IL Indoor nears closer to Top 10 prospects for #NLLDraft on Sept. 22
As the 2014 NLL Draft looms on Monday, Sept. 22, Stephen Stamp from IL Indoor continues to count down the Top 50 prospects hopeful to hear their names called at Toronto Rock Athletic Centre. Check out players ranked 11-20 below and be sure to watch #NLLDraft live on YouTube.com/TLN on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.
11 – Dan Keane – RF Brampton Excelsiors (OLA Jr A), University of Delaware (NCAA)
Has a heavy shot that he likes to use from anywhere on the floor. Keane is a two-time 30-goal scorer in Jr A. Has a tendency to hang on to the ball a bit too long, which can limit his effectiveness, but an NLL coach will be able to disabuse him of that habit pretty quickly. Could go higher than this spot: some coaches really like his elusiveness and quick feet.
12 – Matthew Bennett – LT Brampton Excelsiors (OLA Jr A)
Bennett is fast; he buzzes all over the floor. He’s also not afraid to get his nose dirty; he racked up 193 penalty minutes in four-plus seasons of Jr A lacrosse, including 98 in 2013. He has reasonable stick skills when he gets into the offensive zone. Bennett showed well when he played in CLax as a 19-year-old in 2012, putting up 9 goals and 20 assists in 14 games split between Durham and Brampton. Some observers think he’s ready to play in the NLL now.
12A – Quinn Powless – RF Six Nations Arrows (OLA Jr A)
Big, strong and talented, Powless was a late registrant to the entry draft. He blossomed this summer, scoring 26 goals and 46 assists in 20 regular season games and adding 22 goals and 42 assists in 19 games in the playoffs. Powless is a good passer who will take his shot when it’s there but doesn’t force it. Fitness is a bit of a concern for NLL teams; he’ll need to commit to getting in top shape to have an impact in the pros commensurate to the talent he brings to the table.
13 – Rodd Squire Jr. – RT Six Nations Chiefs (MSL)
Squire is a big, strong transition player with good speed and stick skills. He took a step back this year, finding his way into only 13 games in a Chiefs season in which their roster was in flux. If his ranking was based on last year, Squire would probably come in even higher on this list. He had a strong 2013 scoring 7 goals and 6 assists while playing in all 20 games. He’s a bit of a gamble but has played well against top-level competition and projects to be a good depth transition player in the NLL.
14 – Ty Thompson – LF University at Albany (NCAA)
Unfortunately for Ty, he’s sometimes considered the “other” Thompson because his cousins Lyle and Miles garner so much attention. But Ty had a tremendous career in his own right at Albany. He was Tewaaraton Award nominee in 2013 when he scored 54 goals for the Great Danes. Ty totalled 154 goals in his four seasons. He’s played the last two summers with the Kahnawake Mohawks of the Quebec Sr B league, where he’s scored 64 points in 19 games. He has excellent stick skills and great passion for the game.
15 – Casey Jackson – LF RIT (NCAA)
A talented lefty who has produced consistently in his three WLA seasons, scoring 45, 49 and 54 points with Burnaby. He can shoot but is more of a setup guy, looking to produce scoring chances for his teammates. Was 8th in the WLA in scoring this summer, second on the Lakers, and led Burnaby with 37 assists.
16 – Mike Melnychenko – LF Chestnut Hill College (NCAA)
Never really showed his game in KW after arriving from Brooklin in a trade this year because he had a leg injury, but Melnychenko put up 16 goals in his rookie year with the Redmen in 2013 and added 27 points (15g, 12a) in an impressive 12-game playoff run. He’s a good shooter, although he can be a bit predictable in going to the toe drag and sub shot moving across the top of the offence. Has a chance to contribute as a depth lefty to a pro team.
17 – Patrick Miles – New England College (NCAA)
Spent four seasons as an important part of Brampton’s defence in the OLA Jr A league then stepped up to have a strong rookie season with the Rock this year. Miles is quick and agile. He can help push the ball up the floor but doesn’t make rash decisions when he runs in transition. Will need to add some strength to compete in the pros, but he has quick feet and generally sound positioning.
18 – Brandon Benn – RF Johns Hopkins (NCAA)
Benn can crash and bang on the offensive end and has the hands to contribute some goals as well. He scored 35 times, along with 24 assists, in his final season of Jr A with the Orangeville Northmen in 2013, a year after helping them to win the Minto Cup. Doesn’t project as a big scorer in the pros, but should contribute as a solid depth player on the right side.
19 – Andrew Smistad – RD Marquette University (NCAA)
It’s unfortunate for Smistad that he had to miss the 2014 season after suffering an injury at Marquette in the spring. The Redmen were pleased to have picked him up in a deal with Oakville. He’s a 6’2”, 210-pound defender who is difficult to play against. The Calgary native made his way to Ontario to play summer box and benefited greatly from the experience of playing against the best offensive players in the world. He will take some time to adjust to the pace of the NLL but projects as a solid stay at home defender.
20 – Alexis Buque – G American International College (NCAA)
Buque was named the OLA Jr A league’s top goalie in 2013 and helped the Whitby Warriors to win the Minto Cup that summer. At 5’10”, 225 pounds he takes up a lot of net and plays his angles well.
NLL Draft Top 50 Prospects: #21-30
NLL Draft Top 50 Prospects: #31-40
NLL Draft Top 50 Prospects: #41-50