MSL General Managers offer Draft strategy
The 2020 Major Series Lacrosse Entry draft is just two days away and the Brampton Excelsiors, Brooklin Lacrosse Club and Cobourg Nissan Kodiaks have an abundance of draft selections available. Combined, the three teams have 22 (73%) of the total 30 selections available in the draft. Both Brooklin and Cobourg, who did not qualify for the 2019 playoffs, know the success of this draft can be the difference in making the 2020 playoffs.
The Excelsiors looking to improve on their fourth place 2019 finish have eight selections - 27% of the total selections available in the draft. With two first round picks, the Excelsiors also have two selections in each of Rounds, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Brampton General Manager Steve McCarthy commented, “We have done a lot of prep work dissecting our current roster and looking at the draft eligible players that may be able to step in and fill some voids. Although we are looking to fill specific needs on our roster either through the draft or via trades, we will usually look to take the best player available when it comes to our turn with each of our picks. We are looking forward to the process and welcoming 8 new players into our organization and providing them the opportunity to earn a spot on our roster”. The Excelsiors had nine selections in the 2019 Entry Draft which helped to improve to 9 wins from their 5-win season of 2018. Certainly, Brampton expects this year’s selections to help the club improve even more upon the 9 wins and 9 losses season of 2019.
The Cobourg Nissan Kodiaks have a total of seven selections (23% of the total selections) including the second overall pick, along with two choices in the second round and three choices in the fourth round and a single choice in the fifth round. Kodiaks General Manager John Webb noted, “We are very excited entering the MSL draft. It's a very deep draft and there are plenty of great young players eligible, so it's a matter of selecting the right fit for our club. With the second overall pick, we know we are going to get a very talented player at number 2, and then we have two selections in the second round. We're confident that these picks will help us make a competitive run at making the 2020 MSL playoffs.” After a solid beginning, the Kodiaks faded badly in the last half of the 2019 schedule. The addition of a couple of key players, possibly acquired in this draft could be the difference in leaping Cobourg into the 2020 playoffs.
A further glance at the round-by-round draft order reveals the Brooklin Lacrosse Club has seven selections including three in the first round (Picks 1, 4 and 5). With three of the first five choices including the first overall choice, Brooklin General Manager Brad MacArthur feels “This is an opportunity for us to reshape our roster with high-end young talent. We operate our own Ontario Senior League affiliate franchise in the Brooklin Merchants and we're the only team setup with common staff between the two leagues. The staff has been discussing our draft options at length. It intensified after the holidays to the point where we have held weekly conference calls”. MacArthur went on to elaborate, “With our structure we can actually develop players we select within our own organization which offers some real tangible benefits. I spend a lot of time with the Merchants players getting to know them and evaluating them and we ensure both organizations are integrated and engaged. When we select a player, we want them to know there is a plan, we have a place for you to play, and we want you here. We've weighed all our options and what benefits our organization - so we're going into Monday with a plan. We've planned and discussed variables that may be thrown at us, and potential trades that we may look for”. With just four wins in 2019 - after the 2020 draft – the Brooklin Lacrosse Club should have hope for a more successful 2020 season.
The 2020 Major Series League draft will be held in Peterborough Monday January 27th beginning at 8pm and will be streamed live on the Major Series website by lacrosse-tv.com