Draft Order, Preview and How to Watch the 2020 NLL Entry Draft

PHOTO COURTESY OF NLL


On Thursday, the National Lacrosse League will welcome in its next generation of stars in the NLL Entry Draft.

An entirely virtual event, fans can catch the action on B/R Live beginning at 7 p.m. ET. For the second year in a row, the New York Riptide will pick first — and there’s a clear-cut No. 1 option.

Even though Cornell’s Jeff Teat will return to the Big Red during the spring semester for one last NCAA season, the expectation is that the Canadian will be selected first overall by the Riptide.

Although the draft will certainly drum up interest in the upcoming season — the 35th season in league history — NLL commissioner Nick Sakiewicz told US Lacrosse Magazine that there are no clear plans for the season’s start date as of now.

“We are looking forward to our 35th season and welcoming fans back,” he said. “Due to the current uncertainty of the pandemic, we have not determined an official start to the season; however, we are looking at multiple options. It is still too early to speculate on the dates, but many other leagues are beginning to allow fans back, and that is what we are working towards.

“The next generation of bright stars, combined with a group of amazing veterans who will be returning, will make season 35 the best in the history of our league.”

Both Major League Lacrosse and the Premier Lacrosse League held fanless, fully quarantined tournaments this summer in lieu of their traditional seasons, but it appears the NLL’s goal is to allow fans in some capacity.

Continue reading for a full draft primer.

DRAFT ORDER

  1. New York Riptide

  2. Rochester Knighthawks

  3. Vancouver Warriors

  4. San Diego Seals

  5. Calgary Roughnecks

  6. Georgia Swarm (from Colorado)

  7. Saskatchewan Rush (from Philadelphia)

  8. Georgia Swarm

  9. Buffalo Bandits

  10. Georgia Swarm (from Toronto)

  11. Halifax Thunderbirds

  12. Saskatchewan Rush

  13. Georgia Swarm (from New England)

  14. Halifax Thunderbirds

  15. San Diego Seals*

  16. Philadelphia Wings*

* = compensatory pick as a result of teams losing unrestricted free agents who signed with another team







TOP STORYLINES

DRAFT CAPITAL: The Georgia Swarm possess four picks (Nos. 6, 8, 10 and 13), so it’s possible the Swarm could parlay one or multiple picks to move up in the draft or acquire another star player. If there’s any team with the draft capital to trade with the Riptide and acquire the No. 1 overall pick, it’s likely Georgia.

PLAYER ELIGIBILITY: Unlike in the PLL Entry Draft, NCAA athletes who choose to take advantage of a fifth year of eligibility during the 2021 spring season will still be eligible to be drafted. Teams will retain a player’s rights until he plays his last college campaign.

TOP PROSPECTS: We already covered Jeff Teat, and there’s truthfully not much more to say. He has an accomplished box background and is likely one of the next faces of the league. Ohio State’s Jeff Henrick and Tre Leclaire are likely top picks, as are Ryan Smith (Robert Morris) and Reid Bowering (Drexel). Some Americans to consider are Michael Sowers, TD Ierlan, Mac O’Keefe and JT Giles-Harris. Not including compensatory picks, Inside Lacrosse mocked the first round here.

ALL VIRTUAL: While the MLL and PLL college drafts were held virtually over social media, the NLL will take it to the next level with video components in the league’s first-ever virtual draft presentation. Other than on B/R Live, fans can watch on the NLL’s YouTube channel and on the league’s Facebook page. The broadcast team will include Devan Kaney, Teddy Jenner, Stephen Stamp and Tabitha Turner.

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