Does being a high draft pick guarantee a breakout year? How do lower draft picks work out and do they feel like they have something to prove? MajorLeagueLacrosse.com decided to take a look at our Cascade Rookies of the Year to see if being a No. 1 draft picks leads to Rookie of the Year success.
2012 - Matt Gibson
Last year Matt Gibson was selected by the Chesapeake Bayhawks in the fifth round as the 38
th overall pick after finishing a stellar career for the Yale Bulldogs. After being traded to the Lizards he went on to become their third-leading scorer and lead all MLL rookies with 33 points by scoring 18 goals and 15 assists, including back-to-back five-point outings against Charlotte and Ohio.
2011 - Jeremy Boltus
The Hamilton Nationals picked up this Army alum with their final selection in the 2011 MLL Collegiate Draft making him the 43rd overall pick in the eighth round. Boltus went on to appear in all 12 games for the Nationals, finishing the season as the team’s leading scorer with 19 goals and 11 assists. His 30 points were highest amongst MLL rookies. The attackman tallied at least a point in all 12 regular-season games as well as the Nationals' semi-final and Championship games and tied Hamilton’s single-game record of seven goals.
2010 - Ned Crotty
In 2010 the Rochester Rattler’s Ned Crotty became the only player in Major League Lacrosse history to be the No. 1 overall selection in the MLL Collegiate Draft and go on to win Cascade Rookie of the Year honors. The former Blue Devil was the first pick by the then Chicago Machine and went on to score 11 goals and 13 assists for Chicago in seven games leading all MLL rookies with 24 points. Crotty went on to lead the league in scoring in 2011 racking up 50 points for the Rattlers and earning a spot on the MLL All-Star team.
2009 - Dan Hardy
The Denver Outlaws selected Hardy in the first round of the 2009 MLL Collegiate Draft with the eighth overall pick. The Syracuse alum went on to play in eight games for Denver his rookie season scoring 8 goals and adding 8 more assists totaling 16 points, and played in the MLL Championship Game against the Hamilton Nationals. Hardy played another season in Denver before being traded to the Chesapeake Bayhawks and then to Rochester. The MLL midfielder has scored 64 points over his four seasons.
2008 - Kevin Huntley
In the second round of the 2008 MLL Collegiate Draft with the 17
th overall pick the San Francisco Dragons selected Johns Hopkins attackman Kevin Huntley. The Dragons then traded Huntley to the Los Angeles Riptide where he went on to score 30 goals and 5 assists in nine games. Huntley was named Rookie of the Week three times, Offensive Player of the Week once and set a record for the most number of goals scored by a rookie in Major League Lacrosse, breaking Adam Doneger’s mark of 26 set in 2003.
2007 - Alex Smith
In 2007 the Rochester Rattlers picked up arguably one of the greatest face-off specialists of all time when they selected Delaware Blue Hen Alex Smith with the third overall pick in the first round. In his rookie season Smith won 190 face-offs and scooped up 79 groundballs in ten games for an outstanding rookie campaign. Smith then went on to set the record for single-season face-off wins with 249 in Rochester’s 2008 MLL Championship season.
2006 - Matt Ward
The Baltimore Bayhwaks chose UVA attackman Matt Ward as the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2006 MLL Collegiate Draft. The former Virginia standout and Tewaaraton Trophy winner scored 23 goals and 8 assists for 33 points during his rookie campaign.
2005 - Brodie Merrill
Brodie Merrill was the Baltimore Bayhawks first round pick and third overall selection in the 2005 MLL Collegiate Draft. The former Georgetown Hoya defenseman collected 52 groundballs and added 4 points in his Cascade Rookie of the Year debut season. The four- time MLL Defensive Player of the Year went on to stellar defensive play in Rochester and in 2009 returned home to Canada to help the Toronto Nationals win their first MLL Championship.
2004 - Ryan Boyle
2004 Cascade Rookie of the Year, Ryan Boyle, was a first round, second overall selection by Rochester. The four-time All-American Princeton Tiger played 8 games that season with the Philadelphia Barrage scoring 18 goals and adding another 28 assists for 46 points in his first year. Boyle went on to be a three-time Steinfeld Cup champion and five-time MLL All-Star with Philadelphia and Boston.
2003 - Adam Doneger
In 2003 the Rochester Rattlers selected Johns Hopkins midfielder Adam Donegar in the second round with the seventh overall pick of the MLL Collegiate Draft. Donegar scored 30 points including a record 26 goals for Rochester that year before he was traded to the New Jersey Pride where the Long Island native played four more seasons.
2002 - Conor Gill
The Boston Cannons scooped up standout UVA attackman Conor Gill as their first pick and the third overall selection in the 2002 MLL Collegiate draft. Gill was the first freshman to ever win the most outstanding player of NCAA tourney in 1999. He didn’t disappoint in Boston scoring 20 goals and adding 16 assists in his first 12 games with the Cannons. Gill was named 2004 MLL Most Valuable Player and spent five seasons with Boston before going on to finish his career and be named an All-Star with the Washington Bayhawks.
2001 - Keith Cromwell
Major League Lacrosse’s first Cascade Rookie of the Year was selected by Bridgeport Barrage in the second round as the seventh overall pick. Keith Cromwell scored 15 goals and assisted on 6 more for 21 points for the Barrage in his rookie season. The former Rutgers Scarlet Knight went on to a great career in the MLL scoring 53 points in the Philadelphia Barrage’s 2004 MLL Championship campaign then spent his next four seasons in Long Island playing for the Lizards.
So who will be the No. 1 pick in the 2013 MLL Collegiate Draft? Will they become the next Cascade Rookie of the Year or will a dark horse rise to pick up the coveted award? Find out January 11, 2013 as the MLL Collegiate Draft takes place 8:30 PM in the Liberty Ballroom of the Philadelphia Marriot Downtown in Philadelphia, PA. Tune in to MajorLeagueLacrosse.com to watch it live.