Boston Cannons Protected Players Analysis

After missing the playoffs in each of the last two season, the Boston Cannons rebounded by making the playoffs and almost pulling off an upset over the New York Lizards. Despite trading away star midfielder Paul Rabil, the team seemed to be more balanced on offense. Defensively, the Cannons also got a big boost thanks to the emergence of Scott Ratliff both as a defender as well as a big threat offensively.

Now that the team is set for the future moving forward with young stars such as Will Manny and Ratliff, the Cannons will head into the offseason with these 23 players on the team.

Here is a look at all the players the Cannons decided to protect as well as what it means going forward.


Brent Adams, Martin Bowes, Kevin Buchanan, Rob Emery, Tyler German, John Glesener, Josh Hawkins, Max Seibald, Ryan Tucker

The Cannons midfield was devoid of a major threat entering the season after trading away Rabil in the offseason. That wasn’t to say that it didn’t have talent. After all, Seibald was one of the best players in the nation but injuries have slowed him down. Meanwhile, Emery and Tucker were both high round draft picks.

In 2016, the Cannons have a good foundation of what they will have moving forward. They have a nice blend of youth and experience and their entire midfield can produce. Buchanan and Seibald both had productive seasons as they recorded 30 and 28 points in 2015 and they should draw the top pole or short stick defensive middie depending on the matchups next season. Lastly, Brent Adams rounds out that midfield after recording 24 points.

An encouraging sign for the Cannons is their second midfield is pretty darn good. Ryan Tucker should build off an encouraging rookie season that saw him record 10 points in only six games. With a full offseason under his belt and the ability to produce for a full season as well, he should put up anywhere between 20 and 30 points next season. Meanwhile, Emery had 16 points and Glesener will be a stud for them after having 12 points in six games.

Finally, Josh Hawkins is a freak athletically and really helps them in between the lines. He is one of the top SSDM’s in the game and helped their defense improve.

Bottomline, there is a lot to like about the future of this midfield unit as it is more well balanced than before and should take a lot of heat off a very talented attack unit.


Craig Bunker, Joe Nardella

There may be a changing of the guard here for the Cannons at the faceoff X as Nardella should take over for Bunker. Nardella went 30-of-46 in only two games played for the Cannons. In the playoffs he went 14-of-33 but that is a tough task for a rookie to go against the MVP and best faceoff man in the game in Greg Gurenlian.

While Bunker is a solid second option as a veteran with experience, it wouldn’t shock me to see the Cannons add another faceoff man moving forward in the draft and let Bunker walk. Bunker took the majority of the faceoffs and won only 46 percent of them.


Jordan Burke, Adam Ghitelman, Jack Murphy

A really solid group here for the Cannons. Burke has steadily emerged as a Top 4 goalie in the MLL, at least statistically as he ranked third in save percentage (.571), fourth in saves (186), and fourth in goals allowed per game (13.06). Ghitelman is a solid backup who has experience leading teams to MLL championship games such as back in 2013 when he helped the Hounds to a stunning upset over the undefeated Denver Outlaws before falling to the Chesapeake Bayhawks.

Meanwhile, Murphy is a solid third option as he was one of the better goalies in college before joining the Cannons after graduation.


Davey Emala, Will Manny, Wells Stanwick, Ryan Young

One of the better attack units in all of the MLL. Obviously Will Manny leads the way as he led the team with 44 points last season. Davey Emala was also a stud with a 38-point season that saw him win the MLL’s Most Improved Player of the Year award. Meanwhile, Stanwick is going to be a really good third attackman to go with Emala and Manny. Stanwick was one of the best feeders in college and should have a field day dishing it to Manny and Emala as well as a talented midfield unit. Finally, Ryan Young is a fiery veteran who provides good experience for a young attack unit, however, his production hasn’t been the same since posting a 40-point season in 2013.

It wouldn’t shock anyone to see the Cannons add a another young attackman to possibly replace Young in a couple of years.


Mitch Belisle, Scott McWilliams, Brodie Merrill, Chad Weidmaier, Scott Ratliff

Defensively, the Cannons have one of the top defensemen in the league in Scott Ratliff. Ratliff was a very good defender and had 20 points on the season! That was good for sixth on the team. The rest of the defensive group isn’t too shabby either as Belisle, McWilliams and Weidmaier are all experienced and very solid. They can each take on the No. 2 or No. 3 attackmen on opposing teams.

Soon-to-be Hall of Famer Brodie Merrill wasn’t as active this season as he only played in seven games this year but he was still pretty productive as he scooped up 33 ground balls on the season. That ranked him fourth on the team in half the games as everyone else!

This team boasts the top man-down unit in the MLL as well as the fourth best defensive team overall. They should continue to improve and could upgrade the position in one of the first two rounds of the draft.


The Cannons are one or two pieces away from being a real contender for the MLL Championship in 2o16. If they can maybe add another defensive midfielder and a another long pole, this defense could be very good. Overall though, the Cannons are set up very well for the future.