CALGARY, AB — The 2016 NLL Draft is today and the Calgary Roughnecks hold the 5th overall selection.

In recent days, multiple trades that have changed the landscape of the draft and what teams need, making each pick even harder to predict.

Without further ado, let’s begin:

“With the 1st pick in the 2016 NLL Draft, the Saskatchewan Rush take…Ryan Keenan!”

With two of the first three picks, the Saskatchewan Rush make sure they don’t miss out on coach Derek Keenan’s son, Ryan. Despite this being a family pick, it isn’t unwarranted. The young Keenan put up at least 90 points in each of his last two junior seasons and contributed 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) with the Brooklin Redmen of the Major Series Lacrosse League this summer. The 2013 Minto Cup champion and Quinnipiac grad will fill a need on the left side for the Rush after they traded Riley Loewen to the Calgary Roughnecks.

“With the 2nd pick in the 2016 NLL Draft, the Toronto Rock select…Challen Rogers!”

This feels like a very natural progression for the Western kid. Arguably the top talent in the draft, Rogers has been playing summer ball with the Oakville Rock and could continue to work out at the TRAC as a member of the NLL’s Rock. A 2015 and 2016 D1 All-American, Rogers has plenty of skill, both defensively and in transition. With many holes on the Rock roster, adding a top tier talent should be priority number one. With Rogers, they can check that off their wish list.

“With the 3rd pick in the 2016 NLL Draft, the Saskatchewan Rush take…Mike Messenger!”

With a talented forward already in tow, the Rush jump on the next best defensive, transition player. For a team with many strong transition players already, Messenger can help make the group even better. The Limestone College graduate was a 2014, 2015, and 2016 USILA First-Team Division II All-American, helping his team to the 2014 NCAA DII Championship. He played summer ball in the Western Lacrosse Association with the New Westminster Salmonbellies, where he registered 13 points (7g, 6a) in 15 games.

“With the 4th pick in the 2016 NLL Draft, the Georgia Swarm pick…Matt Hossack!”

While the Rochester Knighthawks might not be happy with this pick, the Swarm’s brass would be very pleased. After watching their offence put up big numbers in 2016, the team’s major downfall was their back-end. Cossack, who is very similar to his brother Graeme, could jump in right away and help stabilize their defence. Cossack played summer ball with the Brooklin Redmen, playing 16 games and nothing 6 assists, while only getting called for five penalty minutes.

“With the 5th pick in the 2016 NLL Draft, the Calgary Roughnecks select…holden Cattoni!”

The story is almost too perfect. Cattoni, a former Roughnecks ball boy, followed Tracey Kelusky out east to play with the Peterborough Lakers of the MSL. Under Kelsey’s tutelage, he has turned into an exceptional scoring threat. During his time in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League, Cattoni placed second (2011), second (2012), and third (2013) in league scoring. Deep on the Lakers depth chart, Holden still managed 16 goals and 15 assists in 12 games. Even with the addition of Riley Loewen on the left side, adding another talented lefty to the mix will set them up well in the future.

“With the 6th pick in the 2016 NLL Draft, the Rochester Knighthawks select…Doug Jamieson!”

Rochester has surely seen lots of Doug Jamieson over the last few years and should like what they’ve seen. While they already have Matt Vinc, he’s no spring chicken at 34-years old. Adding a talented goalie like Jamieson could be a great thing for the Knighthawks franchise. A future tandem of Jamieson and Goodleaf could be very, very good. Among other awards won by the young tendy, Jamieson has won two Minto Cups and one Mann Cup at only 20 years old.

“With the 7th pick in the 2016 NLL Draft, the Rochester Knighthawks select…Seth Oakes!”

After addressing a future need in a goaltender, the Knighthawks grab a possible star forward in Oakes. Oakes declared early for the 2016 NLL Draft and for good reason. The righty scored 305 points in 68 games in Junior B lacrosse. That’s a lot of scoring. At the Junior A level, he added another 228 points in 74 games, proving he has the ability to find twine. With an aging roster, the Knighthawks add another power scorer who could one day lead the team’s offence.

“With the 8th pick in the 2016 NLL Draft, the New England Black Wolves select…Warren Hill!”

Although the Black Wolves have a duo of Tye Belanger and Evan Kirk between the pipes now, Hill represents an upgrade for the future. Neither Belanger or Kirk has a winning record in the NLL, so the Black Wolves could be very interested in a future franchise net minder. Hill has been a beast with the Six Nations program. Between Junior B, Junior A, and the MSL, Hill has accumulated a 56-12 record with a GAA under 10.

“With the 9th pick in the 2016 NLL Draft, the Colorado Mammoth select…Josh Currier!”

The Mammoth made a big trade with the Rush to acquire this pick and they want to make the most of it. To do that, they need to take righty forward Josh Currier. With Mike Mallory as the only right-handed option behind Jeremy Noble and Callum Crawford, Colorado adds a speedy scoring threat to the stable. Currier has spent the past two summers playing with the Peterborough Lakers of the MSL. In 11 games in 2015, he scored 11 points. He showed some progress in 2016, having scored 23 goals and 22 assists in 17 games.

“With the 10th pick in the 2016 NLL Draft, the Georgia Swarm select…Leo Stouros!”

Going back to the well on defence, the Swarm pick up another young, but strong defenceman who could possibly make an immediate impact. Stouros has been a winner at every level, winning two Minto Cups and winning a Mann Cup with the Six Nations Chiefs this summer. He was also the OLA Jr A Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 and 2015 – proving he has the chops to shut down some of the best young scorers in the nation.

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