2012 NLL Draft Today Live at 5:00 p.m. MST
The mystery, if there ever was one, will be solved Monday, October 1 in Toronto at 7:00 p.m. EST. 5:00 p.m. MST
When Derek Keenan, General Manager and Head Coach of the Edmonton Rush, takes the microphone and declares the first overall pick at the 2012 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft, he will, without a doubt, be calling out the name of Mark Matthews.
The Denver University star is the undisputed king of this draft pool, the complete package of size, speed, and shooting skill. For the first time in Rush franchise history, the team will have an all-star calibre offensive star in its lineup - at least not one well past his best days.
So with Matthews locked up on the draft floor in Toronto by about 7:05 p.m. ET 5:05 p.m. MST on October 1, Keenan's attention will turn to the next potential standout he can thrust into the Rush lineup. Along with the No. 1 pick (acquired from Washington), the Rush also have the No. 8 pick in the draft - their own selection based up on their runner-up finish in the Champion's Cup playoffs this past spring.
When the eighth selection comes up, Keenan could play a hunch here and go with the proverbial best player available or the crafty GM may opt to look at position only and select the top right-handed forward of the crop.
"I'm pretty sure I know how things are going to go with Picks 1 thru 4, but from 5 to 7, we're going to have to wait and see," figured Keenan.
"All the players that potentially fall in that group are very good prospects."
Here's a look at those players with thoughts from Inside Lacrosse and the Rush boss:
Dhane Smith, Kitchener-Waterloo - top scorer in Ontario Junior with 107 points
IL's Take - "Sublimely talented. It's just too hard to pass up that package of size, speed and skill. His game needs to grow before he can contribute consistently at the NLL level but when it does ... watch out."
Keenan's Take - "He does have a bit of a learning curve to go through but he is a special athlete with massive upside. He's strong, fast, and athletic. He can score. He can run the floor well. He's just a dynamic player."
Matthew Dinsdale, Coquitlam - 213 points over last two seasons in B.C. Junior
IL's Take - "The BCJALL's leading scorer this past summer will add some offensive depth on the right side but he'll also be a valuable addition to the transition game as well. He's a team guy in an unsung-hero sort of way because he works at the same level of energy whether the ball is in his stick or not. And he won't be a defensive liability should he get stuck in that end for a shift or two."
Keenan's Take - "I really like him. He has a very high lacrosse IQ, probably the highest of the entire draft class. He's not going to knock you out with his strength or his quickness but he is very intelligent, plays well defensively, and is good in transition. He's always put up great numbers, he's a quality kid, and he's won championships wherever he's played which is an important thing."
Curtis Knight, Whitby - 95 points and all-star in Ontario Junior
IL's Take - "Long-term upside. Many good right-handed offensive players slide to the second round in this draft, making the earlier picks of this round some of the best we've ever seen in a second round."
Keenan's Take - "He's versatile, has no problem going into the middle of the floor, is out for faceoffs, and is a loose ball vacuum."
Joe Resetarits, University of Albany - America East Conference Player of the Year
IL's Take - "Resetarits is arguably the player in the draft most ready to play pro. He could step in and contribute on pretty much any roster in the NLL on Opening Night. He's a smart, dedicated player who has shown versatility by playing a variety of roles with Brampton the last two summers. His game has grown by leaps and bounds."
Keenan's Take - "He's the most NLL-ready. He's had two years of Senior "A' and finished playing NCAA. He won a Mann Cup with Brampton in 2011. He may not be the most polished of the guys available but in terms of being the most ready he'd be the guy."
Jackson Decker, Limestone College - second-leading scorer for Athletics
IL's Take - "His commitment to finishing his degree scares people."
Keenan's Take - "He's a good player. He had an injury (elbow) this past summer and that scared some teams. He's more of a bull player - he goes to the net hard and is tough to play against one-on-one. He's got a different set of intangibles than the other guys. There's upside there. Some people have him rated low, but I've got him high."
Colton Clark, Bellarmine University - Knights' top scorer with 25 points
IL's Take - "Big and experienced. Clark is well-rounded with his Bellermine and Sr. Lakers background and isn't a green rookie. Clark brings some skill and size up front."
Keenan's Take - "Very big - six-foot-three - with some good offensive skills."
Alex Crepinsek, Rochester Institute of Technology - Tigers' Captain in senior year
IL's Take - "He's already shown he can play with the big boys, facing elite offensive players in the MSL the last two years. He's frustrated the likes of John Grant, Jr. with his tenacious one-on-one D. He won't wow you with anything flashy. He won't score a bunch. But he'll stop the other team from putting the ball in the net and help get it moving back up the floor."
Keenan's Take - "In the group of six or seven players who could go in this spot, he is one of the good ones."
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National Lacrosse League Stories from October 1, 2012
- Roughnecks Select Joe Resetarits in First Round - Calgary Roughnecks
- Minnesota Swarm Select Sorensen, Matisz and Jackson with Top Picks - Minnesota Swarm
- Mammoth Selects Colton Clark Ninth Overall - Colorado Mammoth
- Bandits Select Seven Players in 2012 NLL Draft - Buffalo Bandits
- Defending Champion Knighthawks Go with Defense/Transition - Rochester Knighthawks
- Washington Stealth Adds Seven Players in 2013 NLL Entry Draft - Washington Stealth
- Rock Select Seven in NLL Draft - Toronto Rock
- Philadelphia Wings Add Three Defenders to Roster in NLL Entry Draft - Philadelphia Wings
- Mark Matthews Selected First - Edmonton Rush
- Roughnecks Ready for 2012 NLL Entry Draft - Calgary Roughnecks
- Swarm Holds Four 1st-Round Picks Tonight - Minnesota Swarm
- Knighthawks Have Five Picks in Tonight's Draft - Rochester Knighthawks
- 2012 NLL Entry Draft Is Tonight at 7pm in Toronto - Toronto Rock
- 2012 NLL Draft Today Live at 5:00 p.m. MST - Edmonton Rush
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