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#FaceOffWeekend is This Weekend! Schedule

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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
6:00 pm ET
Wings
Thunderbirds
Sat, Dec 3
5:00 pm ET
Warriors
Rock
Sat, Dec 3
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Bandits
Sat, Dec 3
7:30 pm ET
Seals
Riptide
Sat, Dec 3
8:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Swarm
Sat, Dec 3
8:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Rush
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
8:30 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Seals
Sat, Dec 10
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Knighthawks
Sat, Dec 10
9:30 pm ET
Warriors
Roughnecks
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Warriors
Fri, Dec 16
10:30 pm ET
Panther City
Desert Dogs
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Rock
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Swarm
Sat, Dec 17
7:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
FireWolves
Sat, Dec 17
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Riptide
Sat, Dec 17
8:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Bandits
Fri, Dec 30
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Roughnecks
Sat, Dec 31
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Rush
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
10:30 pm ET
Wings
Desert Dogs
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Swarm
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Panther City
Knighthawks
Sat, Jan 7
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
FireWolves
Sat, Jan 7
7:30 pm ET
Rock
Riptide
Sat, Jan 7
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 7
10:00 pm ET
Warriors
Seals
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
6:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Thunderbirds
Fri, Jan 13
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 14
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Rock
Sat, Jan 14
7:00 pm ET
Panther City
Wings
Sat, Jan 14
7:30 pm ET
Swarm
Bandits
Sat, Jan 14
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Roughnecks
Sat, Jan 14
10:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Warriors
Sun, Jan 15
3:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Riptide
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
7:30 pm ET
Bandits
Knighthawks
Fri, Jan 20
10:30 pm ET
Warriors
Desert Dogs
Sat, Jan 21
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Wings
Sat, Jan 21
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
FireWolves
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
6:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Thunderbirds
Fri, Jan 27
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Wings
Sat, Jan 28
7:30 pm ET
Bandits
Riptide
Sat, Jan 28
8:30 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Rush
Sat, Jan 28
9:00 pm ET
Rock
Roughnecks
Sat, Jan 28
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Mammoth
Sat, Jan 28
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Warriors
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
9:00 pm ET
Swarm
Mammoth
Sat, Feb 4
6:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Thunderbirds
Sat, Feb 4
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Rock
Sat, Feb 4
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Wings
Sat, Feb 4
7:30 pm ET
Knighthawks
Bandits
Sat, Feb 4
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Seals
Sat, Feb 4
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Warriors
Sat, Feb 4
10:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Desert Dogs
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
7:30 pm ET
Rock
Swarm
Fri, Feb 10
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Roughnecks
Sat, Feb 11
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Knighthawks
Sat, Feb 11
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Riptide
Sat, Feb 11
8:00 pm ET
Warriors
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
9:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Roughnecks
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
10:00 pm ET
Rush
Seals
Fri, Feb 17
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Warriors
Sat, Feb 18
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
Rock
Sat, Feb 18
7:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
FireWolves
Sat, Feb 18
7:30 pm ET
Wings
Bandits
Sat, Feb 18
8:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
1:00 pm ET
Riptide
Thunderbirds
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Mammoth
Fri, Feb 24
10:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Desert Dogs
Sat, Feb 25
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Swarm
Sat, Feb 25
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Knighthawks
Sat, Feb 25
8:00 pm ET
Warriors
Rush
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
6:30 pm ET
Bandits
Thunderbirds
Sat, Mar 4
11:30 am ET
Riptide
Wings
Sat, Mar 4
4:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Seals
Sat, Mar 4
7:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Rock
Sat, Mar 4
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
FireWolves
Sat, Mar 4
8:00 pm ET
Rush
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
7:00 pm ET
Rock
Wings
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
7:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Bandits
Fri, Mar 10
9:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Mammoth
Sat, Mar 11
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Rock
Sat, Mar 11
7:30 pm ET
Wings
Riptide
Sat, Mar 11
8:30 pm ET
Seals
Rush
Sat, Mar 11
10:30 pm ET
Warriors
Desert Dogs
Sun, Mar 12
4:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Swarm
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
9:00 pm ET
Rush
Roughnecks
Fri, Mar 17
10:00 pm ET
Seals
Warriors
Sat, Mar 18
11:00 am ET
Swarm
Wings
Sat, Mar 18
6:00 pm ET
Rock
Thunderbirds
Sat, Mar 18
7:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Bandits
Sat, Mar 18
7:30 pm ET
FireWolves
Riptide
Sat, Mar 18
8:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
3:00 pm ET
Wings
Knighthawks
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
8:30 pm ET
Seals
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Wings
Sat, Mar 25
7:00 pm ET
Rock
FireWolves
Sat, Mar 25
7:30 pm ET
Swarm
Riptide
Sat, Mar 25
9:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Rush
Sat, Mar 25
10:00 pm ET
Bandits
Seals
Sat, Mar 25
10:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Warriors
Sat, Mar 25
10:30 pm ET
Knighthawks
Desert Dogs
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
7:00 pm ET
Riptide
Swarm
Fri, Mar 31
9:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Mammoth
Fri, Mar 31
10:00 pm ET
Roughnecks
Seals
Sat, Apr 1
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
Rock
Sat, Apr 1
8:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
9:30 pm ET
Warriors
Rush
Sun, Apr 2
1:00 pm ET
Swarm
Thunderbirds
Sun, Apr 2
6:00 pm ET
Knighthawks
Wings
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
7:00 pm ET
Rush
Swarm
Sat, Apr 8
7:00 pm ET
FireWolves
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 8
9:00 pm ET
Panther City
Roughnecks
Sat, Apr 8
9:00 pm ET
Warriors
Mammoth
Sat, Apr 8
10:30 pm ET
Seals
Desert Dogs
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
9:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Roughnecks
Fri, Apr 14
9:00 pm ET
Seals
Mammoth
Sat, Apr 15
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Rock
Sat, Apr 15
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
FireWolves
Sat, Apr 15
7:30 pm ET
Riptide
Bandits
Sat, Apr 15
9:30 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Rush
Sat, Apr 15
10:00 pm ET
Panther City
Warriors
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
8:30 pm ET
Roughnecks
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
6:00 pm ET
Riptide
Thunderbirds
Sat, Apr 22
7:00 pm ET
Swarm
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 22
8:00 pm ET
Rock
Bandits
Sat, Apr 22
9:30 pm ET
Mammoth
Rush
Sat, Apr 22
10:00 pm ET
Desert Dogs
Seals
Sun, Apr 23
3:00 pm ET
Wings
FireWolves
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Thunderbirds
Swarm
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Wings
Knighthawks
Sat, Apr 29
7:00 pm ET
Bandits
FireWolves
Sat, Apr 29
10:00 pm ET
Mammoth
Seals
Sat, Apr 29
10:00 pm ET
Riptide
Warriors
Sat, Apr 29
10:30 pm ET
Rush
Desert Dogs
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Draft

