The NLL Pronunciation Guide 2019

It’s back and better than ever! The complete list of NLL people with weird, hard-to-pronounce, and not-that-hard-to-pronounce-but-people-get-it-wrong-anyway names, and how to say them properly. I’ve basically copied last year’s list, moved players to their new teams, added some rookies and players I missed, and added an entire paragraph on the word “Saskatchewan” which I’m sure some people will tell me is still wrong. I also added a few First Nations terms commonly heard in the lacrosse world.

Thanks again this year to Stephen Stamp for confirming these pronunciations. Stamper and I both confirmed many of these with the players themselves or their families, so thanks to them as well.

Names are organized alphabetically within teams.

Buffalo

Kevin Brownell – brow-NELL. brow rhymes with “cow”. Not BROWN-ull.

Josh Byrne – BURN

Jordan Durston – DER-stun

Chase Fraser – FRAY-zer, not FRAY-zher

Matt Gilray – GILL-ray

Zach Herreweyers – HAIR-wires (not HAY-wires as many say and as I had in previous years)

Thomas Hoggarth – HO-garth

Steve Priolo – pree-O-lo

Dhane Smith – DANE

Matt Spanger – SPANG-er. Like hanger but with an SP instead

Mark Steenhuis – STAIN-house

Matt Vinc – like the name “Vince”. Not VINK.

Nick Weiss – WEES

KYLE muh-TEASE (Photo: HamiltonLacrosse.com)Calgary

Chris Boushy – BOO-shee

Reece Callies – REES CAL-ees

Mike Carnegie – CAR-nuh-gee (hard g)

Christian del Bianco – dell bee-AHN-ko

Dane Dobbie – DOUGH-bee. Not like Dobby.

Rhys Duch – REES DUTCH. Frequently pronounced through sobs in Vancouver this year.

Greg Harnett – har-NET

Anthony Kalinich – KAL-in-itch. I had ka-LIN-itch last year, but that’s wrong.

Riley Loewen – LOW-en. LOW is like the word “low”, not rhyming with “cow”. Interesting aside: the original German pronunciation would be like “LER-ven” but without pronouncing the R (there’s no really good equivalent in English). Loewen is an alternate spelling of Löwen, the German word for “lions”.

Ryan Martel – mar-TELL

Eli Salama – sa-LA-ma

Colorado

Ryan Benesch – buh-NESH

Scott Carnegie – CAR-nuh-gee (hard g)

Joey Cupido – koo-PEE-doe. Not KYOO-pid-o or KOO-pid-o.

Julian Garritano – gar-uh-TAN-o

Jordan Gilles – GILL-ess. Not the same as Brad Gillies on Rochester.

Stephen Keogh – KEY-o

Eli McLaughlin – E-lie muh-GLOCK-lin

Jacob Ruest – roo-EH where EH is pronounced like the e in “best”. Not roo-AY.

Dillon Ward – WOL

Georgia

Holden Cattoni – ka-TONE-ee

Alex Crepinsek – CREP-in-seck

Kevin Orleman – OR-luh-min

Mike Poulin – POO-lin

Randy Staats – STOTS. Rhymes with “slots”. Not STATS.

Leo Stouros – STIR-us. According to Leo, it “rhymes with thermos”.

Jerome Thompson – Prefers to to be called Hiana, pronounced HY-nuh

Adam Wiedemann – WEED-uh-min

New England

Alex Buque – boo-KAY. However apparently when playing in junior, he pronounced it rhyming with “spook”.

Nick Chaykowsky – chay-KOW-skee

Callum Crawford – CAL-um. Not CAY-lum.

Dave Emala – EM-a-la

Ryan Fournier – FOORN-yay

John LaFontaine – LA-fon-tane

Stephan Leblanc – STEFF-in luh-BLONK. Not steh-FAWN and not luh-BLANK.

Jackson Nishimura – ni-shi-MOOR-uh

Philadelphia

Trevor Baptiste – bap-TEEST

Doug Buchan – BUCK-in

Liam Byrnes – BURNS

Steph Charbonneau – STEFF CHAR-buh-no

Chris Cloutier – CLOO-chay

Kevin Crowley – KROW-lee. Not like the bird. KROW rhymes with “cow”.

