Syracuse University's JoJo Marasco is one of IL Indoor's top 50 prospects for the 2013 NLL Entry Draft on Monday, Sept. 16. (Photo: Syracuse Athletics)
With the 2013 NLL Entry Draft on Monday, Sept. 16 at Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC) just a few nights away, draft analyst Stephen Stamp from IL Indoor is counting down the top 50 in the final days leading up to the draft starting with prospects ranked #31-50.
"The National Lacrosse League Entry Draft is just five days away," Stamp writes. "That means it’s time once again for IL Indoor’s annual adventure in prospect prognostication. We look at the Top 50 prospects who are entered in this year’s draft. It’s a difficult year to figure out how the draft may go. It appears that there are a handful of players who would be candidates for the first round in any year, then about two dozen who have the feel of second rounds.
"Obviously, some of the latter will jump up to the first round and some will fall to the third and even fourth round. So while this draft may not be as stoked with high-end talent as last year’s, or the ones coming in 2014 and 2015 for that matter, there are plenty of high-value picks to be had as the rounds progress."
31 – Danny Vyse – RD, Six Nations Arrows (OLA Jr A)
A 5′10”, 195-pound ball of energy, Vyse is an aggressive defender who isn’t afraid to mix it up. He makes opponents know they’re in a lacrosse game with his physical, in-your-face style. Needs to be aware of discipline—he crosses the line from aggressiveness to foolishness at times—but that’s the risk you run when you play on the edge. Vyse isn’t just a rough and tough guy, though. He scored 8 goals and 15 assists for 23 points in 11 regular season games and added another 23 points in the playoffs as he helped the Six Nations Rebels win the 2011 Founders Cup. He can run with the ball effectively.
34 – Niall Caravello – LT, Orangeville Northmen (OLA Jr A)
A product of the hugely successful Northmen system and a member of their 2012 Minto Cup champions, Caravello is a sound defender who will make good decisions and will push the pace when he can. Chips in about a point a game; more likely to run the ball into offensive zone and hand it off to the O guys than to drive to the net himself. Caravello won’t wow you in any one area of the game but won’t make a lot of mistakes and will bring a solid effort every time he’s on the floor.
37 – Emerson Clark – LD, Whitby Warriors (OLA Jr A)
Don’t get fooled into thinking Clark is just a tough guy. He’s definitely more than ready to drop the mitts when called for—and sometimes when it’s not called for—but Clark can play the game. He’s an aggressive, physical defender who makes opponents think twice about cutting through the middle. He also has shown some offensive chops. Edmonton Rush and Warriors coach Derek Keenan liked to throw him out the front door on occasion and he did more than just throw hard picks and create space for the Whitby stars. Clark showed an affinity for the two-man game and can finish off a pick and roll.
40 – Eric Crepinsek – LD, Burlington Chiefs (OLA Jr A)
Crepinsek isn’t the shutdown defender that his older brother Alex, drafted 10th overall by the Minnesota Swarm last year, is. But not many people are. Eric, though, is in the same mold: defensively sound and responsible, ready to chip in on the transition game on occasion. The 6-foot, 170-pounder will need to add some size and strength to compete against the best in the world but footwork and lacrosse IQ will still be his greatest assets.
42 – Eric Penney – G, St. Catharines Athletics (OLA Jr A)
It can be hard to tell how good a goalie is when he’s playing behind a bad team. The Athletics lost 31 games over the last two seasons and gave up a lot of goals in the process. Penney suffered the lion’s share of those losses and gave up the majority of the goals, but he was one of the bright spots in a couple of dismal seasons in St. Kitts. Penney played surprisingly consistently given how sketchy the defence in front of him was and generally didn’t seem to let the losing rattle him and cause major lapses in concentration. He’s a long shot to make it in the NLL but is worth taking a look at.
47 – JoJo Marasco – LF, Syracuse University
It seems like every year there’s a handful of highly talented Americans keen to get into the National Lacrosse League. And every year it’s a bit of a crap shoot how well they’ll be able to adjust to the indoor game. If there is a bit of a box background to look at, that can help make an educated guess. For Marasco, that box background is an 11-game stretch with the Toronto Beaches in the summer of 2012. It’s not much to go on and he didn’t do much to write home about. Marasco scored 3 goals and 12 assists, not exactly lighting it up. So instead, we have to look at a mid-sized midfielder who plays primarily a perimeter game. That doesn’t bode well for an adaptation to indoor lacrosse at the NLL level. What tempers the pessimism is that Marasco has brilliant vision and an exquisite sense of timing, making him an outstanding passer. He’ll just have to prove that he can shoot on the smaller nets and make his passes in confined spaces while being chased by big men who wish him ill.
48 – Dylan Goddard – LF, Clarington Green Gaels (OLA Jr B)
The ultimate point in a game of lacrosse is to put the ball in the other team’s net more often than they put it in yours. So when someone is particularly adept at putting the ball into the other team’s net or helping teammates to do so, he is a valuable part of a team. Dylan Goddard has been remarkably consistent at producing points for the Green Gaels. Look up a Gaels scoring record and Goddard probably owns it. He’s scored 125, 123 and 120 points in the last three seasons. The reason he’s not higher on the list is that he’s only played four Jr A games in his career. It’s just difficult to say how immense success in Jr B will translate to the professional game. Recent Jr B star Brett Hickey has had some success with the Stealth and was a WLA second team all-star this summer, so there is a current precedent. Goddard may or may not be able to take the step to the pros, but some team will be willing to gamble a late pick because scoring is a talent you just can’t teach.
Check out the entire list of prospects ranked 31st-50th on IL Indoor by clicking here and stay tuned as the countdown of potential future NLL stars continues over the next few days.
The Combine from Sept. 14-15 and Draft on Monday, Sept. 16 will both take place at TRAC and are open to the public with free admission. Can't make it to Oakville, Ont.? Watch the Draft live on YouTube on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.