CALGARY, AB — The NLL Draft is one week away.
And the Calgary Roughnecks hold the fifth overall selection.
But instead of looking to the future, let’s look to the past to see what other names have been selected at the same spot. There might be a few big names!
2015, Chad Tutton, Georgia Swarm
It might be early to declare Tutton a great #5 overall selection, but based on one year’s worth of production, he fits the bill. As a defensive transition player, Tutton was a needed force in the back-end for the Swarm’s defence, but he also had a good feeling for scoring when given the chance. Playing in all 18 games in 2016, the rookie registered 14 goals and eight assists for a solid 22 points. He also contributed in the loose ball category, vacuuming up 90 runaway balls. Tutton is an example of what the Roughnecks will hope to find on draft day.
2013, Robert Church, Edmonton Rush
Roughnecks fans have become accustomed to seeing Church a few times each year and have seen his development in the NLL first hand. Since cracking the Rush line-up in 2014, the youngster has produced 230 points on 93 goals and 137 assists. Getting that type of production from a #5 overall selection is quite good – the Rush seem pleased. The righty has also chipped in 39 points in 11 playoff games, helping the Rush win back-to-back Champion’s Cups the last two seasons.
2012, Dhane Smith, Buffalo Bandits
Through the 2014 season, Dhane Smith wasn’t a huge name. But in 2014, the 6’3” righty blew up in a big way. He netted 107 points (39g, 68a) and was looking like the next big thing in box lacrosse. And he was. Smith took a huge step forward once again, scoring an NLL record 72 goals in one season while simultaneously dishing out 65 assists, and setting a scoring record with 137 points. Despite taking a while to develop into the star he is today, Smith is undoubtedly one of the best in the game and a great value at #5 overall.
2011, Johnny Powless, Rochestor Knighthawks
Poles is a winner. At the ripe age of 19, Powless was forced (nay, he earned a spot) into action on the left side of Rochester’s offence. He instantly became a threat and helped the Knighthawks to three straight Champion’s Cups (2012-14). Since leaving Rochester, he has not won another ring, but he has continued to produce and he even elevated his game to new heights in 2015, scoring 72 points (35g, 37a) with the Georgia Swarm.
2010, Jarrett Davis, Rochestor Knighthawks
Here’s another player that Roughnecks fans should be familiar with. Davis currently plays with the Saskatchewan Rush, but he began his career in Rochester, where he won the 2012 Champion’s Cup. The pesky forward has since won two more Cups with Saskatchewan. While not a prolific scorer – Davis has only surpassed 50 points once in his career – the fundamentally sound and speedy forward works extremely hard to help his team. That’s the type of player any team would want to get with the fifth overall selection in the NLL Draft.
2006, Ian Llord, Philadelphia Wings
Any time a player lasts 11-plus years in the NLL, they’re doing something right. That’s most certainly the case with defenceman Ian Llord. Interestingly, Llord was a Calgary Roughneck for a very brief time as the was acquired in a three-team deal. However, he was moved to the Buffalo Bandits not long after at the 2007 NLL Draft. In 140 games, the veteran has amassed 58 points (13g, 45a), 235 penalty minutes, and 476 loose balls.
2004, Rob Van Beek, Philadelphia Wings
Unlike Llord, who never suited up for the Roughnecks, Van Beek played 10 games in the red and black in 2010. His one season in Calgary would be his last in the NLL. In his five previous seasons, Van Beek was a member of the Wings. During his six-year career, the lefty forward netted only 89 points (23g, 66a), but was an animal on the loose balls, grabbing 479.