Most of the time, teams in the MLL will send in their protected rosters with one or two goalies on it. This year, Denver went ahead and protected three goaltenders in Jesse Schwartzman, Adam Fullerton and Charlie Cipriano.
One has to ask, why would a team protect three goalies? Well, here is just a few things these three keepers have done for the Outlaws:
Schwartzman was selected in the 2007 draft as the 39th overall pick by Denver. He played behind Trevor Tierney in his rookie year, before becoming the starter in 2008 and has been selected to the MLL All Star Game every year since then. With Jesse between the pipes, the Outlaws have put together a 60-23 overall record, making the playoffs all six years, including a 14-0 regular season record this past season.
Fullerton was drafted by Rochester in 2008 and was traded to Denver in 2009. Adam has played in 10 games for the orange and black over the four years, but did not see any field time in 2013. The last time he stepped between the pipes for Denver was in 2012, after he had just got done serving a tour in Afghanistan and was activated from the military reserve list. In those two games, he played a total of 12:39, letting in three goals and making four saves. He was the back up goaltender to Brian Dougherty for the 2010 FIL World Games, where the USA went on to win the gold. During his senior year at Army, Adam was ranked the fifth best goalie in the NCAA by Inside Lacrosse.
Cipriano earned the ECAC of goalie of the year in both 2011 and 2012 at Fairfield. Selected by Denver in the 2012 draft, Charlie has seen action in eight games over the past two seasons, letting in 16 goals, making 26 saves and putting up a .619 save percentage. He’s been a very reliable backup for the Outlaws, giving Schwartzman time to recuperate in their victories this past season.
The lone goalies who were protected are Boston Cannons’ Jordan Burke, Adam Ghitelman for the Charlotte Hounds and Kip Turner of the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Dillon Ward and Brett Queener were protected by the Hamilton Nationals, who are moving to Florida for the 2014 season. New York went on to keep Drew Adams and Sean Brady, as the Ohio Machine gave slots to Brian Phipps and Scott Rodgers. Assuredly, Rochester is keeping the John’s, Galloway and Kemp, in Rattlers uniforms.
As previously mentioned, protecting three goalies is unusual for a team to do, with the average being one to two. Some organizations choose to protect one or two and give the extra slot to a much needed offensive or defensive player. What the idea was behind protecting these three goaltenders is hard to interpret, but I’m sure the Outlaws front office has a game plan in store heading into the Supplemental and Collegiate drafts.