Albany, Las Vegas, New York Grab Top Prospects; Cormier, Sheridan, Eccleston, Haley, Hickey, Laity, Stevens Round out Top 10
OAKVILLE, Ontario, September 16, 2023 – Top lacrosse prospects from across North America took the next step in their careers today as the National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, conducted its annual Entry Draft at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC). Hearing their names called first were Dyson Williams (Oshawa, Ontario) by the Albany FireWolves, Adam Poitras (Whitby, Ontario) by the Las Vegas Desert Dogs and Callum Jones (Burlington, Ontario) by the New York Riptide.
The rest of the first round selections are as follows:
(4) Vancouver (from Las Vegas), Payton Cormier (Oakville, Ontario)
(5) Panther City (from Saskatchewan), Ryan Sheridan (Victoria, B.C.)
(6) Georgia, Toron Eccleston (Calgary, Alberta)
(7) Vancouver (from Philadelphia), Brock Haley (Brooklin, Ontario)
(8) Georgia (from Panther City), Jacob Hickey (Toronto)
(9) Vancouver (from Rochester via Las Vegas), Brayden Laity (Maple Ridge, B.C.)
(10) New York (from Halifax), Jake Stevens (Puslinch, Ontario)
(11) Calgary, Bennett Smith (Edmonton, Alberta)
(12) Saskatchewan (from Toronto), Levi Anderson (Calgary, Alberta)
(13) San Diego, Matthew Wright (Oakville, Ontario)
(14) Albany (from Colorado), Nicholas Volkov (Milton, Ontario)
(15) Rochester (from Buffalo), Graydon Hogg (Oshawa, Ontario)
(16) *Rochester (from Calgary), Ben MacDonnell (Oshawa, Ontario)
(17) *Albany, Zachary Young (Oshawa, Ontario)
(18) *Vancouver (from Saskatchewan via San Diego and Philadelphia), Connor O’Toole (Brampton, Ontario)
(19) *Georgia (compensatory selection), Kaleb Benedict (Onondaga, Ontario)
“We recognize the importance of this day to the players selected in the NLL Entry Draft,” said NLL Commissioner Brett Frood. “For our franchises, it is a chance to build and reinforce their rosters, and for fans it’s a peek at the next generation of NLL stars.”
The complete draft results can be found at: https://www.nll.com/news/draft-central-2023-nll-entry-draft/.
“It’s a surreal moment, I kind of have to pinch myself,” said Williams, a four-year standout at Duke, member of Canada’s World Men’s Lacrosse Championship team and the son of Las Vegas Desert Dogs general manager and head coach Shawn Williams. “It’s the start of my dream to play in the NLL, and I couldn’t be more excited to be sharing this moment with my family and friends.”
The Entry Draft followed Friday’s induction of the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame Class of 2021 (delayed due to pandemic), a group that includes the elder Williams.
The event at the TRAC marked the second straight year that the Entry Draft was held in Ontario, following two years of virtual drafts because of the pandemic. The previous two live Entry Drafts were conducted at Xfinity Live! in Philadelphia.