The Rochester Rattlers are in an interesting spot heading into the MLL collegiate draft. They finished last regular season with the best record in the league and found themselves in the championship game. In the offseason, they only lost one regular player in Kevin Leveille. The biggest gaps in their roster are only due to NLL commitments as most of their players who also coach NCAA lacrosse did not have major conflicts last season.
Even then, their top three scorers are not NLL players including their number two scorer Jordan Wolf who only played in half their games. The remaining availability concerns were addressed through last month’s supplemental draft since any NCAA players aren’t available any sooner than NLL players. This draft for the Rattlers is all about depth.
The deepest position for the Rattlers last season was attack. Losing Leveille to retirement will help the rotation a little bit, but there’s still plenty of versatile talent there with Jordan Wolff leading the way. That’s not to say that they won’t draft an attack player or two depending who is on the board, especially if it is someone who can play well out of the midfield.
Speaking of the midfield, Rochester had three of their top four scorers playing here. After those three, the point production drops off quite a bit for the position. It’s also a little tough to tell for sure as they had some attack run midfield as well. This is probably where Rochester’s top pick will come from. Reinforcing that idea is they still just have John Ortolani pegged as their main face-off guy. Replacing or supplementing him isn’t a big priority, since they do always have Jordan MacIntosh available in a worst case scenario, but if there is a good FOGO on the board in the middle to late rounds, they may take a shot at one.
In terms of defense, Rochester’s not very deep at close defense. They’re set at LSM, but they may look at some short stick defenders since this has been the most unstable position for them in recent years. Their defense was stellar this past season and their chemistry has a ton to do with that result. Don’t expect major overhaul or attention here, but if there are some standouts available on the board, they may try out a player or two.
The last spot is goalie which is a position already set to go to John Galloway once again. Winning the Goalkeeper of the Year award lends some certainty to the position. For a backup, they have a local product again with Jason Lashomb. They did have John Kemp available last year, but he never appeared in a game. This won’t be a big priority for them, but if a great keeper is available that everyone else overlooks, it’s always worth a try.
So, for the most part, Rochester will likely be looking at midfielders of all varieties with a majority of their picks. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they were involved in some draft day trades as they may be able to capitalize on other teams with more pressing needs. They tend to love players from upstate and western New York, so that’s always a factor to keep an eye on. No matter what, this is a great team to be a part of as a rookie.