Davide DiRuscio – DAY-vid dih-ROOSH-ee-o

Vaughn Harris – VON

Anthony Joaquim – JOKE-um, unlike teammate Joakim Miller

Chet Koneczny – kuh-NEKTS-nee. Direct from Chet: “connects-knee”

Kiel Matisz – KYLE muh-TEASE

Joakim Miller – YOKE-um, unlike teammate Anthony Joaquim

Adam Osika – o-SEE-kuh

Blaze Riorden – REER-dun

Eric Shewell – SHOO-ull

Rochester

James Barclay – BAR-klay

Eric Fannell – fuh-NELL

Brad Gillies – GILL-ees. Not the same as Jordan Gilles on Colorado.

Graeme Hossack – GRAY-um HOSS-ick

Luc Magnan – LUKE MAG-nun

Greg Puskuldjian – pus-KOOL-jee-in. Thanks Connor Wilson

Joe Resetarits – res-uh-TARE-its

Pat Saunders – SAWN-ders. Not SAND-ers.

Luke Van Schepen – van SHEP-in

Cory Vitarelli – vit-uh-REL-ee

San Diego

Brandon Clelland – CLELL-and

Garrett Epple – EPP-il. Sounds like a South African saying “apple”.

Rylan Hartley – RY-lin. There’s an L in there. It’s not Ryan.

Connor Kearnan – KEER-nin

Tor Reinholdt – RINE-holt

Mike Schlosser – SHLOS-er

Ethan Schott – SHOT

Frank Scigliano – shill-ee-ANN-o

Adrian Sorichetti – sore-i-KET-ee

Austin Staats – STOTS

Saskatchewan

Nik Bilic – BEE-leech according to Nik himself. Many people say bee-LEETCH which he’s apparently OK with. Not BILL-ick or BILL-itch.

Chris Corbeil – cor-BEEL

Nick Finlay – FIN-lee

Tyler Gaulton – GOLL-tun

Matt Hossack – HOSS-ick

Mike Messenger – MESS-in-jer

Brett Mydske – MID-skee

Kyle Rubisch – ROO-bish

Adam Shute – SHOOT. I love that there’s a goalie named SHOOT. Like former major league pitcher Bob Walk.

Saskatchewan – Well, it’s complicated. I got in trouble last year because I listed it as “sas-CATCH-uh-won” which is how I’ve been pronouncing it all my life, but apparently that’s wrong. The last syllable shouldn’t be “won”, and it shouldn’t really be “win” either. It should be “wən” where the ə symbol is a “schwa”, indicating an “unstressed and toneless central vowel sound”. Say it like there is no vowel there at all, like “sas-CATCH-uh-wn”. And some locals pronounce the first syllable as “sis” rather than “sas”, though I’d say the first vowel should also be a schwa. The end result is səs-CATCH-uh-wən. Or just say “the Rush” or do like Brian Shanahan and say “Saskatoon”.

CHA-lin and VINCE

Toronto

Phil Caputo – ka-POO-toe

Scott Dominey – DOM-in-ee

Latrell Harris – la-TREL

Billy Hostrawser – HO-straw-zer

Brad Kri – KREE

Dan Lintner – LINT-ner. There are two N’s in there, not LINT-er or LIT-ner.

Kieran McArdle – KEER-un muh-KAR-dl

Creighton Reid – CRAY-ton REED

Challen Rogers – CHA-lin

Tom Schreiber – SHRY-ber

Jay Thorimbert – THOR-im-burt

Alec Tulett – TULL-it (not TOO-lit like I had before)

Vancouver

Keegan Bal – BALL

Jean-Luc Chetner – ZHON-luke CHET-ner

Tyler Codron – COD-run

Dan Lomas – LOW-mus

Joel McCready – muh-CREED-ee

Reid Mydske – MID-skee

Chris O’Dougherty – O DORT-ee. Or O DOUGH-erty if you say it slowly.

James Rahe – RAY. Not RAY-EE or RAY-HE.

Logan Schuss – SHUSS (rhymes with BUS). Not SHUSH, SHOOSH, or SHOOS.

Warriors – WOR-ee-ers. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people say it quickly enough that it sounds like WOYERS. Three syllables, people.

Coaches & Execs

Ed Comeau – ko-MO. Swarm head coach. I’ve had this as KO-mo for years but apparently that’s wrong.

Jamie Dawick – DOW-ick. DOW rhymes with “cow”. Owner & GM of the Rock.