Final Thoughts Before the 2019 NLL Draft

1. Heightened Sense of Pressure

On Tuesday night there’s going to be a ton of nervous energy as a room full of players sit anxiously waiting to hear the Commissioner say their name. The draft has come a long way since Teddy Jenner was taken 11th overall back in 2001, but that gut-wrenching feeling every time a team passes on you will never change. However, for Regy Thorpe and Dan Carey, the nerves will be equally as palpable, if not more.

Going into their first drafts as General Managers is taxing enough; add on top of that the pressure of a brand-new franchise’s future. “For sure [there are] some nerves, but our staff has done a great job in preparing for the entry draft,” said Thorpe. Adding that he feels “really good about our preparations”

Both have been through the process before as players, and Carey was AGM with the Mammoth last season, so they know what these guys are going through. “There’s always nerves,” commented Carey, “but I had nerves as a player, too. That nervous excitement is a good thing to have.”

Don’t expect any sympathy from their fellow GMs, though. Thorpe holds the coveted first-overall selection Tuesday night, and while he has fielded calls from other teams about that pick, they are “keeping [their] short term goals in mind while also keeping sight of having a long-term, stable team that can be successful both on and off the field.”

Many team execs will be in Oakville for the Combine this weekend, and Carey, who’s been incredibly impressed with his staff’s preparation, is looking forward to seeing many of the players firsthand and expects to “add a few players” to his draft list. So there’s still time to make an impression, fellas.

Unfortunately, like a few others from the NLL, Thorpe will be in be Langley at the 2019 Worold Indoor Lacrosse Championship, so he’ll likely be pacing back and forth in his hotel room on Tuesday night.

