Vancouver gets Powless & McCready, Hall returns to Rochester & more
On top of all the National Lacrosse Leaugue prospects selected, the 2014 NLL Draft was a roller coaster ride with a slew of trades helping to highlight a wild evening at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, Ontario on Monday night.
The big-name deals started several hours before the draft began as the Rochester Knighthawks dealt budding superstar Johnny Powless and veteran Joel McCready along with the 9th and 23rd overall picks in 2014 to the Vancouver Stealth, with the three-time defending champs soaring up the draft board to the second overall pick, adding the 11th overall pick as well as first round selections in 2015 and 2017.
And before even the first selection could be made, there were two more trades to announce.
The Knighthawks did not waste any time replacing Powless, as they sent their 11th and 28th overall selections as well as a first round pick in 2015 to the New England Black Wolves for veteran forward Jordan Hall who returns for his second stint in a Knighthawks uniform.
Having traded away Hall, the Black Wolves, entering their first draft in their new home, picked up a plethora of 2014 draft picks, the 6th, 8th, 27th, & 28th overall from the Calgary Roughnecks in exchange for a 2015 first round pick and a 2016 3rd round selection.
With those trades out of the way, the Edmonton Rush finally reached the podium, selecting Ben McIntosh out of Drexel University with the first overall pick, adding yet another offensive weapon to the right side.
“I couldn’t be happier,” McIntosh said, barely holding back a smile. “It’s something you play your whole life for and hearing your name [as first overall pick] is so exciting.”
Having traded up to the second overall pick Rochester, selected forward Jeremy Noble out of the University of Denver, who was ranked #1 in the IL Indoor Top 50 Draft Prospects ranking.
“It’s a pretty special feeling,” said the 23-year old Noble. “When I was little, I always watched the NLL Draft and the NLL so to be selected into this league, and at second overall, is a dream come true.”
The second overall selection is becoming something of a tradition for the Noble family, as Jeremy’s twin brother Jason was selected second overall by the Minnesota Swarm in last year’s NLL Draft. With Minnesota slated to pick third, Jeremy had to have some thoughts of playing with his brother at the highest level.
“I think every kid when you grow up with a twin brother you’re obviously going to want to play with him,” Noble admitted. “But I’m pretty happy being in Rochester … they have so many talented offensive weapons, so many players that I’ve watched play growing up and have modelled my game after [them].”
But the first round trades were not done there.
The Colorado Mammoth traded the 13th overall selection in 2014 and a 2015 2nd round pick to get back into the first round to select Robert Hope, the top defenseman in the 2014 Draft.
As happened with several draftees in 2014, Hope had the pleasure of not only being selected, but knowing that his team made a special effort to trade up especially for him.
“It feels great that someone really wanted me [enough to trade up] and I’m certainly looking forward to play with such great players,” Hope said.
Hope knows he’s going into a spirited environment in Colorado, where the Mammoth perennially compete with the Buffalo Bandits to lead the NLL in attendance.
“I’ve heard about it and I’ve seen a couple games and I’m very excited to be able to play there,” he said.
Before this wild first round came to a close, one more blockbuster trade was to be made.
The Buffalo Bandits, lacking a first round selection, traded into the first round, acquiring the 9th overall pick, a 2nd round pick in 2015, a 1st round pick in 2018 and Nick Weiss from the Vancouver Stealth in exchange for gritty veteran defenseman Rory Smith, Eric Penney and the 12th overall selection in 2014.
The Bandits shocked many by selecting Brandon Goodwin with their newly acquired 1st round pick. The left-handed forward was projected to go in a later round, but Bandits general manager Steve Dietrich wanted his man and would not be denied.
New England would continue their propensity for wheeling and dealing, completing four additional deals before the night was over, acquiring the rights to defenseman Mike McNamara from Colorado, as well as forward Jay Card from Minnesota.
When all was said and done, dreams came true for 55 young lacrosse players and several veterans were dealt in an exciting and active 2014 NLL Draft.
The 2015 NLL Season opens on Friday, Jan. 2 with the Buffalo Bandits visiting the New England Black Wolves at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The New England Black Wolves have traded Jordan Hall to the Rochester Knighthawks in exchange for their 11th and 28th overall selections in the 2014 Entry Draft and their first round selection in the 2015 Entry Draft.
The New England Black Wolves have traded their first round selection in the 2015 Entry Draft and their third round selection in the 2016 Entry Draft to the Calgary Roughnecks in exchange for their 6th, 8th, 26th, 27th selections in the 2014 Entry Draft.
The Vancouver Stealth have traded Nick Weiss, the 9th overall selection in the 2014 Entry Draft, their 2nd round selection in the 2015 Entry Draft, and their 1st round selection in the 2018 Entry Draft to the Buffalo Bandits in exchange for Rory Smith and Eric Penney and the 12th overall selection in the 2014 Entry Draft.
The Edmonton Rush have traded their 7th selection in the 2014 Entry Draft to the Colorado Mammoth in exchange for the 13th selection in the 2014 Entry Draft and a second round selection in the 2015 Entry Draft.
The Colorado Mammoth have traded the rights of Mike McNamara to the New England Black Wolves in exchange for the 17th selection in the 2014 Entry Draft.
The New England Black Wolves have traded the 27th selection in the 2014 Entry Draft to the Rochester Knighthawks in exchange for their third round selection in the 2015 Entry Draft.
The Minnesota Swarm have traded Jay Card to the New England Black Wolves in exchange for the 40th selection in the 2014 Entry Draft.
The Buffalo Bandits have traded their 6th round selection in the 2016 Entry Draft to the New England Black Wolves in exchange for the 49th selection in the 2014 Entry Draft.