Clem D’Orazio – duh-RAZZ-ee-o. Black Wolves assistant coach.

Steve Govett – GUV-it. President of the San Diego Seals.

Mike Hasen – HAY-zen. Not HAN-sen. Knighthawks head coach.

Tracey Kelusky – kuh-LUSS-key. In the past I’ve included that kuh-LOOS-key is wrong, but apparently Tracey himself doesn’t care how you say it. Wings assistant coach.

Darris Kilgour – DARE-iss KILL-gore. Not DARE-ee-us. Former Bandits coach/GM.

Dan Ladouceur – ladda-SIR. Assistant coach of the Swarm.

Curt Malawsky – muh-LAW-skee. Roughnecks head coach.

Nick Sakiewicz – sic-KEV-itch. NLL commish.

Kaleb Toth – KAY-leb TOE-th, not TAW-th. Former NLL player and coach. Hearing Toth’s name mispronounced on a broadcast (after a decade as a star in the league) was the inspiration for the very first pronunciation guide.

First Nations terms

Haudenosaunee – HO-dun-uh-SHO-nee. The collective name for the people belonging to the Six Nations: Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora.

Iroquois – In Canada it’s EAR-uh-kwa, in the US it’s EAR-uh-kwoy. Another name for the Haudenosaunee people.

Tewaarton – tuh-WAHR-tun. The Mohawk name for the sport of lacrosse and the name of the award given annually to the top American college lacrosse player.

Other

Steve Bermel – BERM-ull. Rhymes with “thermal”. IL Indoor writer and occasional Bandits colour commentator.

Brad Challoner – CHALL-ah-ner. Brad says it’s like “challenger” without the g. Warriors broadcaster.

Melissa Dafni – DAF-nee. One of my co-hosts on Addicted to Lacrosse.

Tyler Fitch – TY-ler FITCH. My other co-host on Addicted to Lacrosse.

Tyson Geick – GUYK. Like Geico without the o. Former NLL host. Big team guy.

Pat Gregoire – greg-WAHR. Alternate pronunciation: SMO-kin PAT. IL Indoor writer.

Marisa Ingemi – muh-RISS-a in-JEM-ee. Boston Herald hockey reporter. Did you know: she used to be a lacrosse player writer!

Tehoka Nanticoke: day-HO-ga NAN-ti-coke. No, he’s not an NLL player but he will be someday and if you follow lacrosse at all, you’ve likely heard his name.

Graeme Perrow – GRAY-um PAIR-o. Yours truly.

Craig Rybczynski – rib-CHIN-skee but apparently “rib-ZIN-skee” is acceptable. Knighthawks broadcaster.

Evan Schemenauer – SHEM-en-our. Lacrosse blogger over at laxallstars.com and co-host of the Lacrosse Classified podcast.

Stephen Stamp – STEE-ven. STAMP-er is also acceptable. IL Indoor writer and editor, podcaster, name pronunciation verifier.

I’m on hold

When recording the Addicted to Lacrosse podcast, we recently changed from using YouTube Live to a service called UberConference. It allows us to set up conference calls but we can use our computer (à la Skype) or a regular phone to join the call, and then we can download an MP3 (assuming one actually clicks the “record” button before we start…) immediately after we’re done. This is much easier than waiting for YouTube to process the video, downloading the multi-hundred megabyte video mp4 file, and then extracting the audio from it. It also has the advantage of not being a video chat, so I don’t have to worry about cleaning up my office before we record. We usually start recording around 10pm EST but if we’re starting late, I can record in my pyjamas – and I have. The downside of not having video is that you don’t see which current or classic NLL jerseys we’re wearing and we won’t get any more cameos from Tyler’s cat, though we did have Melissa’s dogs make an audio appearance in one show.

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Presenting your 2018-2019 Boston Blazers

Here it is: a team full of players who are not on a team, i.e. not on any roster or practice squad and not on any retired, injured, holdout, PUP, or other list. I’m quite surprised at who’s on this year’s list, considering there are two more teams than last year, and thus forty-two more positions available. And even with all of those extra players, these guys are still around.

Well, it’s not quite a full team since I only have 17 players. There aren’t a lot of forwards, so this Blazers team may have some trouble scoring goals, but they have a proven goaltender in Tyler Carlson and a pretty impressive defensive core. And they’ll win a bunch of faceoffs with Jay Thorimbert. They even have two former NLL captains in Joel White and Billy Dee Smith.

