2018 NLL Draft Recap: Austin Staats Goes Number One Overall

Photo Courtesy of Inside Lacrosse

The National Lacrosse League welcomed a new wave of players into the league on Tuesday night as the 2018 NLL draft was held in Philadelphia, PA at Xfinity Live.

As Nick Sakiewicz took to the podium to kickoff the NLL draft he struck many the wrong way as he personally welcomed Jordie from Barstool into the building. While Jordie does a great job covering the sport of lacrosse, Barstool has been under fire recently and that maybe wasn't the best thing to do on draft night. However, that blew over very quickly as the picks came in and fans got excited for the future of their teams.

First Round

1. San Diego Seals - Austin Staats, LF, Onondaga/Six Nations Arrows

As expected the San Diego seals picked Austin Staats number one overall out of NJCAA power Onondaga Community College. Staats played summer box for the Sr. A Six Nations Chiefs and Jr. A with the Six Nations Arrows. In 2017 he helped lead the Six Nations Arrows to a Minto Cup. Staats also played for the Iroquois Nationals this summer in Israel as he helped them secure a bronze medal at the FIL World Championships. Staats is a generational talent and is a guy that should be able to make an immediate impact on the floor in San Diego. With Staats and the rest of the veterans the Seals have it could be a very promising inaugural season in San Diego.

2. Philadelphia Wings - Chris Cloutier, LF, North Carolina/Coburg Kodiaks

Again, it was all chalk early on as Philadelphia selected Chris Cloutier out of North Carolina and the Coburg Kodiaks with the second overall pick in the draft. Cloutier has had a great run with the Coburg Kodiaks in Jr. A as he moved up to Sr. A this summer. Cloutier is a guy that can make an immediate impact in the NLL just like he did in the field game during the MLL season this past year as he won Rookie of The Year. With his style of play, size, and physicality he has a John Grant Jr. esque style that should be fun to watch in Philadelphia.

3. Buffalo (from Vancouver) - Matt Gilray, RD, Bucknell/Peterborough Lakers

Matt Gilray was a little slept on in some of the earlier mock drafts but Buffalo picks the defensemen up with the third overall pick. Playing for Bucknell and the Peterborough Lakers he has had a great career already. Gilray also plays in the MLL for the Denver Outlaws. He should be a force to be reckoned with the NLL as he brings just another level of defensive play to Buffalo. 

4. Buffalo - Ian Mackay, LT, Vermont/Six Nations Chiefs

the lefty out of Vermont and the Six Nations Chiefs is an offensive juggernaut. MacKay seems to be able to score at will both in the box and on the field. MacKay hasn't been able to play much in the summer the past few years due to injury but he looked decent this year in the MSL with the Chiefs. MacKay also plays in the MLL for the Chesapeake Bayhawks and had a great rookie season. I can see MacKay bringing a ton of excitement and firepower to Buffalo. The kid is a beast.

5. Saskatchewan (from Toronto) - Connor Robinson, LF, High Point/Langley Thunder

The lefty forward from High Point and the Langley Thunder brings a lot of promise to Saskatchewan and the NLL as a whole. As one of the best NLL prospects that many have had their eyes on he should be ready for the big stage right away. He was able to dominate in Junior A and did the same this summer as he played his first season in the WLA with the Langley Thunder. Robinson may be one of the rookies that I am most excited to see this season in the NLL.

6. Calgary - Shane Simpson, RD, North Carolina/Six Nations Chiefs

As a guy that came out and declared early for the NLL draft Shane Simpson should be ready for the big time right away. The defensemen out of North Carolina and Six Nations Chiefs looks to be a very promising player as he comes into his rookie year in the NLL. Simpson should be able to be a pretty good contributor for Calgary just as he has been in junior as well as his first two years in the MSL.

7. Calgary (from New England) - Brendan Bomberry, RF, Syracuse/Six Nations Chiefs

 *(Calgary trades the #7 pick to Georgia for the #23 pick and Jesse King)*

Bomberry is an athletic righty forward that seems to be able to adjust to many situations as he has been asked to play many different roles in junior and senior. Out of Syracuse and the Six Nations Chiefs Bomberry should be a solid contributor down in Georgia this year as they need some depth down there and Bomberry can do it. He can also slip into various different roles if needed.

