Toronto Rock: 2017 NLL Draft Preview

ANNAPOLIS, MD - JULY 16: Boston Cannons stick, helmet and gloves on the field before a MLL Lacrosse game against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on July 16, 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
ANNAPOLIS, MD - JULY 16: Boston Cannons stick, helmet and gloves on the field before a MLL Lacrosse game against the Chesapeake Bayhawks at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on July 16, 2015 in Annapolis, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

After a 2016 draft which saw the Toronto Rock take select defenders with four of their five picks, where will they go with this year’s picks?

The Toronto Rock knocked the ball out of the park in terms of draft picks last year. Their first three picks — Challen Rogers, Latrell Harris, and Jordan Magnuson — were all opening night starters.

In last years draft, the Rock held two of the first 12 picks. This year, however, they will not pick until the second round, 18th overall.

That is assuming none of the first round picks are on the move. Something that looks unlikely to happen. Both the Georgia Swarm and Rochester Knighthawks hold three picks apiece in the first round.

There have been rumours circulating about forward Stephan Leblanc being on the move in exchange for a first-round pick. With the acquisition of star forward Adam Jones a few months ago, the logjam at forward could force the Rock to make a move.

But that situation will be sorted out tonight. For now, let’s look at what the Rock could do with each of their current picks.

Second Round, 18th Overall

Eric Fannell, LF, Oakville Rock & Ohio State University

It’s easy to make the Oakville connection when it comes to the Rock’s selections. Oakville plays at the Rock’s practice facility and both teams are owned by Jamie Dawick and run by Toronto’s staff.

Fanell is a big body who can be a good crease-side scorer for the Rock. He had a solid couple of years for Ohio State, but will need to up his production in the box game. He is worth a long look and is definitely someone that Toronto will be looking at with #18.

J.P. Kealey, LF, Robert Morris University & Langley Thunder

If the Rock does go with a forward at 18, they will almost positively be looking for a lefty. Kealey has been riddled with injuries during his career. But look at his output for this season and he’s more than worth a look out the front door.

The Ottawa, Ont. native finished with 43 points in 12 games against top competition for Langley. Robert Morris is also famous for turning out some of the best Canadian box players.

Jeff Wittig, LF, St. Catherines Athletics (Jr. A)

The Rock struck gold with Latrell Harris last year. One of his teammates could be a solid grab. The forward finished second in scoring for the Athletics this summer, with 56 points in 19 games.

He has renounced his NCAA eligibility to make the jump early, so it will be interesting to see the draft pans out for him.

Third Round, 30th Overall

Riley Hutchcraft, G, Mimico Mountaineers (Jr. A)

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I believe that this is the pick for the Rock, assuming that he doesn’t go before this pick. The Rock is set for goaltending this season, however, backup Brandon Miller has only signed a one-year contract and the 38-year-old most likely won’t be back next season.

Add that with the departure of third-string goaltender Steve Fryer departing for Colorado this offseason and the Rock have a hole to fill in the future.

Hutchcraft had a stellar year with Mimico, backstopping them to the Minto Cup. The Rock would have a place for him on the practice roster until they have an opening next season behind Nick Rose.

Hutchcraft is also a Toronto native so the fit seems perfect for both.

Connor Laird, LD, Brookilin Redmen

Laird is a quiet defender, which is exactly what you want at the pro level. He’s got a year of senior lacrosse under his belt and will have tons of eyes on him in the middle rounds. Not much to talk about with him, he just gets the job done.

Joe French, RF, University of Virginia & Oakville Rock

There are a lot of logistical issues with French. He lives in the U.S. which makes it hard for a team to fly him in every week if he’s not a staple in the lineup.

However, French did play some games with Oakville this summer. You can’t discount that connection, especially if the Rock want to keep French as depth on the right side.

He is a skilled scorer who has experience in both box and field. He can bring value as long as the travel is fine for the team that takes him.

Fourth Round, 35th Overall / Fourth Round, 40th Overall

Going to group these two together as the same players will likely be available with both picks.

Steph Charbonneau, LD, Barrie Lakeshores & Coquitlam Adanacs (Jr. A)

Stephen Stamp of has the Rock taking Charbonneau with their first pick of the fourth. He was the captain with Barrie and now has now played in a Minto Cup with Coquitlam in the Minto Cup. That experience is invaluable.

He can be a good depth piece for the Rock, who could be losing a few defenders in the coming years. Down the road, he could be a reliable asset for them.

Jake Cullen, LF, Nanaimo Timbermen & University of Albany

Another lefty forward for the Rock to take a look at. Another big body option if they cant get Fanell in the first round. They found a diamond in the rough with Reid Reinholdt last season. Although that was a free agent signing, Cullen has the ability to fill a role for the Rock.

Isaiah Davis-Allen, RD, University of Maryland

The Rock hasn’t been known to take chances with NCAA talent that hasn’t played box before. Davis-Allen is definitely worth a pick. He’s a great athlete and is used to covering the best athletes in the NCAA as a short-stick defensive midfielder.

He should be able to translate quickly to the NLL and has all the tools to make an impact on the Rock defence.

With Harris, Rogers, Damon Edwards, and Jesse Gamble on the back end, the defence is moving more towards athleticism and transition ability. Davis-Allen can bring all those things to the table.

After the successes of Tom Schreiber and Kieran McArdle last season, It’s hard to argue against the Rock taking chances on other American field talents.


Nik Farrus, LF, Orangeville Northmen (Jr. B)

Another Stamp mock draft pick for the Rock, Farrus had a great showing at the Founders Cup, with 35 points in the tournament. The Rock loves their Orangeville guys and he brings playmaking ability to the table.

Another great depth piece if Toronto does decide to take him.

The Other two picks

I keep going back to Stamp’s mock because he is the best at predicting the NLL Draft by far. His last two predictions for the Rock I believe are spot on. So let’s go through them.

With their fifth rounder, he had the Rock taking Andrew Garant, a lefty forward from the Windsor Clippers junior B. program. There is another connection with this pick as Rock forward Brett Hickey graduated from the same program as Garant.

He will need to play against better competition before being considered a viable option for full-time NLL duty.

With their last pick, he predicted that the Rock would take Alec Tulett, a defender that has made a name for himself in the field game.

He is extremely athletic, has great defensive ability and is a big body (6’3″, 185). He is from Toronto and played two seasons for the Toronto Beaches in Jr. A.

He would be a great addition for the Rock defence.


The NLL Draft gets underway at 7pm from the Toronto Rock Athletic Complex in Oakville, Ont. The Buffalo Bandits will have the first selection. Check out the draft live at

Next: Toronto Rock acquire Adam Jones from Saskatchewan