In making this list, I am explicitly assuming that Kevin Crowley, Curtis Dickson, Wes Berg, Nic Bilic, Robert Church, and Mike Messenger will sign contracts. If they don’t, none of them would make this list anyway since they’d either be put on a hold-out list or be released, in which case some team will instantly pick them up.

Forwards

Mark Cockerton
Evan Messenger
Daryl Veltman
Joe Walters

Transition/Defense

Jay ThorimbertReid Acton On Buffalo’s protected list
Dan Ball
Alex Kedoh Hill
Bill O’Brien
Tyson Roe
Billy Dee Smith
Derek Suddons
Cody Teichroeb
Jay Thorimbert On Toronto’s practice roster
Joel White On Georgia’s protected list
Adam Will

Goalies

Zak Boychuk
Tyler Carlson

 

The NLL Pronunciation Guide 2018

Here it is! The article I write every year that usually generates the most discussion. It’s something that some NLL announcers don’t need at all, others use regularly, and still others desperately need but don’t know about. It’s also possible that some in that third group think they’re in the first group. Sigh.

Special thanks to Stephen Stamp (squarely in that first group) who looked over the list to make sure I had them all right.

Names are organized alphabetically within teams.

Buffalo

Kevin Brownell – brow-NELL. brow rhymes with “cow”. Not BROWN-ull.

Alex Buque – boo-KAY. However apparently when playing in junior, he pronounced it rhyming with “spook”.

Josh Byrne – BURN

Callum Crawford – CAL-um. Not CAY-lum.

Davide DiRuscio – DAY-vid dih-ROOSH-ee-o

Jordan Durston – DER-stun

Chase Fraser – FRAY-zer, not like Frasier

Vaughn Harris – VON

Zach Herreweyers – HAIR-wires (not HAY-wires as many say)

Steve Priolo – pree-O-lo

Pat Saunders – SAWN-ders. Not SAND-ers.

Ethan Schott – SHOT

Dhane Smith – DANE

Mark Steenhuis – STAIN-house

Nick Weiss – WEES

Calgary

shill-ee-ANN-oMike Carnegie – CAR-nuh-gee (hard g)

Holden Cattoni – ka-TONE-ee

Christian del Bianco – dell bee-AHN-ko

Dane Dobbie – DOUGH-bee. Not like Dobby.

Greg Harnett – har-NET

Anthony Kalinich – ka-LIN-itch

Riley Loewen – LOW-en. LOW is like the word “low”, not rhyming with “cow”. Interesting aside: the original German pronunciation would be like “LER-ven” but without pronouncing the R (there’s no really good equivalent in English). Loewen is an alternate spelling of Löwen, the German word for “lions”.

Ryan Martel – mar-TELL

Creighton Reid – CRAY-ton REED

Frank Scigliano – shill-ee-ANN-o

Colorado

Ryan Benesch – buh-NESH

Scott Carnegie – CAR-nuh-gee (hard g)

Joey Cupido – koo-PEE-do. Not KYOO-pid-o or KOO-pid-o.

Jordan Gilles – GILL-ess. Not the same as Brad Gillies on Rochester.

Stephen Keogh – KEY-o

Eli McLaughlin – E-lie muh-GLOCK-lin

Nick Ossello – aw-SELL-o

Jacob Ruest – roo-EH

Georgia

Frank Brown – I’ll have to look this one up and get back to you.

Alex Crepinsek – CREP-in-seck

Kiel Matisz – KYLE muh-TEES

Mike Poulin – POO-lin

Randy Staats – STOTS. Rhymes with “slots”. Not STATS.

Leo Stouros – STIR-us. According to Leo, it “rhymes with thermos”.

Jerome Thompson – Prefers to to be called Hiana, pronounced HY-nuh

Zed Williams – ZED. In the US, it’s pronounced ZEE.

New England

Kevin Crowley – KROW-lee. Not like the bird. KROW rhymes with “cow”.

Anthony Joaquim – JOKE-um. Looks like wa-KEEM but it’s not. No joke.

John LaFontaine – LA-fon-TANE

Stephan Leblanc – STEFF-in luh-BLONK. Not steh-FAWN and not luh-BLANK.