8. Georgia - Adam Wiedmann, LD, Belmont Abbey/Brampton Excelsiors

Georgia selected lefty defensemen Adam Weidmann out of Belmont Abbey and the Brampton Excelsiors with the eight overall pick in the draft. Again Georgia needs some depth and Wiedmann is a can that can provide just that on the defensive end of the floor. He was a force in Jr. A and had a decent first year in the MSL with Brampton. Weidmann will be a guy that we should see grow throughout the year as he gets some decent floor time in Georgia.

9. Rochester (from Colorado) - James Barclay, RD, Providence/Oakville Rock

The righty defensemen out of Providence and the Oakville Rock should be able to contribute in multiple facets with Rochester in his rookie year. Barclay played his second year of MSL this year with Oakville and saw some growth from year one. He is a guy that also takes faceoffs so maybe he can be an all around guy for Rochester much like Jake Withers, to a lesser extent. Barclay also played a lot and contributed with the Charlotte Hounds of the MLL over the summer. 

10. San Diego - Connor Fields, LF

Everyone knows how incredibly gifted Connor Fields is as a player but he does have a big question mark coming into his rookie year. Fields has just had surgery to repair his knee that he played on with a torn ACL for two years. The kid is tough as we have seen him dominate on the field and in the box. We have only seen him play one year in the MSL due to his knee injury and he played very well. If Fields is healthy and ready he can dominate just like we know he can. Fields also plays in the MLL with the Charlotte Hounds as he did play a few game in 2018 before re-aggravating his knee injury. 

11. San Diego (from Saskatchewan) - Connor Kearnan, RF, Canisius/Brooklin Redmen

This is another kid that I just can't wait to see on the floor come December. Kearnan has had a good run over the summer in Sr.B with the Brooklin Merchants for five games. Kearnan also played in the MSL with the Brooklin Redmen and dominated there as well. We have seen this kid have success on the field too with Canisius as he brought a lot of energy to their squad and led them on the NCAA tournament run. Kearnan can score pass and is big and physical as well. His game will be able to translate very well to the next level.

12. Calgary (Compensatory) - Eli Salama, RD, RIT/Langley Thunder

Calgary picked Eli Salama out of RIT and the Langley Thunder with the 12 pick of the draft. Salama had a great career in Jr. A as a defensemen with the Adanacs and had a decent year with Langley in the WLA this past summer. He is a guy that should be able to contribute and grow as a player in Calgary.

13. Calgary (Compensatory) - Reece Callies, RT, Colorado Mesa/Langley Thunder

The righty transition player out of Colorado Mesa and the Langley Thunder is a big and tall guys that might surprise some people in his rookie year. He had a good career in college at Colorado Mesa and has played well in Jr. A over the past two summers. Callies, like all guys coming from Jr, will be tested a little more than he ever has and it may take him some time to transition into the NLL speed and physicality.

Second Round

14. Philadelphia - Trevor Baptiste, RF, Denver/Fighting Bison

15. San Diego - Ryan Hartley, G, Orangeville Northmen Jr.A

16. Rochester (from Vancouver via Sask.) - Luke Van-Schepen, LD, Siena/Brampton Excelsiors

17. San Diego (from Rochester) - Graydon Bradley, RT, Coquitlam Adanacs Jr.A 

18. Georgia (from Toronto) - Joel Tinney, LD, John Hopkins

19. Georgia (from Calgary via Buffalo) - Steve Orleman, G, Brampton Excelsiors

20. Georgia (from New England) - Leroy Halftown, LF, NYIT/Onondaga RedHawks

21. Georgia - Travis Burton, LD, Brampton Excelsiors Jr. A

*( Georgia trades the #21and a 4th round 2020 pick to Vancouver for a 2nd round 2019 pick)*

