In the 2014 MLL Supplemental Draft on December 11, 2013, Ken Clausen was selected by the Denver Outlaws as a 6th round draft pick. Ken has been a member of the Outlaws for the past three years, but has been plagued by knee injuries. In 2013 the Outlaws placed him on injured reserve t0 rehab his knee.
There has been some skepticism regarding the Outlaws decision to sign Clausen because of his injury situation. On December 13, 2013, Kyle Devitte, a writer from “Inside Lacrosse” commented in a recent article “How many times can you sustain a serious knee injury and come back to play at the highest level of your sport?” He further stated “I hope Clausen proves me wrong—by all accounts he is a fantastic human being—but I do question his selection because that is my job”.
To those of you who are unfamiliar with Ken Clausen, the 6’2” defensemen started playing lacrosse in high school and went on to play for the Virginia Cavaliers from 2007 through 2010. He was the No. 1 defensemen in high school and the No. 10 overall recruit in the country. He was a Four-time All-American at Virginia and started every game. He received the USILA’s William C. Schmeisser award as the nation’s top defensemen in 2010, Under Armour All-American, Two-time defensive MVP and team Captain at Virginia, and Pottstown Mercury Player of the Year as a junior. He won two First-team All-American honors during two seasons with the Virginia Cavaliers and guided them to back-to-back Final Four Appearances. He was drafted 5th overall in the 2010 MLL draft by the Denver Outlaws and was the 22nd pick in the NLL draft by the Colorado Mammoth.
So what can Ken bring to the Outlaws? He is a strong D pole, has an extreme knowledge of the game and is a team player. But how is he feeling about playing again after three years of being on IR? Unfortunately Clausen was unavailable for comment, but the simple fact that he is back shows his dedication and passion for the game.
To quote Christopher Spangler, the new Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Outlaws, “I know he played in the Denver University vs. Denver Outlaws scrimmage on October 19th and played well as an LSM. He’s doing off season workouts to get ready for the season and he’s excited to be playing again.”
When asked if he would expand on the workouts he’s planned for Ken as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Denver Outlaws and what other PT he will need to get his knee back to 100%, Christopher said “I can’t expand yet because we haven’t sat down to discuss a full plan and I wouldn’t want to give misinformation.”
There is a lot of tough competition on the defensive end for the Outlaws squad with Matt Bocklet, Chris O’Doughtery, Dillon Roy, Michael Simon, and Lee Zink, in addition to the other four defensemen added in the Supplemental Draft.
His experience and love of the sport speaks accolades about his lacrosse career, and if Clausen can stay healthy, he’s going to be a real asset to the Outlaws as a veteran player who is dedicated to the game. Ken seems to have the attitude that you never give up, and push yourself to be the best no matter what it takes.