Matt Spanger – SPANG-er. Like hanger but with an SP instead

Jay Thorimbert – THOR-im-burt

Rochester

Eric Fannell – fuh-NELL

Brad Gillies – GILL-ees. Not the same as Jordan Gilles on Colorado.

Graeme Hossack – GRAY-um HOSS-ack

Luc Magnan – LUKE MAG-nun

Joe Resetarits – res-uh-TARE-its

Eric Shewell – SHOO-ull

Matt Vinc – like the name “Vince”. Not VINK.

Cory Vitarelli – vit-uh-REL-ee

Saskatchewan

Nik Bilic – BEE-leech according to Nik himself (via Stephen Stamp and Brian Shanahan). Definitely not BIL-ik and it sounds like BILL-itch is also wrong.

Chris Corbeil – cor-BEEL

Nick Finlay – FIN-lee

Mike Messenger – MESS-in-jer. I left him off the list last year because it should be obvious, but I’ve heard somebody say MESS-in-ger with a hard g. I get that the pronunciation of some of these names is difficult – that’s why this list exists. But when the name is also a valid (and not obscure) English word, it really shouldn’t need to be here.

Brett Mydske – MID-skee

Tor Reinholdt – RINE-holt

Kyle Rubisch – ROO-bish

Adrian Sorichetti – sore-i-KET-ee

Toronto

Phil Caputo – ka-POO-toe

Latrell Harris – la-TREL. If you’re the ACC announcer, stretch it out so that it takes you 15 seconds to say Latrell.

Billy Hostrawser – HO-straw-zer

Brad Kri – KREE

Dan Lintner – LINT-ner. There are two N’s in there, not LINT-er or LIT-ner.

Kieran McArdle – KEER-un muh-KAR-dl

Reid Reinholdt – REED RINE-holt

Challen Rogers – CHA-lin

Tom Schreiber – SHRY-ber

SHUSS (Photo credit:  Dan Brodie)

Vancouver

Tye Belanger – buh-LAHN-jay

Brandon Clelland – CLELL-and

Rhys Duch – REES DUTCH

Ryan Fournier – FOORN-yay

Thomas Hoggarth – HOE-garth

Joel McCready – muh-CREED-ee

Chris O’Dougherty – O DORT-ee. Or O DOUGH-erty if you say it slowly.

James Rahe – RAY

Logan Schuss – SHUSS (rhymes with BUS). Not SHUSH, SHOOSH, or SHOOS.

Cody Teichroeb – TYKE-robe

Coaches & Execs

Aime Caines – AMY CANES.  Former Swarm player and assistant coach.

Ed Comeau – ko-MO. Swarm head coach. I’ve had this as KO-mo for years but apparently that’s wrong.

Jamie Dawick – DOW-ick. DOW rhymes with “cow”. Owner & GM of the Rock.

Clem D’Orazio – duh-RAZZ-ee-o. Black Wolves assistant coach.

Steve Govett – GUV-it. President of the San Diego Seals

Mike Hasen – HAY-zen. Not HAN-sen. Knighthawks head coach.

Tracey Kelusky – kuh-LUSS-key. In the past I’ve included that kuh-LOOS-key is wrong, but apparently Tracey himself doesn’t care how you say it. Black Wolves assistant coach.

Darris Kilgour – DARE-iss KILL-gore. Not DARE-ee-us. Former Bandits coach/GM.

Dan Ladouceur – ladda-SIR. Assistant coach of the Swarm.

Curt Malawsky – muh-LAW-skee. Roughnecks head coach.

Nick Sakiewicz – sic-KEV-itch. NLL commish.

Kaleb Toth – KAY-leb TOE-th, not TAW-th. Former NLL player and coach. Hearing Toth’s name mispronounced on a broadcast (after a decade as a star in the league) was the inspiration for the very first pronunciation guide.

Other

Steve Bermel – BERM-ull. Rhymes with “thermal”. Bandits beat writer.

Brad Challoner – CHALL-ah-ner. Brad says it’s like “challenger” without the g. Stealth broadcaster.

Melissa Dafni – DAF-nee. One of my co-hosts on Addicted to Lacrosse.

Tyler Fitch – TY-ler FITCH. My other co-host on Addicted to Lacrosse.

John Fraser – FRAY-zer, not like Frasier. Rush play by play guy.

Tyson Geick – GUYK. Rhymes with TYKE. Like Geico without the o. NLL host and video guy.

