The Minnesota Swarm have become notorious for collecting draft picks and using a young team. Sometimes it has made them look like an up and coming exciting team, and in other cases, like 2014, it can make them a bad lacrosse club. The Swarm traded their number one pick this year but they gained the third overall. It leads to the question, how has their draft pick philosophy worked?
4th- Andrew Suitor
15th- Scott Rodgers
18th- Josh Gillam
27th- Ryan Hurley
45th- John McClure
55th- Steven Waldeck
In Minnesota’s defense, this was not a great draft. The first four picks were Cody Jamieson, Kyle Rubisch, Curtis Dickson and Andrew Suitor, all of which are elite players. Jarrett Davis went fifth, a good pick, and then Dan MacRae, but it goes downhill from there. David Brock, Brandon Ivey, Travis Irving and Ryan McClelland round out the rest of a weak first round. Only Brock remains in the NLL.
Minnesota did well to get Suitor, but only Gillam has remained an NLL player. Rodgers, a field lacrosse goaltender, never played a game. To draft him, Minnesota skipped Derek Hopcroft and Brodie MacDonald (MacDonald is now on the Swarm anyways).
Hurley never played a game with the Swarm. They passed on John LaFontaine, Alex Kedoh Hill and Rob Hellyer in that third round. It gets even worse from there. McClure played one game with the Swarm in 2011 and the Dowling product had no impact at all. To draft him, the Swarm passed on Jimmy Purves, Ryan Dilks, and Jarrett Toll.
The last pick, Waldeck, also never played but being a sixth round pick, that round can be tough anyways. They did pass on Zak Boychuk and Eric Lewthwaite.
The Swarm traded their 13th overall pick to Buffalo (Ben McCullough) and a third rounder in 2011 (Jerome Thompson) for the 15th and 27th picks which were Rodgers and Hurley. They also traded the 34th overall pick (Kyle O’Brien) to Toronto for their 2011 third rounder (David Earl). Lastly, they traded their 54th pick (Chase Williams) to Boston for Matt Lyons.
Buffalo may have gotten the best deal out of all of that, but none was really impactful.
4th- Jordan MacIntosh
6th- Evan Kirk
12th- Corbyn Tao
19th- Jay Card
27th- David Earl
29th- Brian Karalunas
31st- Pat Smith
39th- Jeremy Boltus
48th- Todd Baxter
This draft was pretty good for Minnesota. MacIntosh became an impact player while Earl, Card, Smith and Tao at some point have contributed. Kirk has emerged as one of the better goalies in the league before he was traded to Philadelphia. The Swarm received 2015 and 2017 first rounders.
The approach here was to go with the field lacrosse players. Boltus never worked out because of his Army commitment while Karalunas and Baxter never saw the floor.
To draft Karalunas, Minnesota missed on Craig England, a marginal player in the league. The only players of note they missed on with Baxter were Brett Hickey and Joey Cupido.
When Minnesota took Tao they passed on Jordan McBride, Jamie Lincoln, Tye Belanger, Jeff Cornwall, Jesse Gamble and Frankie Scigliano.
The Swarm had lost their third pick in this draft to Buffalo but gained a pick from Toronto, which turned out to be Earl. Minnesota acquired the pick that became Kirk from Edmonton by sending them Aaron Wilson, Ryan Cousins, and Kevin Croswell. The pick of Jay Card was acquired from Toronto for Josh Sanderson and Nick Inch.
2nd- Brock Sorensen
3rd- Kiel Matisz
4th- Shayne Jackson
10th- Alex Crepisneck
24th- Sam Bradman
37th- Tyler Tanguay
42nd- Bryan Campbell
46th- Matt Gibson
49th- Michael Teeter
51st- Chris Cudmore
No draft is perfect, but the Swarm did pretty well for themselves here. Their top four picks have all been impact players for the past two seasons while Gibson played well in his one season with the club.
However, after their top four picks, the draft mostly gets very weak. Bradman never played because of his commitment with STX. Tanguay and Campbell never even touched the league. Teeter and Cudmore have been mainstays at training camps.
Bradman was picked 24th; the Swarm could have chosen Rob Campbell or Kyle Belton, both now with Philadelphia. Instead of Tanguay, the Swarm had a shot at CJ Costabile. In the last round was Kyle Buchanan who broke out in 2014.
The Swarm traded the 33rd and 35th picks (Simon Giourmetakis and Mitch Bannister) for the 37th and 46th (Tyler Tanguay and Matt Gibson) pick from Edmonton along with Edmonton’s third round pick in 2013 (Zach Palmer).
Minnesota got the 49th pick (Michael Teeter) from Calgary for the Swarm’s sixth rounder in 2013 (Brendan Ranford). The third overall pick was acquired from Buffalo for Shawn Williams and Brendan Doran.
Shayne Jackson’s pick was acquired from Toronto for Nick Inch and Josh Sanderson, the same trade that allowed Minnesota to draft Card.
1st- Logan Schuss
2nd- Jason Noble
4th- Cam Flint
6th- Scott Jones
21st- Reid Acton
23rd- Zach Palmer
29th- Jordan Houtby
39th- Dominique Alexander
42nd- JJ Laforet
52nd- Nick Jonas
This draft was very similar to 2012 as in it started well and got worse. However, the 2013 draft was much better as Houtby played in games while Alexander and Palmer are on the practice roster. Jonas was a pick that was a Minnesota product and a throwaway pick. He now plays with the Chicago Outlaws in the CILL.
The Swarm gained the fourth overall pick in return for defenseman Nik Billic. They traded their sixth pick for 2014 to Edmonton for Jonas while they traded their 30th to Edmonton for Laforet and a fourth rounder in 2014.
The first overall pick, Schuss, was from a previous trade that sent Anthony Cosmo to Buffalo. That fourth pick from the Rush they traded for was originally Philadelphia’s but they lost it to Edmonton as a part of the Athan Iannucci trade. Minnesota’s fourth rounder came from Buffalo for Mat Giles. Their third rounder came from Colorado for Jamie Shewchuk.
2014 and Beyond
Minnesota has a first round pick from the Wings in the 2015 draft thanks to a trade that sent Kevin Ross to Philadelphia. They hold Colorado’s first pick in 2015 from the three way trade with Minnesota, Colorado and Philadelphia that sent Kirk to Philly, along with a 2017 first rounder from Philadelphia.
Minnesota has the first pick in 2015 and 2016 from Buffalo for sending Andrew Watt and Ryan Benesch to the Bandits, so the team continues to stockpile draft picks. They currently hold four for 2015’s first round (their own, Colorado, Buffalo and Philadelphia), and 2015 is expected to be the strongest class in a while.
The Swarm also hold Buffalo’s first round pick in this year’s draft because of the Cosmo trade. It is their only first rounder as of now.