Major League Lacrosse held its annual Collegiate Draft in Baltimore at the 2015 U.S. Lacrosse National Convention. With the first selection in the draft, the Florida Launch took Albany's Lyle Thompson, making Thompson the first Great Dane selected first overall and the second Albany player to go in the first round (Jordan Levine went 10th to New Jersey -- no longer a thing! -- back in 2008).
Thompson's selection was the biggest no-brainer of the event, even if the Albany attackman maintains a strong preference to play in Rochester. The 2014 Tewaaraton Trophy co-winner and the leading 2015 candidate for the award, Thompson is arguably the most dynamic offensive player in Division I lacrosse this coming season and participated in the FIL World Championships last summer for the Iroquois.
The entire first round shook out as follows:
- 1. Florida Launch -- Lyle Thompson (Attack, Albany)
- 2. Florida Launch -- Connor Buczek (Midfield, Cornell)
- 3. Charlotte Hounds -- Will Haus (Midfield, Duke)
- 4. Boston Cannons -- Ryan Tucker (Midfield, Virginia)
- 5. Boston Cannons -- John Glesener (Attack, Army)
- 6. Rochester Rattlers -- Jesse King (Midfield, Ohio State)
- 7. Rochester Rattlers -- Jack Near (Midfield, Notre Dame)
- 8. Denver Outlaws -- Nikko Pontrello (Attack, Loyola)
As this is a site dedicated to Division I college lacrosse, here are a few nuggets from the Collegiate Draft relative to college lacrosse concerns:
NUMBER OF DIVISION I PROGRAMS REPRESENTED
69 schools will compete at the Division I level for the 2015 season. 30 of those teams -- about 43 percent of the highest level of college lacrosse -- had at last one player selected in the draft. That mark trails the 2014 number of 33 schools and matches the 2013 number of 30 schools, a fact that illustrates the continued depth of talent that exists in college lacrosse.
HIGHEST NUMBER OF DRAFT PICKS (SCHOOL)
About 43 percent of the picks in the draft came from eight schools -- Syracuse (five); Cornell, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Denver, and Lehigh (three). Denver, North Carolina, and Johns Hopkins each had two players drafted in the first two rounds with 10 other Division I schools -- Albany, Cornell, Duke, Virginia, Army, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Loyola, Colgate, and Syracuse -- having one player taken through the first 16 selections.
Among schools with at least three selections, Cornell had the highest average draft position (13.67), followed by North Carolina (14.67), Denver (19.67), Johns Hopkins and Syracuse (25.00), Maryland (31.67), Notre Dame (36.67), and Lehigh (41.33).
HIGHEST NUMBER OF DRAFT PICKS (CONFERENCE)
After a year of assaulting the Collegiate Draft (the league accounted for over 30 percent of the draft in 2014), the ACC took a bit of a step back in 2015, owning 14 picks through the draft's eight rounds (23.33 percent of the draft constituted ACC selections). Sliding in behind the ACC was the Big Ten with 10 picks, the Ivy League and Patriot League with nine selections each, and THUNDERDOME! with five selections. Over three-quarters of the draft picks from the event came from those five conferences.
The ACC smoked its competition in the first two rounds of the draft, though, accumulating six of the first 16 picks. No other conference approached that mark, with the Patriot League and Big Ten each represented with three picks and three Division I leagues -- America East, Ivy League, and Big East -- earning a pick each. Every Division I league in the country registered at least one pick over the length of the entire draft.
ELIGIBLE FIRST- THROUGH THIRD-TEAM ALL-AMERICANS TAKEN
There were 11 guys from last season's Division I All-American lists (first through third team) that were eligible for the Collegiate Draft this year. All were taken in the first round rounds of the draft:
- First-Team: Lyle Thompson (first overall); Connor Buczek (second); Kevin Massa (26th)
- Second-Team: Michael Pellegrino (10th); Chad Tutton (13th); Kevin Rice (23rd); Charlie Raffa (24th)
- Third-Team: John Glesener (fifth); Joey Sankey (ninth); Jesse King (sixth); Wes Berg (15th)