Pat Gregoire – greg-WAHR. IL Indoor writer, NLL ReLax host, and NLL TV broadcaster.

Marisa Ingemi – muh-RISS-a in-JEM-ee. Journalist covering every sport in the world and breaker of NLL news.

Graeme Perrow – GRAY-um PAIR-o. Yours truly.

Craig Rybczynski – rib-CHIN-skee but apparently “rib-ZIN-skee” is acceptable. Knighthawks broadcaster.

Saskatchewan – I’ve always said it as sas-CATCH-oo-on but I’ve heard from Saskatchewanians (is that a word?) that it should be sas-CATCH-a-win or sas-CATCH-a-wen – the last syllable does not rhyme with “on”. The best description of this came from @SaskRushFans on Twitter: “There are definitely several variations that are acceptable, but pronouncing Saskatchewan as spelled is not one of them.” Many shorten it to “s-CATCH-a-win” just as Torontonians say “Tronna”.

Saskatoon – sas-ka-TOON. City in which the Rush play.

Evan Schemenauer – SHEM-en-our. Lacrosse blogger over at evanschemenauer.blogspot.ca (and now at laxallstars.com)

Stephen Stamp – STEE-ven. STAMP-er is also acceptable. IL Indoor writer and editor, podcaster, play-by-play guy.

Presenting your 2018 Boston Blazers

As I do most years, I’ve made up a 20-man roster full of non-retired players who are not on any NLL active or practice rosters (or IR or holdout or other lists) but if there was one more team in the league, they might be. Next year, this list will be quite different, seeing as we’ll have two extra teams.

Boston Blazers

Forwards

Keegan Bal
Garrett Billings
Cory Conway
Zach Herreweyers
Mikey MacDonald
Quinn Powless (on Rochester’s practice roster)
Daryl Veltman

Defense / Transition

Dan Ball
Scott Carnegie
Jordan Dance
Jarrett Davis
Ilija Gajic
Alex Kedoh Hill
Ryan Hotaling (on IR with New England)
Mitch McMichael
Bill O’Brien
Andrew Watt
Sean Young

Goaltenders

Zach Higgins
Tyler Richards

Pratice Roster

Zak Boychuk
Blaze Riorden
Derek Searle

The beep test

NLL training camps will be starting in a month or so. This is the chance for the young players to strut their stuff and get noticed, the veteran players to get back into the swing of things after some time off (a month or so if they played in MLS/WLA/MLL, as many as six months if they didn’t), and the oldest players to see if they have just one more year left in their aching bodies.

During the camps, one thing you may hear about is the beep test. I had never heard of this until a couple of years ago, when numerous players being interviewed on various lacrosse podcasts kept talking about it. It turns out my sons had both done it a few times during their phys ed classes. If you are as unfamiliar with this as I was, allow me to enlighten you.

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The 2017 draft: Anthony, Jordan, Jake, Zack, Mitch, Mitch’s dad, Aaron, and Bryan

The 2017 NLL draft was this past Monday so as I always do, I made my way down the QEW to the TRAC to sit in the crowd. I’m sure Stephen Stamp will do a comprehensive write-up on IL Indoor before long on who went where, what teams did well, and what teams didn’t. I’ll touch on the draft results themselves a little bit but this article will mostly describe my experience there.

Anthony, Jordan

We had one trade announced before the draft started. BC boy Anthony Malcom was sent to Vancouver along with the 12th overall pick (Ottawa’s Ryan Fournier) from Buffalo, who received Ontario boy Jordan Durston. Both players now play closer to home, so they both win. As for the teams involved, the Stealth picks up a righty who averaged 3.4 points per game in 2017 while the Bandits get a lefty who averaged 2.4. I imagine Evan Messenger is quite pleased about the new opening on the left side that he may be able to fill. There was talk that the Bandits picking up a lefty immediately before the draft might indicate that they were going to pass on lefty Josh Byrne at #1. They didn’t, so after the very first pick, the Bandits had strengthened their left side with two players.

Jake, Zack

After Byrne went first, we all knew what was coming next. In the words of the commissioner: “With the second pick in the 2017 entry draft, the Rochester Knighthawks select… wait, what? Is this right? Curt, are you sure about this? Um… he’s nodding. OK then. The Knighthawks take Jake Withers” That may not be verbatim, I don’t remember exactly. There are always surprising picks in the draft but Rochester skipping over Zack Currier was one of the bigger ones. The biggest question prior to the draft was whether the Bandits would take Byrne or Currier first overall and the assumption was that the Knighthawks would take the other one second. To see Currier drop to third was surprising and I’m sure there were mini fist pumps all around the Roughnecks table.

