|The Boston Cannons beat the Long Island Lizards to the punch and picked Virginia's Shamel Bratton fourth overall in Friday's Major League Lacrosse draft. Long Island did tab Bratton's twin brother, Rhamel, in the third round.|
BALTIMORE -- Kevin Crowley went first, Joel White second and Billy Bitter third in the first-ever pre-college season Major League Lacrosse draft, held Friday night at the site of the former ESPN Zone in downtown Baltimore.
The Nationals -- who have officially moved from Toronto to Hamilton, Ontario, MLL commissioner David Gross announced -- picked Crowley, the Canadian Stony Brook midfielder and Lacrosse Magazine's NCAA Division I preseason player of the year. White, the Syracuse long stick midfielder, went to the Rochester Rattlers, and North Carolina attackman Bitter was selected by the Denver Outlaws.
The Boston Cannons picked Virginia midfielder Shamel Bratton fourth, Long Island went with Notre Dame midfielder Zach Brenneman fifth, and the Nationals ended the first round by picking Syracuse midfielder Jeremy Thompson sixth. Bratton's twin brother, Rhamel, went in the third round to Long Island.
Drafting players prior to their senior seasons clearly threw a wrinkle into the evaluation and draft process for MLL teams. General managers, coaches and other front office personnel based picks on players' college careers to date and college coach recommendations.
With still a season to play for those drafted, MLL teams hope no one gets seriously injured, or busts. Undrafted players go into the MLL player pool when their college seasons end. Only college seniors who will have no NCAA eligibility left by the end of this season were eligible to be drafted.
"We'll see how the college season goes," said Denver general manger Brian Reese, who selected Bitter, Steve Serling (Hofstra), Brett Schmidt (Maryland) and Grant Catalino (Maryland) with the Outlaws' first four picks. "It will be interesting to watch how the guys do during the year, follow them, and also look at the juniors for next year's draft. Injuries can happen. They do in our sport, but we also have that with guys getting hurt in the NLL who we have in the MLL. You roll on with it and hopefully have enough depth for the year."
Four Syracuse players – White, Thompson, Jovan Miller and Josh Amidon -- were picked in the first two rounds and the Orange, LM's preseason No. 1-ranked team in the country, led all schools with seven players selected. Maryland and Notre Dame each had five. Stony Brook had four, as did Delaware (two in the final two picks). Complete draft results are below.
No drafted players were present at the event – per the MLL's request regarding NCAA eligibility violation concerns – but several current MLLers, such as Long Island's Matt Danowski, took in the proceedings.
League founder Jake Steinfeld was also present, and proudly addressed the room during a commercial break in the webcast of the draft. "Never quit," he said. "We're here at a place where we held one of our first events and look now, the ESPN Zone is closed and we're still here."
MLL commissioner David Gross also confirmed prior to the draft that the league is adding two teams for the 2012 season – in Columbus, Ohio and Charlotte, N.C. The league will also go to a 14-game regular season schedule in 2012, up from 12.
2011 MAJOR LEAGUE LACROSSE DRAFT RESULTS
1) Hamilton Nationals – Kevin Crowley, M, Stony Brook
2) Rochester Rattlers - Joel White, D, Syracuse
3) Denver Outlaws - Billy Bitter, A, North Carolina
4) Boston Cannons - Shamel Bratton, M, Virginia
5) Long Island Lizards - Zach Brenneman, M, Notre Dame
6) Hamilton - Jeremy Thompson, M, Syracuse
7) Hamilton - Ryan Flanagan, D, North Carolina
8) Rochester - Jovan Miller, M, Syracuse
9) Denver - Steve Serling, M, Hofstra
10) Boston - Josh Amidon, M, Syracuse
11) Long Island - Jay Card, A, Hofstra
12) Boston - Brian Farrell, D, Maryland
13) Hamilton - David Earl, M, Notre Dame
14) Rochester - Jordan McBride, A, Stony Brook
15) Denver - Brett Schmidt, D, Maryland
16) Boston - John Lade, D, Syracuse
17) Long Island - Rhamel Bratton, M, Virginia
18) Hamilton - Kevin Ridgway, D, Notre Dame
19) Hamilton -- Dan Burns, M, Maryland
20) Rochester - John Galloway, G, Syracuse
21) Denver - Grant Catalino, A, Maryland
22) Boston - Kevin Kaminsky, M, Delaware
23) Long Island - Ryan Young, A, Maryland
24) Chesapeake Bayhawks - Barney Ehrmann, D, Georgetown
25) Hamilton - Stephen Keogh, A, Syracuse
26) Rochester - Tom Montelli, D, Duke
27) Denver - Jack McBride, A, Princeton
28) Boston - Tom Compitello, A, Stony Brook
29) Long Island - Sam Barnes, D, Notre Dame
30) Bayhawks - Steve DeNapoli, M, Hofstra
31) Hamilton - Adam Rand, FO, Stony Brook
32) Rochester - Brian Caulfield, A, Albany
33) Denver -- Andrew Irving, LSM, Notre Dame
34) Boston – Pat Dowling, D, Delaware
35) Long Island -- Brian Karalunas, D, Villanova
36) Mike Burns, M, North Carolina
37) Hamilton - Bill Henderson, D, Army
38) Rochester - Adam Jones, M, Canisus
39) Denver - Andrew Lay, M, Denver
40) Boston - David Hawley, M, Brown
41) Long Island -- Peter Mezzanotte, M, Towson
42) Chesapeake - Dan Hostetler, D, Georgetown
43) Hamilton - Jeremy Boltus, A, Army
44) Rochester - Matt Chadderdon, M, Le Moyne
45) Denver - Adam Ghitelman, G, Virginia
46) Boston – Zach Howell, A, Duke
47) Long Island – Matt Stefurak ,D, Delaware
48) Chesapeake – John Austin, M, Delaware