22. Colorado - Kyle Killen, RIT/Coburg Kodiaks

23. Calgary (from Rochester via Georgia) - Adam Dickson, RF, High Point/Maple Ridge Burrards

24. Toronto (from Saskatchewan via NE) - Brad Lyons, LD, Peterborough Lakers

25. Philadelphia - James Leary, D, Vermont

26. New England (from San Diego) - Jackson Nishimura - Guelph/Toronto Beaches Jr.A

Third Round

27. San Diego - Derek Lloyd, RT, Stony Brook/Victoria Shamrocks

28. Philadelphia - Justin Guterding, F, Duke

29. Vancouver - Nate Wade, RD, Tusculum/Nanaimo Timbermen

30. Colorado (from Buffalo) - Dennon Armstrong, LF, Coquitlam Adanacs Jr. A

31. New England (from Toronto) - Ethan Woods, G, Barrie Lakeshores OLA Jr. A

32. Vancouver (from Calgary via New England) - Jean-Luc Chetner, LF, Towson/Maple Ridge Burrards

33. San Diego from New England) - Connor Kelly, RF, Maryland

34. Georgia - Tal Bruno, T, Johns Hopkins

*(Georgia trades the #34 pick to New England for a 2021 third round pick)*

35. Colorado - Julian Garritano, LD, Sacred Heart/Brooklin Redmen

36. Rochester - Oran Horn, LT, Mercyhurst/Six Nations Chiefs

37. Saskatchewan - Ryan McLean, RD, Calgary Mountaineers Jr. A

38. San Diego - Jules Henningburg, RF, Rutgers

39. Philadelphia - Kyle Staveley, LD, Ottawa/Orangeville Northmen Jr. A

Fourth Round

40. Philadelphia - Nick Damude, G, St. Catherines Athletics Jr. A

*(Philadelphia trades the #40 pick to Rochester for a fourth round 2019 pick)*

41. San Diego -Austin Divitcos, LD, Rutgers/Orangeville Northmen

42. Vancouver - Dallas Wade, RD, Tusculum/Victoria Shamrocks

43. Buffalo - Devlin Shanahan, G, Mimico Mountaineers Jr. A

44. Toronto - AJ Kluck, LD, Albany/Burnaby Lakers 

45. Calgary - Carter Dickson, LF, St. Leo/Westminster Salmonbellies

46. Georgia (from New England) - Justin Lemke, D, Whitby Warriors

47. Georgia - John Sexton, RD/T, Notre Dame

48. Colorado - Dylan Laprade, RD, Brock/Burlington Chiefs Jr. A

49. Rochester - Dawson Theede, LD, Whitby Warriors

50. San Diego (from Saskatchewan) - Zach Bryant, LF, Robert Morris/Carington

51. Philadelphia - Christian Cuccinello, F, Villanova

52. San Diego - Zac Christianson, RD, Robert Morris/Victoria Shamrocks

Fifth Round

53. San Diego - Sean Mayle, D, Denver

54. Philadelphia - Connor Keating, D, Penn

55. Vancouver - Braylon Lumb, RF, Victoria Shamrock Jr. A

56. Calgary (from Buffalo) - Sean Tyrell, RF, Umass Lowell/New Westminster Salmonbellies

57. Toronto - Scott Dominey, LT, Nipissing/Orangeville Northmen Jr. A

58. Calgary - Tyson Kirkness, LD, Coquitlam Adanacs Jr. A

59. New England - Dereck Downs, LF, Wheeling Jesuit/Brampton Excelsiors

60. Georgia - Tanner Poole, LT, Nipissing/New Westminster Jr. A

61. Georgia (from Colorado) - Nolan Apers, LF, Lehigh/Oakville Titans Sr. B

62. Rochester - Dylan Riley, RD, Langley Thunder 

63. Saskatchewan - Dalton Lupul, LT, New Westminster Salmonbellies

Sixth Round

64. Philadelphia - Michael Rexrode, RD, Rutgers

65. San Diego - Jake Cook, LT, Providence/Burlington Chiefs Jr. A

66. Vancouver - Jon Phillips, LF, Umass Lowell/Nanaimo Timbermen 

67. Saskatchewan (from Buffalo) - Tyler Gaulton, LD, Linestone/Peterborough Lakers 

68. Toronto - Michael Gustavsen, RD, Toronto Beaches Jr. A

69. Calgary - Chayse McIntyre, RF, Jacksonville/Maple Ridge Burrards

70. New England - Matt Lee, RT, Wheeling Jesuit/Oakville Titans Sr. B

71. Georgia - Sawyer Howell, RD, Mimico Mountaineers

72. Colorado - Steven Lee, RD, Burlington Chiefs Jr. A

73. Rochester - Leland Powless, F, Six Nations Arrows

74. Saskatchewan - Zach Gould, LF, Saskatchewan S.W.A.T