Of 55 players taken in this years’ NLL draft, nine of them are already regulars on MSL squads. Players usually jump to the MSL after their junior careers are over, so expect some players drafted out of junior to show up on MSL teams in the future, honing their skills in summer lacrosse.
The new New England Black Wolves, who recently added Tracey Kelusky to the coaching staff, used five of their ten picks on MSL alum. Kelusky has played senior summer lacrosse for 22 seasons, so he is well acquainted with the talent available in the league. New England picked Brooklin Redmen rookie Mark Cockerton with the sixth overall pick. In the second round, they added Rodd Squire Jr. from the Six Nations Chiefs and Matt Crough from the Peterborough Lakers. Later in the draft they picked Brooklin’s Sheldon Burns and Oakville’s Mike Mawdsley.
Rochester took highly touted prospect Jeremy Noble, whose twin brother Jason was picked a year ago by Minnesota. The twins played together this summer for Oakville.
Peterborough’s Robert Hope was taken 7th overall by the Colorado Mammoth. Hope will join Lakers teammates John Grant Jr and Adam Jones in the Mile High.
“It’s a dream come true, a great franchise and I’m looking forward to playing for them,” Hope told The Peterborough Examiner. Hope has played two seasons for the Lakers and was named Rookie of the Year in his first. He is a tall defender that blocks opposition shots well.
Mike Melnychenko of the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks was taken with the 49th pick overall to the Buffalo Bandits. Melnychenko started the summer season with Brooklin, picking up 11 points in eight games, before being traded to KW where he only scored two points in five games. This may have hurt his draft positioning a little bit, although Melnychenko proved he is a big game player with 10 points in the playoffs against Peterborough. Buffalo got a steal late in the draft.
In his rookie season with the Brampton Excelsiors, Brady Heseltine accumulated 22 points, and would have been a force had the team made the playoffs. He was picked at #51 by the Toronto Rock.
Every MSL team had at least one player drafted.