Seven current NLLers have new homes after being traded during Thursday’s NLL draft.
First to move was Jeff Wittig, who was sent to the Rochester Knighthawks for the 28th pick in the draft. Witting is a forward who will enter his third year in the league with 13 goals and 16 assists under his belt. Rochester needed to bolster their roster and Witting should start to come into his own with regular playing time. Colorado used their new pick to draft defenseman Jordan Trottier.
Later in the first round, the Halifax Thunderbirds acquired Tyson Bell from the Calgary Roughnecks for the 14th and 20th overall picks. Calgary recouped that loss by selecting a pair of transition players in Calgary-born Harrison Matsuoka and Ethan Ticehurst. Halifax got stronger at transition, which is crazy considering they’re already one of the top transition teams in the league, boasting names like Hossack, Gillies, Armstrong and Brock.
In a surprising move, the Buffalo Bandits traded Matt Gilray and the 54th overall pick to Rochester for the 19th pick in 2020, a first rounder in 2021 and a second rounder in 2023. As stated earlier, Rochester needed to bolster their lineup and Gilray is a young but strong defenseman. He’ll join a lot of familiar faces on the Knighthawks, which feature a lot of players from his summer club in Peterborough. Buffalo used their earlier pick for Sam La Roue.
Shortly thereafter Colorado made another move, sending Jacob Ruest and the 24th overall pick to the New England Black Wolves for the 18th and 33rd picks. Ruest had completed four years in Colorado scoring 73 goals and 115 assists. New England lost Callum Crawford so acquiring Ruest will help staunch the loss. New England took Charlie Kitchen with the 24th pick while New England selected Ron John and Tyler Sceviour.
The largest trade of the night involved three players on the move. The Knighthawks sent Darryl Robertson, Jay Thorimbert and the 25th overall pick to New York for John Wagner. Wagner scored two goals and three assists in 10 games for New York as a rookie. Robertson is a good utility defenseman and Thorimbert remains one of the league’s premier faceoff men. Wagner played junior box sparingly but dominated the field game at Marquette in his last two seasons. Rochester turned the 25th pick into Ty Thompson.
There were several other trades, but all involved picks only with teams trying to move up to get their desired players.
Keep checking back for more draft coverage in the coming week.