By Paul Ryan | 1/14/14 3:30 PM
The MLL Draft has come and gone, with 64 college seniors having potential homes at the end of the NCAA season. However, only eight of those players could go in the first round. Here’s a breakdown of how each first rounder (and the Bayhawks first pick, No. 21 overall) would fit into their new team, should they decide to join the league.
#1 Tom Schreiber – Midfield – selected by the Ohio Machine – Princeton
No surprise here. The Machine’s immediate need came at midfield and luckily for them, that was the position of the best player available. With the likes of Logan Schuss, Steele Stanwick and Marcus Holman at attack, the Machine had to solidify their midfield. With the addition of a player of Schreiber’s caliber, the position of midfield could become a strength for the Machine if he joins them.
#2 Jordan Wolf – Attack – selected by the Rochester Rattlers – Duke
The Rattlers needed an offensive weapon to replace the loss of Ned Crotty. Jordan Wolf fills that hole. Rochester scored 152 goals all of last year, third fewest in the league. Wolf himself scored 57 at Duke in his junior year and has racked up 120 in his career. Should he join the Rattlers, he will link up well with Kevin Leveille and Steven Boyle up front.
#3 Joe Fletcher – Defense – selected by the New York Lizards – Loyola
Head coach Joe Spallina has been adding talent everywhere this offseason, building up for a possible championship run. The one place he hadn’t improved was at defense, but that all changed on Friday night. Spallina took Fletcher with the third overall pick, who is a First-Team All American that can cover with the best of them. If Joe Fletcher joins the Lizards this year, look for Drew Adams goals against to go down – way down.
#4 Luke Duprey – Defense – selected by the New York Lizards – Duke
Again, the Lizards needed defense, so they took back-to-back defensemen with their two high first round picks. While Fletcher is more of a Tucker Durkin-type, Duprey is a lot more like Joe Spallina’s brother Brian – a rugged, hard-nosed bruiser. The Lizards could afford to use some meanness and Duprey certainly brings that to them. Duprey is also a winner, as he helped Duke win the NCAA title last year.
#5 Kieran McArdle – Attack – selected by the Florida Launch – St. Johns
The Launch needed to replace the production of Joe Walters – who was traded earlier this offseason for Casey Powell – and did so by drafting Kieran McArdle with their first-ever pick. Walters led the league last season with 26 assists. Conversely, McArdle led all of Division I with 3.77 assists per game (49 assists). McArdle is a fantastic distributor of the ball and would be delightful to watch alongside Kevin Crowley and Kevin Cunningham should he join the Launch.
#6 Jeremy Noble – Midfield – selected by the Denver Outlaws – Denver
The Outlaws have strength at nearly every position, but if they could use an upgrade anywhere, it’s in the midfield. Their selection of Jeremy Noble with the sixth overall pick makes sense for several reasons. First off, Noble’s currently playing for the University of Denver, so he wouldn’t have to go very far if he decides to play for the Outlaws. Second, he adds some more offensive punch behind guys like Chris Bocklet. Third, he has some chemistry with other guys on the team, playing with Eric Law in college and on Canada’s preliminary roster with John Grant Jr.
#7 Michael Ehrhardt – Defense – selected by the Charlotte Hounds – Maryland
The Hounds had a wildly successful second season last year, as they made an appearance in the Championship Game against the Chesapeake Bayhawks. However, they still only finished 7-7 and gave up the third most goals against of any team. Their defense needed a tweak and Ehrhardt would give them that extra bump they need. Plus, should the 6-foot-5 Ehrhardt join the Hounds, he would likely play alongside the 6-foot-6 Ryan Flanagan. Talk about scary for opposing players.
#8 Scott McWilliams – Defense – selected by the Boston Cannons – Virginia
The Cannons were the only team to allow more than 200 goals last year, so it’s pretty safe to say they needed a defenseman. McWilliams is arguably the best defender in the draft at creating havoc for opposing players, as his 2.4 caused turnovers per game ranked fourth in Division I. Much like Adams with the Lizards, look for Jordan Burke’s numbers to improve this year should McWilliams join the squad.
#21 Matt Harris – LSM – selected by the Chesapeake Bayhawks – Syracuse
The Bayhawks traded their first round selection to the Denver Outlaws back in September (the pick ended up with Boston) so their name wasn’t called until the third round. Chesapeake is stacked at nearly every position, so the Bayhawks decided to go with a long stick midfielder in Matt Harris out of Syracuse. Harris is a perfect fit for the Bayhawks black-and-blue style and is the type of complimentary player Coach Cottle builds his championship teams around.