With a week like this in the National Lacrosse League. I couldn’t just touch on a few players in the OJLL. It simply doesn’t do the up-and-coming talent the justice it deserves. The next few drafts are going to be stacked with high end talent both Canadian and American. This is amazing for the sport of lacrosse. The more that Americans start to play the sport at the grassroots only means more eyes on the sport, more viewers and ultimately, the great sport of box lacrosse will grow.
I’ll give Stephen Stamp lots of credit. The mock drafts aren’t easy. There’s so much that goes into it. Best available, what do teams need, and now, for this years draft, who can play this year and who do I have to wait for due to COVID-19 and the NCAA giving athletes an extra year of eligibility. That makes last years and this years draft so much more interesting and so much more difficult. In the end, I can say all I want, but really the true experts of it all are the ones in the war room on Saturday, August 28th. They are the gm’s, the coaches, and the scouts of every single team. They know what they want, and they know what they need.
A reminder to any of the draftees reading this - it doesn’t matter what round you go in. It doesn’t matter what pick you are overall. I hate to break it to you, but there are not any big signing bonuses in the NLL like the National Football League. What matters the most is what you do with your opportunity. Take me for an example. I was drafted in the second round, 17th overall. I had a decent first year. The following year I was cut. Then I was lucky enough to make the most of an opportunity signing as a free agent. Moral of the story, the guys I got cut for aren’t even in the league anymore. They may have played a season or two. So, really it doesn’t matter. What matters the most is how prepared you are coming into camp. The best piece of advice someone told me, “Go into every year like you’re a rookie. Go into every year like you’re trying to earn your spot and prove to the coaches that you belong.” Well, that’s enough of my trade secrets. Let’s get right to it. The best available in the NLL 2021 Draft.
Note* Draft order is from “Swarm It Up”.
Panther City LC - Jonathan Donville - He’s the best player that is available in the draft, but rumours have it that he won’t be taken first overall. Time will tell.
Georgia - Adam Charalambides - I don’t know Adam personally, but I know him through The Hill Academy. This past year he spoke to our student-athletes and all I could think about is how I would love to play with him. I have a feeling he might go higher than where he is slotted.
Buffalo - Tehoka Nanticoke - I'm excited to see the human highlight reel do more of that (just please, not against me).
Vancouver - Ryan Lanchbury - what a heck of a player. High ceiling for Ryan. He’s been a fun player to watch over the years and I feel like he’s been in college forever.
San Diego - Kyle Waters - I feel like if he tried he could be the number one player in this draft, but that’s from only watching him with Brampton over the 3 week season.
Calgary - Mike McCannel - I love Mike. He’s a great player and a great person. He’s NLL ready and will be a great asset to any team and is a first rounder for sure.
Saskatchewan - Jake Boudreau - My fellow RMU boy. He can really do it all. Played out the back door in his first couple jr seasons with Brampton and then played offence. He got to learn from the best in the world Jeff Teat and my fellow Thunderbird, Clarke Petterson, so I think Jake was in good hands.
Saskatchewan - Ryan Barnable - so impressive watching him this past season with Whitby. He’s a proven winner and is always making an impact on the floor. Which team gets him is lucky to have him.
Georgia - Jerry Staats - I have him slotted very high. I think Jerry is a special talent. Worthy of a First rounder? I think so. Some may disagree and I’m guessing more offensive players will be taken before him. Regardless, Jerry is tough and hard to play against. He’s the next Sid Smith IMO.
Philadelphia - Corson Kealey - Another RMU boy. Yes, I have them both in the top 10. Corson can do it all. He works hard. Slick hands. And will do whatever needs to be done in order to win.
Panther City LC - Patrick Shoemay - I haven’t seen him play much, but from the small sample that I’ve seen and to people I have spoken with, I think this is a fitting spot for him.
Halifax - Thomas Vaeson - I haven’t seen him play much and others have him slotted higher, but the big man will have an impact in this league.
Buffalo - Justin Inacio - Like I said in my previous write up, he is the next Jake Withers and has a high ceiling. I don’t know if anyone will ever be Jake, but Justin is the next closest thing to his game.
Buffalo - Jack Kelly - He hasn’t played “box” in a while, but when he does and when he is healthy, he is one heck of a player to watch.
Calgary - Will Johnston - Like my previous article, Will has a very high ceiling. I think it’s worth it to take a risk on a young goalie and develop him.
