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Team Needs Prior to Collegiate Draft

January 6, 2012
With the 2012 MLL Collegiate Draft less than two weeks away, MLL Analyst Evan Washburn breaks down the glaring, team-by-team needs heading into the draft. It is a chance for teams to fill holes in their rosters with young talent from the top collegiate lacrosse programs in the country.

There will be eight total rounds in the 2012 MLL Collegaite Draft and 64 total selections. For more information on the draft, which will be held in Philadelphia, PA., check out our MLL Draft Center.

Boston Cannons

First Selection: 15th Selection, Round 2
10 Total Selections

“The Cannons were able to do an impressive job of keeping their core, Championship roster after the MLL Expansion and Supplemental Drafts. With the addition of Bill McGlone, who was arguably one of the best players available in the Expansion Draft, they have a really solid roster. However, heading into the MLL Collegiate Draft, they do need to address their attack. They have Ryan Boyle and Matt Poskay, who are both talented players, but they need to add some youth to that position. It may not be someone who’s going to start in Week 1, but someone they can build the team around over time. Some names that come to mind are Joe Cummings of Maryland and Chris Bocklet of Virginia. They’re the kind of players who would fit in with Boston, a team that values fundamentally sound players, and they would get a lot of value from playing under Boyle and Poskay and would grow into the team.

Additionally, they need another goalie. They’ve lost Kip Turner and while they do have Jordan Burke who is extremely talented, with the high value of shots in this league you need somebody to step in who may not play at the level that Burke does, but can still play if needed.”

Summary: Add youth to the attack; acquire back-up goalie.

Charlotte Hounds

First Selection: 9th Selection, Round 2
7 Total Selections

“Charlotte has done an unbelievable job of building a franchise that can compete in this league this season. After acquiring Jeremy Boltus, Matt Danowski and Billy Bitter, they’re strong on the attack and they’ve also drafted two solid goalies that can both be starters, or split time. They do need to address the midfield in the upcoming draft, though. The midfield is where teams can find success in this league. You need poles and guys who can score on their own, and while Stephen Berger is a talented player, at the moment I don’t really see a guy on this roster that can jump out and score on his own from the midfield.

With the 9 th pick, Charlotte will be able to pick up a talented midfielder who can do just that. A name that comes to mind is Colin Briggs out of Virginia. He has developed into that type of midfielder.

The other thing I see is Charlotte’s need for a defender in a later round. They should acquire some youth in the defense and some depth at attack in later rounds that can step in and play if there’s an injury.”

Summary: Focus on the midfield and draft players who can score on their own; add depth and youth to the defense in later rounds.

Chesapeake Bayhawks

First Selection: 5th Selection, Round 1
9 Total Selections

“I think Chesapeake is in a decent position right now. Kip turner was a great gain as he is an established starting goalie in this league. In the past few years Chris Garrity and Brian Phipps have bounced around, but now the Bayhawks have their goalie as far as I can see. Drew Westervelt was also a smart move made by Chesapeake and he’ll certainly add depth to the attack. The defense, while talented, is an aged group, so the Bayhawks should add some players there. Brian Spallina is a veteran in this league. Michael Evans is solid player but is susceptible injuries, so they need to pick up young, talented defensemen.  Mike Manley out of Duke is the kind of guy who could come in and play right away. He has all the attributes you look for in an MLL defenseman. When you look at the rest of the draft, it’s not defense laden. Mark Staines of the North Carolina Tar Heels is a long pole and a local guy from the area.

Another position they should focus on is face-off. Alex Smith is recovering from Tommy John surgery, which is a pretty serious procedure. He might be ready but it would add safety to that position to pick someone up in the draft. They could also use another attackman. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with their first pick since their roster is pretty solid throughout, but you don’t have a big offensive name. Kyle Dixon still has an unbelievable shot but he needs someone to get him the ball.”

Summary: Add youth to the defense, secure a big offensive name.

Denver Outlaws

First Selection: 6th Selection, Round 1
8 Total Selections

“The Outlaws are a similar mold to the Bayhawks and have made some questionable moves this off-season. They have a hole to fill in each area of the field. They still have their same nucleus in Brendan Mundorf and Max Seibald (who can score on his own and play offense or defense and is as good as it gets when he’s healthy). If Mundorf and Jordan McBride, who was a good recent pickup from the Rattlers, can work together I think it will be a great marriage. But with the loss of Westervelt and Bitter the question becomes, ‘who is the third attackman?’ Curtis Dickson has not played yet but if he’s committed to playing he could work well with that group. If not, Denver needs to look at attack in the Collegiate Draft. Carter Bender is not a guy they would take with their 1 st pick, coming out of Hartford which isn’t the most established program, but he’s as athletic as the top college attackmen and will adjust well to MLL.

At the midfield they still have some core guys like Peet Poillon, but I think the midfield is a position where teams will look to find difference-makers. It’s tough to do that coming out of college, but if you can do that you’ve done a good job with the draft.”

