Toronto Rock: 2015 NLL Draft one of the most anticipated in history
The NLL draft usually represents one of the most intriguing times of the year for Toronto Rock fans, and indeed those around the NLL. This year will be no different.
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In fact, the 2015 draft – which will take place on Monday, September 28th – is set to be arguably the most exciting draft in the 30-year history of the NLL. This year’s draft class has been proclaimed as one of the deepest and most talented groups ever assembled.
Rock fans are in the fortunate position where they will be able to get an up-close look as all the action unfolds. That is because the draft will be held at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC) in Oakville, Ontario, beginning at 7:00 pm ET.
A lot of mock drafts have Lyle Thompson of the University at Albany – the first-ever back-to-back winner of the Tewaaraton Trophy for men’s lacrosse player of the year – as the first overall draft selection. The Georgia Swarm currently hold the rights to this pick, after obtaining them from the New England Black Wolves.
In an interesting twist to this potential scenario, it has been argued in some quarters that the University of Denver’s Wesley Berg is actually a slightly better prospect. However, the rationale behind picking Thompson, is to pair him with his brother Miles, in order to provide both a competitive and marketing advantage for the recently relocated Swarm.
May 25, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Denver Pioneers attacker Wesley Berg (14) attempts to run past the defense of Maryland Terrapins defender Casey Ikeda (3) during the third quarter of the NCAA division I men’s lacrosse championship game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
In fairness, this move would make a lot of sense, with the Swarm looking to make an instant impression in a new market place. In fact, given that they also hold three additional first round picks (third, fifth and sixth), team owners John and Andy Arlotta will likely be extremely excited about the future of their organisation.
Regardless of who the Swarm do end up taking, there is plenty of talent to share around. Other highly-touted players expected to go in the first round include; Graeme Hossack (Lindenwood University), Jesse King (Ohio State University) and Randy Staats (Syracuse University).
The Rochester Knighthawks are another franchise well-positioned to cash in, with the second overall draft pick. This almost seems unfair, when you consider they are a perennial contender. (In 2014, the Knighthawks became the first franchise in NLL history to win three consecutive championships.)
Ironically, the Toronto Rock’s own success last season would have had them selecting second last in the first round. However, they don’t even have this pick now, after trading it to the Black Wolves last August, as part of the deal which brought in Brodie Merrill. (For what it’s worth, Merrill has been nominated for 2015 Transition Player of the Year.)
In total, the Rock have five selections for the 2015 draft, including two in the second round (10th and 17th overall). They also hold one pick in the third round (29th) and two in the final round (53rd and 54th).
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