 

2. Slim Pickings

With 89 names to be called out Tuesday night in Philly, the 13 NLL clubs average just under seven picks each. The Swarm lead the way with 11 selections, followed by the Riptide and Knighthawks who have 10 each. Unfortunately, the Vancouver Warriors, who finished last season with a 5-13 record, only have three picks to their name. That’s right—they won’t be at the podium until the 52nd pick and only have two more selections (67th & 80th) afterwards.

GM Dan Richardson has been busy in the offseason trying to bring in some local free agents like Colton Clark, Patrick O’Meara, Sam Clare, and Andrew Gallant. These signings aren’t breaking the bank, and there are no guarantees they’ll all make the final roster, but the Warriors are trying to do all they can right now to change the culture in Vancouver after far too many years of disappointment. The biggest get so far has been Riley Loewen, who has won cups in Saskatchewan and Calgary and will be another lefty weapon in addition to Mitch Jones and Logan Schuss. There are more FAs out there that are on Vancouver’s ‘Wish List,’ but it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there on the free-agent market. Getting Joel McCready and Chris O’Dougherty back will also gain the Warriors some more grit and leadership as Richardson continues to try and build a playoff-caliber team.

You have to go all the way back to 2013 to find a first-round draft pick from the Warriors/Stealth franchise, and Cody Bremner isn’t even playing lacrosse anymore. When Richardson took over the job as Warriors GM back in June of last year, he wasn’t exactly flush with cash, picks, or prospects. He’s had to unload unhealthy contracts and fan favorites, and he’s been forced to try to squeeze diamonds out of coal. With no real chances to move up in the draft, the Warriors will have to wait until 2020 to make any sort of noise on draft night.

 

3. “We have a trade to announce.”

There always seem to be trades at the NLL draft, sometimes huge ones that cause seismic ripples throughout the room. Last year, Georgia sent Jesse King and the 23rd pick in the draft to Calgary for Holden Cattoni and the 7th pick, which they promptly used to select Brendan Bomberry.

Back in 2011, Rochester provided a stunner when they shipped Shawn Evans and a 2012 first-rounder to Calgary for the 5th pick so they could select Johnny Powless.

Will something at that level happen at the 2019 draft? It’s hard to say, but how about the following scenario for a potential shocker: New York trades the 1st overall pick to Saskatchewan for the 4th pick and either a roster player or another first rounder?

To be clear, I haven’t heard that this is going to happen, and I actually think the most likely scenario is that New York uses the first pick on Andrew Kew, as we’ve all figured for a while that they would.

Still, it would be an interesting trade and would make some sense for both teams when you delve into the layers a little bit.

There’s been a pretty solid buzz that New York is enamored of Tyson Bomberry, even to the extent that they considered for a while just using the first pick on him. By trading the first pick, they could almost surely still get Bomberry at 4 and add another pick with which the expansion team could get a player who would start for them right away.

The tricky thing about this imaginary trade would be determining what the other asset would have to be to compel the Riptide to risk moving down. New York would almost surely ask for the #9 overall pick and Saskatchewan would almost surely try to convince the Riptide to take #16.

Will it happen? Probably not. Would it shake up the draft? It sure would. Whether it’s this trade or, more likely, one that we haven’t even heard rumors of yet, look for a slight delay to the drafting at some point on Tuesday as commissioner Nick Sakiewicz steps to the stage and says “We have a trade to announce.”

 

2. Draft Night Steals

As we get into the later rounds of the draft, a theme arises that it is highly unlikely players being selected at that point will make a roster. While it’s true that late rounders are long shots and that the shots may be even longer this year with the draft extending to 89 picks, players selected late into Tuesday night’s proceedings shouldn’t give up hope. After all, it’s not unheard of for late-round picks to make it—and sometimes make it big—in the NLL.

Two-time NLL Transition Player of the Year Joey Cupido was selected by Colorado in the 5th round, 38th overall, in 2011.

Former NLL Defensive Player of the Year Ryan Dilks was picked even later by Toronto, also in the 5th round but 50th overall, in 2010.

The year after Cupido was a draft night steal for the Mammoth, Washington took Kyle Buchanan in the 6th round. Like Dilks, Buchanan bounced to a couple of teams before really hitting his stride, but now he’s one of the top loose-ball collectors among NLL forwards.

And finally, we go back to the 2008 draft to find the poster child for late-round draft picks. Patrick Saunders was selected by Chicago with the very last pick, 76th overall at the end of the 6th round. Saunders took a while to find an NLL gig, but he eventually made it to the show and produced seasons of 38 and 44 goals.

NLL