On Tuesday, June 29, 2021 the NLL hosted the Panther City Lacrosse Club Expansion Draft, with the league’s Fort Worth team picking its inaugural players. The following are the players that were picked in the draft.
EXPANSION DRAFT RESULTS
Selection 1: MATT HOSSACK (RD) – Saskatchewan Rush
Matt Hossack is a great young defenseman for Panther City. He’s played four years for Saskatchewan, scoring 12 goals and 26 assists, while picking up 216 loose balls and causing 50 turnovers. From Port Perry, Ontario, he played collegiately at RIT before being drafted in the second round by Saskatchewan.
Selection 2: CHARLIE KITCHEN (RF) – Albany FireWolves
Charlie Kitchen was drafted by the New England Black Wolves after an accolade-filled collegiate career at the University of Delaware. A native of New Jersey, Kitchen is one of two players in program history ranked inside of the top-10 in goals, assists, and points. He’s an exciting prospect for PCLC to pick up.
Selection 3: LIAM BYRNES (RD) – Philadelphia Wings
Byrnes was a standout field lacrosse player before jumping over to the NLL. He got into two games with Georgia but didn’t play the following season. Philadelphia then picked him up and turned him into a reliable defender. The 28-year-old from Atlanta was Marquette’s all-time leader in ground balls (218) and caused turnovers (102) during his time there.
Selection 4: CONNOR KELLY (RF) – New York Riptide
The 26-year-old from Easton, CT split his two NLL seasons between San Diego and New York, scoring 24 goals and 32 assists for 56 points over 19 games. The righty also scooped 65 loose balls for New York last season. The former Maryland Terrapin showed his adaptability in coming to the box game and contributing right away.
Selection 5: NICK DAMUDE (G) – San Diego Seals
After one year as San Diego’s backup, Nick Damude sports a 3-1 record and a decent 9.43 GAA. Young goalies tend to take longer to develop than runners, but Damude may be the best prospect in the NLL at the moment, and he’s only 22. Damude played junior lacrosse for the St. Catharines Athletics where he led all Ontario Junior Association Lacrosse League goalies with a 5.29 goals-against average.
Selection 6: PATRICK DODDS (RF) – Calgary Roughnecks
Dodds was selected 21st overall last season so hasn’t seen any NLL action yet, but coming out of junior he was an impressive prospect. He’ll probably be the youngest player to be selected tonight at just 19-years-old, but his size (6’3”, 212lb) and grit should allow him to be able to step right into PCLC’s lineup and hold his own against opposing defensemen.
Selection 7: SAM CLARE (LD) – Vancouver Warriors
Clare, from Ladner, BC, has one year of experience under his belt at the NLL level. He got into eight games with Vancouver last season, scoring twice and adding eight assists while scooping 30 loose balls. Ladner was formerly a forward, switching to defense three years before being drafted. Clare is also a member of England’s national team.
Selection 8: LIAM PATTEN (RD) – Buffalo Bandits
Patten made it into five games as a rookie for Buffalo before being picked up by Philadelphia where he played two solid seasons on the back end. Last season he picked up 60 loose balls and caused six turnovers. He was solid as an underaged player in the Arena Lacrosse League and has gritty, decent stick skills.
Selection 9: PHIL CAPUTO (RF) – Rochester Knighthawks
Panther City will be Caputo’s fourth team in six years. He showed a lot of promise for the Toronto Rock in 2017-18 but only got into two games the following season, and was then moved to Rochester. If he can play full time in Panther City he’ll be one of the most noticeable, energetic players on the floor. Caputo is also a stalwart for the Brampton Excelsiors in the MSL as one of their most effective players.
Selection 10: RYAN BENESCH (LF) – Halifax Thunderbirds
Benesch has long been one of the most talented players in the NLL and Panther City got a gem with the 14-year veteran. Over his career he has 451 goals, 610 assists and 1061 points. He is only the 10th player in NLL history to reach the 1000 point milestone.
Selection 11: KEVIN ORLEMAN (G) – Georgia Swarm
The 25-year-old goaltender might be ready to step into a full-time role in the league, and he needs to if he’s going to reach his potential. In two seasons with the Swarm, Orleman had a 1-2 record with a GAA of 14.115 in just 210 minutes played. The youngster has long been waiting for his time to shine and play real minutes. He’ll have learned well from Mike Poulin’s tutelage in Georgia.
Selection 12: CHRIS WARDLE (LF) – Colorado Mammoth
The lefty forward started his career in Vancouver before finding himself in Colorado for the last five seasons. He’s scored 75 goals and contributed 107 assists while adding 220 loose ball grabs. Victoria Shamrocks coach Bob Heyes called Wardle “deceptively smooth with a good shot.” He’s a hard working player who was given the Mammoth’s Most Inspirational Player award last season.
Selection 13: SCOTT DOMINEY (LD) – Toronto Rock
Toronto probably had a difficult time not protecting Scott “The Flash” Dominey because he’s such a dynamic player, especially when he gets the chance to run the floor in transition. He may play defense but he’s no stranger to the opposition’s net, winning the scoring title for the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association’s East Division in both 2017 and 2018. Fans will be on the edge of their seats when they see him get the ball.
Panther City Lacrosse Club also announced a series of trades following the draft.
- Traded 2nd round selection in the 2022 Entry Draft to the Toronto Rock in exchange for Taylor Stuart and their second round selection in the 2021 Entry Draft.
- Traded Scott Dominey to the New York Riptide in exchange for Dawson Theede.
- Traded Chris Wardle to the Colorado Mammoth in exchange for Will Malcolm and Jordan Trottier.
- Traded their 1st round pick in the 2023 entry draft to the Georgia Swarm in exchange for Connor Sellars and the 11th overall pick in the 2021 entry draft
TAYLOR STUART (LD)
Stuart only got into five games with the Rock, but spent three and a half successful years in Colorado. Originally drafted in the fourth round, the lefty defender has scooped 305 loose balls in 36 games.
DAWSON THEEDE (LF)
Theede got into eight games for Rochester after being drafted in the fourth round, scoring three times and adding seven assists before being taken in the expansion draft by New York. He spent his junior career with his hometown Whitby Warriors. Theede is also an accomplished hockey player.
JORDAN TROTTIER (LD)
Trottier was selected 28th overall by Colorado last season after spending his junior career in Peterborough, Nepean and New Westminster. He’s a big, agile player who will be a longer-term project for Panther City.
WILL MALCOM (LF)
Still very young at just 21-years-old, Malcom made it into eight games with Colorado last season, scoring four times and adding seven assists, a good debut for a rookie. He’s the brother of the FireWolves’ Tony Malcom.
CONNOR SELLARS (RD)
Sellars is a former first round pick from Brampton, ON, who has played four seasons with the Swarm with 260 loose balls and 40 caused turnovers. He can take the occasional faceoff as well, but he really shines when he uses his size as a solid defender. He’ll be able to help push the ball in transition for PCLC.