The 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft is only five days away. Starting today we will have some insight from CBS Sports Network MLL analyst and Inside the MLL host Evan Washburn as he breaks down each team’s needs. Tune in to YouTube.com/MLL to watch Evan and Quint Kessenich as they bring you the draft live from Philadelphia, Pa., on Friday, January 11, at 8:30 p.m.
We start with the first two
Ohio Machine – 2012 Record: 2-12 1st round selection: No. 1 Total selections: Eight
Evan says: “The Ohio Machine has several needs. The expansion team did not have a lot of talent on the field on a week-to-week basis. The Machine’s top need to address would be defense. Kyle Hartzell had a breakout year offensively with the long stick but there was not a lot of depth in terms of close defense. Close defensemen are a hot commodity in this league because there are a lot of one-on-one matchups. Kyle Hartzell is great, Max Schmidt is a young talent, and Greg Bice adds a veteran’s perspective so I think they have to add depth to the close defense position. Priority number two is offensive midfielder. Ohio acquired Roy Lang in a trade from Rochester and Connor Martin had a great year but beyond those two players, I don’t see anyone on the team that can break down a short stick or long stick on a regular basis. Last priority would be goalie Brian Phipps showed that he can be consistent, but the Machine needs someone who can compete with him for the spot. The team has eight selections to do it and obviously the No. 1 overall pick so there will be some chances to add some talent.”
Hamilton Nationals – 2012 Record: 4-10 1st round selection: No. 2 Total selections: Ten
Evan says: “The biggest priority for Hamilton, and I’m not sure it can necessarily be addressed at the draft, is reshaping the roster so that it’s not so overrun with players who are going to miss a significant portion of the season due to their indoor commitments. The Nationals best players all play in the NLL and if you break down the current roster, the top tier talent will probably be unavailable for the first few weeks. We saw it happen last season when Hamilton had a slow start and was unable to rebound. If the team can find some offensive midfielders that are committed to playing and being there from the start of the season going forward (after they join the team in June) that would be huge. As it stands right now, David Earl, Kevin Crowley and Jordan Hall are all NLL commitments and I don’t see them stepping in those first few weeks. They have the Lao-Gosney twins who could help but they are more defensive-minded midfielders. Another priority is at goalie, I think they lack consistency in that position. The biggest and most important thing is to be able to bring in players they know are going to be there from day one of the season until the end. They have 10 selections this year so I think they have a lot of opportunities to add some talent.”