NLL: Wild draft night set for Thursday; who goes after Teat?

Brampton Jr. A Excelsiors’ captain Jeff Teat is defended by the Coquitlam Adanacs in Minto Cup play. (Photo credit: Cliff McCaig)

In a world and time of unknowns, there are three certainties: death, taxes and that Jeff Teat is about to become a first overall pick.

Teat’s Brampton Excelsiors Junior A numbers were not only historic, they were the best since the mid-1970s (eight all time in assists, 14th all time in points). He proved quite quickly he can play with men unanimously winning the Major Series Lacrosse Rookie of the Year for 2019 leading the league in goals, points and finishing third in assists (behind Kyle Buchanan and Shawn Evans). When he’s called a ‘generational talent,’ it’s for a reason. New York fans, get excited.

How the remainder of the first round shakes out is anyone’s guess.

Expect Ryan Smith, Tre Leclaire, Reid Bowering and Jeff Henrick to occupy the next few draft slots. All four of these players, along with Teat, will be returning to their NCAA teams for a fifth season after their final season of eligibility was cancelled due to the pandemic. They’re all capable players and missing the 2021 season shouldn’t impact their selections this high up.

Following these come players who are available to join rosters right away, and who come with at least a year of senior ball – Jordan Stouros, Ethan Walker, Tanner Cook and Robert Hudson. Walker and Cook are lefty forwards while Stouros and Hudson are defenders who have shown they can play at the next level. Their immediate availability may not be enough to move them ahead of the skill mentioned above; however, watch for one of these players to jump up if a General Manager thinks they can make an impact this season.

2020 is a crazy year. It’s fitting the 2020 NLL Entry Draft is setting up to be crazy as well.

While the talent is deep, General Managers and scouts unfamiliar with some of the names have not had the chance to evaluate many of the lesser known players – whether through video, live games or the league combine. Players may find themselves selected based on personal relationships where they may not be known.

A player this could hurt more than others is Kelson Borisenko (Manhattan College/Manitoba Blizzard). Borisenko starred in two Founders Cups for Manitoba and probably would’ve jumped to Junior A if there were a season this summer.

The Georgia Swarm always seem to make noise on draft day. They hold four first round picks in this draft. Watch for them to possibly try and move up, or at least someone else move into one of those spots.

There is also the question of how General Managers weigh players returning to NCAA rosters against those available to join the NLL immediately. How can they plan for a training camp next season when there may be two draft classes competing for jobs together? And, how do those questions and strategies combine with the fact there is an expansion draft (of at least one team, if not more) in the near future?

What draft night gives every fan is hope. Hope the new kid(s) will bring success. Hope for the team’s future. While the 2020 NLL Entry draft will look and feel different, it is still the night 93 players about to hear their names have dreamed about. And, at the end of the night, in a year of uncertainties and craziness, we could all use a little hope.

Enjoy the NLL Entry Draft free on the NLL YouTube and Facebook pages, and on BR/Live, beginning at 7 p.m. Be sure to follow along and interact with our writers on Twitter @LacrosseWeTrust.