you don’t have to wait any longer as this week IL Indoor brings you the top players expected to be coming into the National Lacrosse League Entry Draft in 2015 to be rookies in the 2016 season. And while the 2013 draft was a good one and 2014 promises to be as well, neither has the depth of potential star power that the 2015 annual talent distribution exercise promises. There are easily 10 players who already look like solid first-round picks with two years left to prove themselves. That means that unless there’s expansion by the 2016 season, at least one of them won’t get to say he was a first-rounder. Make the jump to see a discussion of those 10 plus some other good players who’ll be available to be selected in two years. READ MORE »
After last week’s second version of the Mock Draft for 2013, Prospect Tracker is going to switch things up a bit and take a look at the early candidates for top selections in the 2014 draft, which is going to be another good one (although just wait till you see the list of players coming in 2015…wow!) There’s more than just Jeremy Noble available. There was a huge group of defenders in last year’s draft and there are plenty more coming this year, but 2014 is shaping up as a draft that’s mostly about the offence. At the top, of course, will be yet another potential franchise offensive player to follow in the footsteps of Mark Matthews and Logan Schuss (our projected #1 for this year). Jeremy Noble is a special player. Whoever gets his brother Jason this September (we’re betting on Minnesota at #2) will have extra incentive to go after the top pick next year, to reunite the twins. Still wondering why the Swarm are continuing to stockpile picks? READ MORE »
Those of you who are Western Lacrosse Association fans and have been following the Prospects Reports may well be asking, “Where the heck is Scott Jones?” Fair enough. He’s been absent from the reports so far, but he’s here now and in a big way. The big, 24-year-old righty forward is making a splash in the WLA and should make another come September when the National Lacrosse League teams gather for the 2014 NLL Entry Draft. As in, potential top half of the first round splash at the draft.
There’s good reason for the love Jones is getting from talent evaluators. He’s a 6′4”, 200-pounder with plenty of talent. Last year he was second on the Burnaby Lakers in scoring behind Dane Stevens, the same position he holds down so far this year. But last year he averaged exactly 3 points per game (17/37/54 in 18 games). This summer he’s stepped it up to almost 4 points per contest (19/24/43) and has already topped his goal total from 2012. READ MORE »
IL Indoor’s very own Teddy Jenner is looking to take his role in the world of sports journalism to a whole other level, and he’s finally succeeded in making the first big step. Jenner has been announced as one of the 24 finalists for The Score sports network’s Drafted program. The prize for the eventual winner is a one-year contract with the network as an on-air analyst and personality.
We say “finally” because this is the fifth time Jenner has auditioned for the show and his perseverance has finally paid off. It was actually his sixth audition that did the trick. Jenner went to the Vancouver auditions this year and spoke about the cage controversy currently embroiling the Canadian lacrosse community. Jenner says producers told him his rant (what they call each candidate’s audition piece) was well articulated and well done, but they were worried it would limit his appeal to a broader audience.
Jenner’s response? No problem, I can talk about anything. So he went back in and did another rant about the Vancouver Canucks and whether they are built for post-season success. (Spoiler alert—he says no). That did the trick and now he’s among the finalists. READ MORE »
The big prospect news this week is the debut of Jason Noble with the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks. Noble was the second overall pick in the Major Series Lacrosse draft behind is brother Jeremy and could easily go in the same spot in the National Lacrosse League draft this fall (only this time it would most likely be behind Logan Schuss). Noble missed KW’s first two games of the season while he was helping Cornell reach the final four of the NCAA field lacrosse championship.
Monday, Noble appeared in the grey, black and purple of the Kodiaks for the first time and he immediately showed why he was such a coveted player coming out of the Orangeville Northmen system. The 2012 OLA Jr A defender of the year played a solid defensive game, showing that the intelligence, strength and footwork that made him so successful in junior and college will allow him to succeed at the highest levels of the game, as well. READ MORE »
Each week during the summer, IL Indoor will track the progress of prospects for the 2013 National Lacrosse League draft. We’ll keep an eye on the Logan Schusses and Jason Nobles—the guys expected to be top picks—but we’ll also try to share how players whose ranking in the draft is a little less certain are faring during the summer and how it may impact their draft status. And if there’s someone you think we’re missing out on that lacrosse fans would like to hear about, let us know—my email is at the bottom of the story. To see what’s happening with some of the players that NLL teams will be looking to select this September, make the jump. READ MORE »
We are in an age of specialization. Kids are encouraged to pick a sport early and focus on it, often to the exclusion of playing other games. The practice has generated a backlash, much of it from pro athletes who remember playing lots of things when they were younger and who see that broad approach to sport as valuable. Now Brodie Merrill has joined the ranks of those advocating that kids play a variety of sports and the Philadelphia Wings’ captain has done so eloquently with his latest Wingin’ It blog entry for Philly.com. Merrill references versatile former lacrosse players like Jim Brown, Wayne Gretzky and Joe Nieuwendyk, Hall of Famers all in other sports. He also makes an interesting comparison between the athleticism of Kevin Crowley and Tom Brady. Can’t you just see Crowley running the Patriots’ offence? No, seriously, think about it and see if it’s really that much of a stretch.