It’s been a few days since Friday’s MLL Collegiate Draft and we’ve had time to digest exactly what happened. Here’s a round-by-round evaluation of the draft.
Despite not being a lock to play MLL this summer, Peter Baum – the 2012 Tewaaraton award winner – was the consensus No. 1 pick. Baum and 2012 first round pick Steele Stanwick would be a fantastic duo to build around.
Hamilton got two great defensive midfielders in Chris LaPierre and Josh Hawkins. They are extremely athletic and will boost Hamilton’s struggling defense.
Charlotte also had two first round picks, selecting Tucker Durkin and Mike Sawyer. Durkin should make an immediate impact on the Hounds’ defensive unit and it will be exciting to see Sawyer, a Charlotte native, reunited with former Loyola teammate Eric Lusby.
The Bayhawks getting Jesse Bernhardt works out greatly. He’s a Maryland guy that head coach Dave Cottle originally brought to the school and now brings to the pros. He’s a hard hitter and it’s no secret Chesapeake is a physical on the defensive side of the ball.
The word is Boston wanted LaPierre or Hawkins, but Cam Flint is a nice addition. He’ll push the pace on offense and will elevate the level of play in the midfield alongside Paul Rabil and Kevin Buchanan.
I would have liked to have seen Denver take Loyola LSM Scott Ratliff. His athleticism would’ve been fun to watch in the dynamic offensive stylings of the Outlaws. That being said, before the draft head coach Jim Stagnitta told me he wanted to improve on defense and get a little bigger and tougher. Brian Megill fits that bill perfectly and will look good playing next to Lee Zink.
Ohio got an abundance of help in Round 2 with three consecutive picks. Logan Schuss and Marcus Holman will compliment the offense nicely and Chase Carraro was the best face-off specialist in the draft, something the Machine desperately need help in.
Boston got its man, nabbing local product Will Manny with pick No. 14. He’ll play the third attackman and with steady playing time against the third pole he should continue to develop nicely. Scott Ratliff is a nice addition to the longpoles, even with P.T. Ricci and Brian Farrell already there.
Jason Noble is a talented defenseman that can get takeaways, but his size is a drawback. Still, if he can hang he can give Hamilton’s new-look defensive mindset some help. John Haus was a bit of a reach in the second round but he has progressed in his three years at Maryland.
Chesapeake taking Kevin Cooper may have been another reach for the second round but his size is tantalizing and, like Bernhardt, he’s one of Cottle’s guys.
There was a run of midfielders and the best pickup might have been Denver taking Loyola’s Davis Butts. The Outlaws needed some depth at midfield and Davis is an athletic player that does a good job picking up the loose ball. He’ll be a good addition in Denver.
Rochester took John Ranagan. The midfielder is a pretty big and strong guy but he desperately needs to improve his shooting percentage (.170 last season). The Rattlers also took Ryan Clarke, a midfielder from D3 school Salisbury. He put a lot of points on the board last season (35 goals, 29 assists)but can he play with guys at the MLL level? Was he worth picking over some other guys still on the board? It just seems like a bit of a reach for the third round.
Hamilton took another defender: Casey Carroll, from Duke. He is a really great story. He was a First-Team All-American in 2007 then went away for five years to serve four deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’ll be interesting to see how well he plays after being away for several years. He could be a bargain for the Nationals. The Nationals may have scored an even bigger steal in the same round, getting Army attackman Garrett Thul.
Boston took Lee Coppersmith. He’s lightning fast but he has zero assists in three years. If he is going to play with Paul Rabil, Ryan Boyle, Kevin Buchanan, Matt Poskay, Ari Sussman and Will Manny then that statistic will need to change, even a little bit.
Rochester took John Kemp with the first pick. He’s the best goalie in the class so there’s definitely value there. The Rattlers just also have the solid John Galloway in net as well.
Hamilton went defender for the third consecutive round (fourth if you count defensive midfielders in Round 1) with Loyola’s Reid Acton. He’s got good size on him and has been a starter from his first season at Loyola. He helped the team yield 7.21 goals per game, fifth best in all of Division 1. There’s a lot of value here.
