On September 1st 2007, the NLL held the annual Entry Draft in Denver, Colorado at the Pepsi Center (home of the Colorado Mammoth) where six rounds of entry selections along with deals and trades throughout the League made for quite an exciting day. The Entry Draft followed a combine for the top draft-eligible players in North America on the Thursday and Friday. The top prospects were invited to come out and participate in various physical tests, clinics and drills as well as a combine game. Toronto Rock Director of Lacrosse Operations, Mike Kloepfer and Head Coach Glenn Clark were in attendance for the weekend events.
“The new combine-draft format gave all the NLL clubs the opportunity to meet and assess the top prospects skill sets and personalities,” said Kloepfer.
Two of the Rock’s Entry Draft picks (3rd and 5th rounds) were originally traded in a deal with Boston on August 1st 2007 for former Rochester Knighthawks player, Brian Croswell. However, due to a season ending injury for Croswell, the draft picks went back to the Rock.
“The trade required that Brian be physically capable of playing” said Kloepfer. “With the injury he sustained in the summer requiring surgery and him missing the ’08 NLL season resulted in it being voided.”
Early on in the afternoon of draft day, the Toronto Rock acquired previous Minnesota Swarm forward Kasey Beirnes in exchange for their 11th overall and 51st overall selections.
Beirnes, a veteran in the NLL, has spent the last seven seasons with Columbus, Arizona and Minnesota.
“The opportunity to acquire a player of Kasey’s proven ability will improve our offence and give us another goal scoring threat on our right side,” said Mike Kloepfer.
A right handed shooter from Elora, Ontario, Beirnes recorded 23 goals and 20 assists with the Swarm during the 2007 season and has 263 NLL career points (138 goals, 125 assists) and 326 loose balls.
The Rock selected Mark Scherman with their first pick (2nd round, 21st overall) in the draft. Scherman, a Calgary native, recorded 14 goals and 18 assists this summer playing for the Senior A Burnaby Lakers. Mark also tallied 39 points in his senior year in 2007 at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA.
“Mark is an offensive left hander that has had success playing in the WLA. We like his potential and feel he can become a solid professional. ” said Head Coach Glenn Clark. “We are excited about bringing Mark to camp and have him compete for a spot on our left side.”
Orangeville Northmen and OLA “Jr. A” All-star Matt Baker was the Rock’s second pick (3rd round, 35th overall) in the draft. Kloepfer said he and Glenn have watched Matt closely over the past season. “We feel that he is going to be a good prospect to play at the NLL level.”
Tyler Worden of the Whitby Warriors was selected by the Rock in the 4th round, 49th overall. Clark describes Tyler as “an aggressive, athletic defender.” “He has a competitive side that will serve him well as he tries to become an everyday NLL player,” he adds.
The Rock’s fourth pick, 55th overall was Wes McDonald of the Brooklin Redmen, also from Hobart College in Geneva, NY. Kloepfer adds “Wes is a very capable defender who is a good athlete. His experience playing both at the NCAA and Sr. A level will help him in competing for a spot on the Rock roster.”
Wes McFarlane, a Nanaimo Senior A Timbermen defender was selected 5th round, 63rd overall for the Rock. Clark says McFarlane, also from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia where he played four years of field lacrosse is “a good athlete with good size.” “Wes has the tools to become a good NLL defender. It will be exciting to see how he competes in our camp against the professional players.”
Toronto Rock Season tickets available now and includes all eight Rock home games at the Air Canada Centre. To reserve your seats for the 2008 Toronto Rock season, call the Rock office at (416) 596-3075 or visit our website at www.torontorock.com