Albany - Chris Orilieri - You can probably call Will and Chris 1A and 1A. Chris was very impressive for Orangeville this past season with a young team in front of him. He will be the backbone for the Northmen for the next few years. I would draft and develop him as well. Goalies are the reason why teams win in this league. I think teams need to seriously consider taking them early in this draft or they will regret it in 5 years.
Panther City LC - Carter Zavitz - I sure do love coaching his brother Keaton and if they’re anything alike then Carter would be a great teammate, coachable and someone you want to build around. The OJLL Champs skillset speaks for itself.
Halifax - Cam Badour - Like Jack Kelly, he hasn’t played in a while, but the product of Ottawa and Duke is a special talent. How do I have him slipping this far?
Rochester - Nathan Grenon - I know a certain someone from the OTTCAPS twitter account won’t be impressed that Grenon has slipped this far as well, but I think he still has some work to do before he cracks a line up full time. Then again, he’s a lefty and there’s always a need for lefty offensive players.
Colorado - Thomas Semple - I can only imagine him playing with Zed. This kid has a lot of potential and a lot of skill.
Georgia - Patrick Kaschalk - There’s always space for a lefty defenceman in this league. The product of Windsor, Ontario and Stony Brook university has a lot of upside.
Calgary - Jackson Reid - some have him a lot lower, but I think this kid has a lot of potential. It will be interesting to see where he falls.
San Diego - Keegan Khan - I am very biased here and I don’t think a lot of people know about him, but Keegan is a special lacrosse players. The standout from Villanova and recent transfer to Maryland will surprise a lot of people.
Georgia - Riley Curtis - Riley is one of the most talented lacrosse players I’ve ever seen. I think he’s very deserving of being even higher, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen him play competitive box lacrosse.
New York - Kyle Kolwich
Buffalo - Taite Cattoni - I didn’t like coaching against him in the RMLL. He was a nightmare to game plan for. If Cattoni can shoot the ball or play like his brother, then watch out. Good genes and a good family.
Panther City LC - Jordan Ackie
Halifax - Chris Fake - Big and tough. I hope more Americans like Chris Fake play box lacrosse in the NLL. The League is craving it and I think Chris would be a good fit for the league and slot into any defence very nicely.
Halifax - Devin Pipher - The Whitby product has a lot of upside. When you grow up playing in markets like Whitby, Orangeville, Six Nations, New West, COQ, you’re going to learn how to play the game the right way and learn from some amazing coaches.
Georgia - Skkylar Thomas - Small with lots of skill. I think if he takes the game seriously, he can do really well in the NLL.
Panther City LC - Jacob Dunbar
New York - Kealan Pilon
Rochester - Hunter Lemieux
Vancouver - Liam Limoges
Georgia - Tyler Stinson
Calgary - Cole Kirby
Rochester - Hunter Aggus
Philadelphia - Jonathan Gagliardi
Georgia - Will Cecile
Georgia - Colin Munro
Saskatchewan - Ethan Forgrave
Halifax - Drew Hutchison
Saskatchewan - Tristan Hannah
Vancouver - Mitch Lanklater
Panther City LC - Jack Hannah
Philadelphia - Mackenzie Burke
Rochester - Jake Harrington
Vancouver - Liam Phillps
San Diego - Kealan Pilon
Calgary - Troy Lauder
Colorado - Ty Yanko
Philadelphia - Kyle Hebert
Georgia - Max Wilson
Buffalo - Jordan Medeiros
Toronto - Jake Parkinson
Colorado - Carson Rees
Saskatchewan - Kobe Robinson
Albany - Daniel Wheeler
Panther City LC - Lucas Shein
San Diego - Mathieu Jung
New York - Nathan Salaris
Vancouver - Ashton Leclair
San Diego - Teddy Leggett
Calgary - Bryce Schmermund
Colorado - Owen S Hill
Philadelphia - Owen Prybylski
Georgia - Curtis Hall
Buffalo - Nick Genova
Toronto - Mitch Zulian
Halifax - Troy Gutowski
Saskatchewan - Matt Shand
Albany - Austin Wahl
Panther City LC
New York - Jake Stott
New York - Phil Buque
Vancouver - Caleb Kueber
San Diego - James Houston
Calgary - Aidan Danby
Colorado - Conner Whyte
Philadelphia - Garret Winter
Georgia - Kaleb Martin
Buffalo - Koichi Nakamura
Toronto - Matthew Cromie
Halifax - Cole Martin
Saskatchewan - Keagan White
Albany - Michael Harris