KnighthawksDraftThe picture here features the three Knighthawks first round picks: Eric Fannell, Austin Shanks, and Jake Withers (left to right), all Ohio State boys. See the ghostly image behind the guy in green at the back? That’s me.

I mean no disrespect to Jake Withers, who was ranked #3 in Stamper’s list, so it’s not like the Knighthawks selected some nobody. But considering Currier’s performance in the Mann Cup just last week and the fact that his brother is already a Knighthawk, that seemed like a perfect fit. Then again, how many really dumb lacrosse decisions has Curt Styres made since taking over the Knighthawks? Not many.

Mitch, Mitch’s dad

I was sitting in the back row of the stands, and talked a little to the guy sitting next to me. He mentioned that his son was in the draft pool, and was hopefully a late-rounder. They were from BC and his son played for the Jr. Langley Thunder. The dad was clearly a big lacrosse fan and told me when certain teammates, former teammates, or opponents of his son were drafted. In most cases he had positive things to say but there were a few cases where he obviously wasn’t too impressed.

As the night went on and his name wasn’t called, his son got more and more anxious, texting his dad “This is tough” after hearing yet another teammate get picked. He came back to sit with his dad in the fifth round or so. I didn’t talk to him directly, but I started to feel bad for the kid. What if he doesn’t get picked at all? What do I say to them after the draft when I’m leaving? “Nice talking to you, have a good trip home, sorry your dreams didn’t come true”? I started to get a little nervous about what I’d say but remembered that however bad I felt, he’d feel worse.

And then it happened. “With the 53rd selection, the Calgary Roughnecks select Mitch McDole”. The kid simply whispered “YES” and got up and headed to the front. Before I could even wish his dad congratulations, he was off following him, just like I would if it were my kid. Just like Jordan Kanscal two years ago (who also went to Calgary), I was excited when his name was called. Congratulations Mitch, I will be watching for you at the Calgary training camp.

Aaron

One other thing that Mr. McDole reported was that at the previous weekend’s combine, there was a 42-year-old goalie. He said he wasn’t very good… at all…. but hey, kudos to him for trying out. I agreed with that. The next day I found that the 42-year-old goalie was none other than Aaron Freeland, formerly known as Meathead on the IL Indoor message board. I met Aaron once in Rochester (he’d had a few large green drinks by that point so probably doesn’t remember), but have talked to him numerous times on the message board and on Twitter. He posted something on Facebook saying that he applied on a whim and fully expected to get rejected. When he didn’t, he decided to get out there anyway because why the hell not. Not everyone would have the guts to get out there at age 42 and face shots from 20-year-old lacrosse players, so I’m impressed. Nice job Aaron.

Other notes:

  • There were a few trades throughout the evening but other than the Malcom/Durston deal, none involved players. I believe every trade announced was team A sending the very next pick to team B for a pick in the same round in 2019 or 2020. Team B is now on the clock.
  • One of the reasons I love going to the draft is sitting near the families of players selected. Watching and hearing the parents, siblings, and girlfriends standing up, applauding, and cheering while the player walks to the podium is heartwarming.
  • That said, it’s really heartbreaking to see hatless kids sitting during the sixth round, as the possibility of their being drafted dwindles.
  • At 7:56pm, Nick Sakiewicz announced the 14th overall pick for the Rochester Knighthawks. A minute later, the NLL twitter account tweeted out the 4th pick. Way to keep up, guys.
  • The 2018 NLL Pronunciation Guide is already underway, thanks to first rounder Anthony Joaquim. His last name is not pronounced wa-KEEM as one might expect, it’s actually JOKE-em. No JOKE.
  • At the previous drafts, they broadcast Stephen Stamp’s and Andy McNamara’s analysis over the speakers but this year they did not. Instead, they had some classic rock playing quietly over the PA. They played Bryan Adams, Men At Work, the J. Geils Band, John Mellencamp (Black Wolves GM Rich Lisk is a fan), the James Gang, Tears for Fears, and a bunch more. Jack Goods even reported JT singing JB.