By Paul Ryan | 1/8/14 2:00 PM
With the 2014 MLL Collegiate Draft just two days away, on Friday, Jan. 10 at 8:30 p.m. (YouTube.com/MLL) we decided to take a look back at the first round of the 2013 draft. Despite first overall pick Peter Baum electing not to play for the Machine in 2013, the first round of last year’s draft was one of the strongest ever.
#2 Chris LaPierre – Midfield – selected by Hamilton Nationals – Virginia
Could he be this season’s Rob Pannell? LaPierre suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the college season, forcing him to redshirt his senior year. He will play out the season with the Cavaliers before potentially joining the Florida Launch midway through 2014.
#3 Tucker Durkin – Defense – selected by the Charlotte Hounds – Johns Hopkins
Drafted by the Charlotte Hounds, Durkin was traded two weeks later to the Hamilton Nationals for fellow rookies John Haus, Casey Carroll and Jake Tripucka. The trade worked out pretty well for the Nationals, as Durkin completely shut down opposing team’s top offensive players. His strong play earned him a spot as the only rookie on the 2013 MLL All-Pro Team.
#4 Jesse Bernhardt – Defense – selected by the Chesapeake Bayhawks – Maryland
Bernhardt had a strong rookie season on defense for the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Surrounded by the likes of Nicky Polanco and Brian Spallina, Bernhardt played nine games, helping Chesapeake to the second lowest goals against in the regular season. Bernhardt also appeared in both playoff games for the Bayhawks, playing a key role in the team’s third title in four years.
#5 Josh Hawkins – Midfield – selected by the Hamilton Nationals – Loyola
Although they weren’t traded for each other, Hawkins and Durkin traded places in 2013. Hawkins was traded midway through the season from the Nationals to the Charlotte Hounds for midfielder Josh Amidon and a 2015 first-round Collegiate Draft pick. Hawkins finished the year with five goals in eight games and had an assist in the two playoff games he played for the Hounds.
#6 Cameron Flint – Midfield – selected by the Boston Cannons – Denver
Flint enjoyed a strong rookie campaign for the Cannons, registering 17 points in just seven games. His eight goals were 7th on the Cannons last year, while his four-goal game against the Machine on June 29 was capped by a game-winning goal. Flint registered a point in every game last season, one of the few rookies to do so.
#7 Brian Megill – Defense – selected by the Denver Outlaws – Syracuse
Megill joined the Outlaws in the middle of their undefeated season and the team didn’t skip a beat. The Clark, N.J., native fit right into the Denver D, helping the team post the league’s lowest goals against and best penalty kill. Megill’s 26 ground balls ranked second for Outlaws defensemen.
#8 Mike Sawyer – Attack – selected by the Charlotte Hounds – Loyola
Mike Sawyer arguably made the biggest splash of any rookie in 2013. As one of just three rookies to make the All-Star game, Sawyer registered the fastest recorded shot in lacrosse history at 114 MPH. In the regular season, Sawyer scored 14 goals and added six assists. By the time the playoffs rolled around, Sawyer proved to be a legitimate threat, scoring six goals in the two games, serving a major role in the Hounds first ever Championship game appearance.
Be sure to check out tomorrow’s article where we list the ‘Best of the Rest’ in the 2013 draft.