Halifax Thunderbirds Select Six Players at 2019 NLL Entry Draft
Philadelphia, PA - The Halifax Thunderbirds select six players at the 2019 NLL Entry Draft which took place at Xfinity Live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. After selecting Clarke Petterson with the 5th overall pick, the Thunderbirds added Trevor Smyth with the 14th overall pick, Clay Scanlon with the 30th pick, Showahnonkon Thompson with the 38th pick, Matt Dziama with the 68th pick and Brad Fannell with the 81st pick in the 2019 NLL Entry Draft.
1st round (5th overall)- Clarke Petterson, Cornell University/The Hill Academy
Forward- 5-10, 190 lbs
Born in Toronto, Ontario
Petterson is a three-time captain at Cornell University, he was the first sophomore captain in the history of the lacrosse program. In 2019 Peterson was second team All-Ivy as well as Honorable Mention All-Ivy in 2017. Petterson was named Ivy League Player of the Week and the USILA Team of the Week twice during the 2019 season. Petterson was drafted 5th overall by the Redwoods LC in the PLL 2019 draft. Petterson finished his career in the top 10 at Cornell for goals and points and becoming the 43rd player in Cornell history to reach 100 career points. After his rookie season Petterson was part of Team Canada's 2016 U19 team that won silver. In his senior season he ranked second in the nation in shooting percentage (.557), 17th in goals per game (2.93) and 28th in points per game (4.13). As a Junior in 2018 while serving as team captain Peterson started all 18 games, ranked first in team goals (44) and was second overall in assists (19) and points (63), posted 17 multi point games during the season and picked up 21 ground balls during the season. As a sophomore in 2017 Petterson ranked second on the team in points (32), assists (17) and finished third in overall goals (15), had the longest point streak on the team (10 games), picked up 22 ground balls and four caused turnovers. As a freshman Petterson played in all 13 games, making 10 starts, finished his season with nine goals and six assists, picked up 15 ground balls and seven caused turnovers and was named Ivy Rookie of the Week twice.
Petterson has played for Brampton Excelsiors in the MSL, he has totalled 88 games played collecting 387 points during his five seasons.
Before going to Cornell, Petterson went to The Hill Academy where he played on their lacrosse team for four years. In Peterson's final two seasons he was the team captain. In 2014 Peterson was named MVP of the NALI Championship game and won the 2014 Lacrosse Award at The Hill Academy.
"Petterson is an elite offensive player," said Head Coach Mike Accursi. "He's always been one of the top offensive players in his age group. He went down to Cornell and had an outstanding NCAA career. In Junior A he was always one of the top offensive players so by adding him to our team to our already good right side we just got a whole lot better."
1st round (14th overall)- Trevor Smyth, Rochester Institute of Technology
Defense- 6-2, 195lbs
Born in Orangeville, Ontario
In 2019 Smyth was named USILA First Team All-American, USILA Co-long Pole Midfielder of the Year, Liberty League Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Liberty League selection, IMCLA Second Team All-American selection, First Team IMLCA All-East region and was selected as co-captain. Smith played in all 22 games in the 2019 season, led the Liberty League and team with 42 caused turnovers, was third on the team in ground balls (79), finished eighth on the team in scoring with 30 points (16 goals, 14 assist). In 2018 Smyth played in 17 games, making 14 starts, was sixth on the team in caused turnovers with 15, had a career high 42 ground balls and had three points on the season. in 2016 Smyth played in 20 games, tallying 7 points, 30 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers while helping RIT's defense hold opponents to 8.20 goals per game.
Smyth played 18 games for Oakville Rock of the MSL this past summer and collected 15 points. Before playing for Oakville, Smyth played for Orangeville Northmen in the Junior A League. Smyth played in 26 games, collecting 17 points for them over five seasons.
"Smyth is a very smart and athletic transition player who is a defensive first," said Head Coach Mike Accursi. "He has a very high-level lacrosse IQ, is very good in transition and scores lots of goals. He's definitely going to complement us on the left side and will be able to push the ball up the side for us."
2nd round (30th overall)- Clay Scanlon, Six Nations Jr A
Transition- 5-10, 175 lbs
Scanlan played 19 games for Six Nations in the Junior A Lacrosse League for the 2019 season. In those 19 games Scanlon collected 35 points (7 goals, 28 assists). Scanlon is one of the youngest players in this year's 2019 NLL Entry Draft.
"The National Lacrosse League is made for Clay Scanlon," said Thunderbirds Owner and General Manager Curt Styres. "Clay can play out the front door. With his speed and ability to collect loose balls he will be a threat in transition."
3rd round (38th overall)- Showahnonkin Thompson, Akwesasne Indians Jr B
Defense- 6-2, 175 lbs
Born in Akwesasne, NY
Thompson has spent four seasons playing for the Akwesasne Indians, in that time he has played 48 games, collecting 25 goals and 40 assists for a total of 65 points. Thompson was part of the Iroquois Nationals that won silver at the 2018 Junior Lacrosse World Championship.
"Nonkon is a natural born leader," said Thunderbirds Owner and General Manager Curt Styres. "Watching him play over the years I can see that he's developed into a skilled defenceman. He can knock down passes, scoop up loose balls and is able to score in transition. He has what it takes to play in the NLL and let's not forget the grit that he brings."
5th round (68th overall)- Matt Dziama, University of Virginia
Defense- 6-0, 190 lbs
Born in Wellesley, Mass
Dziama is coming off of great senior year as he was part of the Virginia team that won the 2019 NCAA Championship. To add to a great senior year, Dziama played in 19 of 20 games, collected 21 ground balls and caused four turnovers on the season. Dziama finished with his collegiate career with 73 ground balls and 12 turnovers in 56 games. In his junior year he appeared in only seven games due to injury however, Dziama still picked up nine ground balls and had two caused turnovers. In his sophomore year, Dziama played in all 15 games, picked up 19 ground balls, three caused turnovers and collected an assist. In his rookie year, Dziama played in all 15 games, picked up 24 ground balls, three caused turnovers and collected one assist on the season.
Dziama was drafted by the Boston Cannons of the MLL from the 2019 Undrafted College Lacrosse Player Pool.
"He is raw to the indoor game but is a player that has proven himself at both collegiate level and pro level with the Boston Cannons," said Head Coach Mike Accursi. "He is an athlete and a competitor and that's what we like about him!"
6th round (81st overall)- Bradley Fannell, St. Catherines Jr A
Defense- 5-11, 175 lbs
Born in St. Catherines, Ontaraio
Fannell who is a righty transition will look to join his brother Eric Fannell who is currently on the Halifax Thunderbirds. Fannell has spent the last two seasons playing for the St. Catherines Athletics, Fannell has played in 36 games while accumulating 13 points. Fannel has spent this past season playing for the Brock Badgers.
"Brad is a good steady defenseman who transfers the ball well," said Head Coach Mike Accursi. "He brings a lot of athleticism, energy and grit to our roster."
The Halifax Thunderbirds, one of the newest expansion locations in the National Lacrosse League, brings a championship caliber organization and professional lacrosse to Nova Scotia. Season ticket memberships are now on sale at halifaxthunderbirds.com or by calling 902-334-2333 and include exclusive benefits such as special team access and VIP events. Fans can follow the team on social media @HFXThunderbirds to receive behind the scenes access as the team prepares to start its nine-game home season at the Scotiabank Centre this December.
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