NLL Draft Needs: Calgary Roughnecks

The Calgary Roughnecks came within five minutes of winning their third Champion’s Cup in franchise history in the 2014 playoffs but ultimately fell just shy. Although that means the Calgary head office has gone back to the drawing board trying to find ways to improve to get over that final hump, is there realistically much more help they can find in the upcoming draft?

Actually, it is a possibility.

The Roughnecks have three of the first 16 picks this year, so they should be able to chase some blue-chip talent.

After leading the league in scoring for the second straight year, it’s hard to imagine ways they could improve their offense. But after missing a big chunk of the regular season due to injury and personal commitments, it’s hard to tell where Scott Ranger might fit into the 2015 picture. That being the case, if Calgary have a shot at a righty sniper, they might go for it.

The focus, however, will likely be at the other end for the second year in a row. The Roughnecks picked up the second fewest loose balls (1084) in the NLL last year—and if you take away Geoff Snider’s loosies earned on faceoffs, they’d be in dead last. Additionally, they were sixth in forced turnovers (169), so there’s definitely room to get stronger defensively.

In the 2013 draft, the Roughnecks selected two transition players and a defenseman—Tor Reinholdt, Karsen Leung and Garrett McIntosh—with their first three picks. Don’t be too surprised if they do something similar again.

What they likely won’t be chasing is more goaltending depth. Calgary has signed No. 1 goalie Mike Poulin to a two-year deal, and backups Frankie Scigliano and Pete Dubenski to one-year contracts, so they appear to be settled in that position.