The Panther City Expansion Draft has concluded, and the NLL’s next team to start play now has a large chunk of their roster set. They were guaranteed to get 13 players; they ended up with 16 after four trades following the picks.
The Panthers picked two of the best young goaltenders in the game with these selections. Orleman has been biding his time in Georgia, learning from Mike Poulin, a great mentor if there ever was one. Damude sported a 3-1 record after a year under Frankie Scigliano in San Diego with an impressive 9.43 GAA. Since they’re both relatively inexperienced, PCLC might have a tough time in the early going until they find their grooves. I’d play them rotationally until a clear starter emerges, and maybe even past that just to help with their development, which for goalies, is hard to come by because there are so few positions available.
Matt Hossack (L)
Panther City originally drafted Scott Dominey from Toronto, and I’m not sure they got a great return on their investment by immediately trading him to New York for forward Dawson Theede. Having Dominey in the lineup would put fans in the stands because of his smooth ability to transition opportunities into goals. But, it’s the Riptide who will benefit from that instead.
They did get a mix of veterans and youth in the draft, starting with Matt Hossack, Taylor Stuart, Liam Byrnes and Connor Sellars. Byrnes has more field experience than box but was a solid defender for the Wings who really put in the time to help turn him into a box player. Head coach Tracey Kelusky would have worked with him in Philadelphia so knows what he’s capable of, and the same is true with Patten, who is much younger but almost the same amount of NLL experience. Jordan Trottier was drafted this past year so he may not be able to contribute immediately but Sellars has been steady for Georgia and Stuart was reliable in Colorado.
The offense selected by PCLC is an interesting mix. The only household name of the bunch is Benesch, who is still capable of putting up huge numbers in his 15th year in the league. Connor Kelly has been a great asset for New York after jumping over from box, and Phil Caputo is a great depth pick who could turn out to be a star given regular playing time. Will Malcom is young but shows promise. Dawson Theede didn’t make a roster last season. Kitchen and Dodds are second-round picks from 2020, so they’re still unproven at the pro level with high expectations. PCLC originally took Chris Wardle from Colorado, but traded him right back to the Mammoth for Trottier and Malcom.
If you’re interested in the picks that PCLC swapped as well, see below.
- Traded 2nd round selection in the 2022 Entry Draft to the Toronto Rock in exchange for Taylor Stuart and their second round selection in the 2021 Entry Draft.
- Traded Scott Dominey to the New York Riptide in exchange for Dawson Theede.
- Traded Chris Wardle to the Colorado Mammoth in exchange for Will Malcolm and Jordan Trottier.
- Traded their 1st round pick in the 2023 entry draft to the Georgia Swarm in exchange for Connor Sellars and the 11th overall pick in the 2021 entry draft