Summary: Secure a third attackman first, fill holes at every position.

Hamilton Nationals

First Selection: 7th Selection, Round 1
8 Total Selections

“I think Hamilton is still solid and is a team that made a run to the finals by finding chemistry late in the season. In the Collegiate Draft they should look at defensive players. I was talking to a Nationals player and he mentioned that they have a strong defense, but this is a chance for them to pick up some of the more conventional defenseman like the one-on-one stopper they lacked that last year. They have scorers that will come in and if they can get Casey Powell to play, they have the guys they need to get the ball in the net. Losing Boltus was big for them, though. He produced a lot of goals so Hamilton has to replace him. Although Jack McBride out of UNC is recovering from injury and we have to see how he plays this season, he would be an option. He’s a tough dodger, similar to Boltus, and has all the fundamentals of an attackman. I think if he is healthy, that’d be a good pickup later in the draft.

Brett Queener can play but I think it would be smart later in the draft to pick up another goalie to compete with him because he does his best when he has to compete. ”

Summary: Secure a solid but conventional defenseman, replace Boltus and find a young attackman, secure a third goalie to compete with Queener.

Long Island Lizards

First Selection: 1st Selection, Round 1
7 Total Selections

“Long Island has certainly made headlines in the past few months. When you look at their roster, it’s weird to not see Matt Danowski on there, but they’re going in a direction of change and building around that first overall pick. I don’t think it will shock people if they go with Rob Pannell of Cornell. He’s the kind of attackman who will come into the league physically mature and will be incredibly successful from day one. His transition will be quicker than maybe Steele Stanwick’s, and he would be a good complement to Max Quinzani. This team already has some talent so they need to build off of that Rob Pannell pick and find midfield help because they’ve lost Stephen Berger. Even with support from Stephen Peyser, they still need a guy who can score on his own. They may want to look for a goalie, too.  We’ve seen that Drew Adams can be successful (since he was named 2011 MLL Goalie of the Year), but it’s always good to have two goalies for comfort and to win games.”

Summary: With the No. 1 pick, build around the first selection, likely to be Rob Pannell; secure a second goalie to complement Adams.

Ohio Machine

First Selection: 2nd Selection, Round 1
7 Total Selections

"Prior to the Supplemental Draft, Ohio appeared to be making some good trades in acquiring players who would be their core nucleus, but the team proved to be a head scratcher with the ensuing draft picks, making questionable moves. Thankfully, the MLL Collegiate Draft is a great way to bring in talent that they’re desperate for and with the No. 2 pick they’ll probably acquire Steele Stanwick from Virginia. I think he’s at his best when he has great players around him. He is a fundamentally sound player, but I’m curious to see how he’ll hold up physically since he’s not the biggest guy. MLL is a physical game and he’s going to take much more of a beating than he did in Virginia.

Overall, it’s about finding as many playmakers as Ohio can. I don’t think they need defensive players at all. They have Brian Phipps in the net, so I think if they make him feel like it’s his team, his confidence will take him far. With great defenseman like Kyle Hartzell and Greg Bice (who still has a lot of years left in him), the goal is to find as many midfielders as they can to support that second overall pick.”

Summary: Ditch the defense and focus on the midfield to support their No. 2 pick.

Rochester Rattlers

First Selection: 3rd Selection, Round 1
8 Total Selections

“I got an up close and personal view of this team in 2011. I think they’re headed in the right direction and with the third overall pick, should select defenseman Mike Manley out of Duke. He could hop right in there as a shut-down guy with all the things you need.  That’s one area I thought they suffered. Their transition defense was poor, their one-on-one defense was poor, and Manley could offer that to the Rattlers. They picked up John Lade from Boston and I think he’s a solid player but not of the level of Mike Manley. Pannell and Stanwick will be off the board, so Manley would be my next pick. This team also lacks a dodging presence from the midfield. Martin Cahill is a great shooter and Striebel is much like Kyle Dixon where age has caught up to him a bit, so Rochester needs a dynamic dodger at the midfield. Like I said, they’re heading in the right direction, especially with a lot of local Syracuse guys, which means they’ve got a lot of talented lacrosse players.”

Summary: Secure a defenseman with their 3 rd overall pick; draft a dynamic dodger at the midfield.

Evan Washburn is entering his second season as an analyst for Major League Lacrosse. Last year, Washburn was the color announcer for the Rochester Rattlers, calling all 12 regular season games, and was a contributor to Inside the MLL and MLL News. In 2012, Washburn will be the national analyst for all 14 live MLL games aired on CBS Sports Network. A former defenseman, Washburn was an All-Conference defender at the University of Delaware from 2004 to 2008 and played a key role in bringing the Blue Hens to the Final Four in 2007. He served as co-captain in 2008. In the off-season Evan works a Baltimore Ravens reporter for Comcast SportsNet.