LSM Mason Poli was a guy Charlotte Hounds GM Wade Leaphart was very excited to draft. Poli was an All-American Honorable Mention last season and was even fifth on Bryant in goals scored. Still need to see how he does against top-tier competition but he definitely has talent.
Boston got another UMass player, defender Jake Smith. He’s a local kid who can definitely play and make an impact on the next level. Strong pick-up for the fourth round.
Denver sent Mark Matthews to New York for Will Mangan and pick No. 29, which they used on Denver attackman Eric Law. He can put points on the board and is an accurate shooter, but fans really fell in love with Matthews. Law will always unfairly be compared to Matthews, a tough spot to be in.
Charlotte taking Matt White isn’t a sexy pick, but it is a solid one. He makes the very most of his opportunities and has put up decent numbers against the best competition. He won’t be counted on to be the man, so maybe in the right spots he can do some damage for the Hounds.
There was quite a bit of value to be found in the fifth round (where 2012 Rookie of the Year Matt Gibson was selected last season).
New York made its first selection in the draft and picked up a very good player in Syracuse’s JoJo Marasco. He’s a team captain, wearing the coveted “22”. He’s a good dodger and is good in transition. Playing behind Max Seibald, Marasco should contribute immediately for New York.
Chesapeake also got value when they took Hofstra midfielder Adrian Sorichetti. He does well with the ball in his stick and can put points up on the board at a good rate.
Denver took another attackman (how many can one team have?), drafting Lehigh’s Dante Fantoni. In three years at Lehigh he has never had fewer than 40 points in a season. Nice player, but will he get on the field enough with so many talented attackmen on the Outlaws?
Rochester selected Duke’s Dave Lawson to add him to fellow former Blue Devil Rob Rotanz. Lawson is a solid, workmanlike contributor, but like Ranagan he needs to improve his shooting percentage.
I really liked a few of the selections in this round.
Ohio took Lynchburg defender Joe Lisicky first and he definitely has some skills. He’s a three-year starter going into his senior season, was a First-Team All-American and has good size on him. Good pick-up late in the draft.
Hamilton took Duke midfielder Jake Tripucka. He doesn’t put up gaudy numbers, but he was sixth on Duke in points last season and that team had some very talented offensive players. He doesn’t need to be the man, but he can contribute when he’s called upon.
Rochester had a couple good selections this round as well. Notre Dame defenseman Matt Miller was a key member of a defense that was first in the nation in goals allowed per game (6.31) and was an All-American honorable mention. Lehigh midfielder Noah Molnar is an athletic midfielder with good size, something every team was on the hunt for in this draft.
Ohio took UMass A/M Colin Fleming and there’s some potential just in his size alone. He stands at six-feet-six-inches and 215 pounds. He’s increased his goal tally every season, so this could be a crucial senior season for him.
The Nationals took Hamilton-native and Jacksonville midfielder Cameron Mann next and he should fit in very nicely with this team. He’s instant offense, scoring at least once in every game last season and leading the team in points (41). He’s also the first Jacksonville player in school history to score 100 points.
Charlotte took Yale defenseman Michael McCormack, a strong takeaway defender (34) but will have to fight past his small stature.
His defensive unit teammate Peter Johnson, an All-American Honorable Mention in 2012, was taken next by Rochester. Much like Miller in the previous round, Rochester got some more value on defense late in the draft.
New York also got a nice defender late in Hofstra’s Mark Mullen, a six-foot-three body that matched up against the opposition’s top attackman.
Johns Hopkins Zach Palmer has quick hands and Rochester’s selection of him in the eighth round caught a few eyes.
New York got a potential sleeper in Stony Brook midfielder Jeff Tundo. The Ohio State transfer had an impressive 28 assists and had 45 points, more than either year at Ohio State.
Dillon Ayers, LSM at St. John’s, was selected by the Outlaws. He was one of the first two players in school history to be selected to the All-Big East First-Team and he led the conference in ground balls per game.