Toronto -The National Lacrosse League Entry Draft takes place Wednesday at 7pm as 53 players will be selected in total through the six round selection process at the Don Valley Hotel in Toronto.
The Philadelphia Wings finished last overall in 2011 and hold the first overall pick in the draft. A lot will transpire before the defending NLL Champions and General Manager Terry Sanderson make the Rock’s first selection with the 9th pick in the second round 17th overall.
“We’ll be looking for the best player available,” said Sanderson when speaking of who the Rock are targeting with their first pick in the draft. “Most of the people you hear about are going to be gone. We’ll be fortunate if we’re able to find a (Glen) Bryan or a (Rob) Hellyer that teams may have overlooked.”
The Rock also found themselves without a first round pick in last year’s draft. However, the 2010 draft proved incredibly fruitful for the Rock as they harvested a pair of players beyond the first round that played for the club during their run to the 2011 NLL Championship.
Glen Bryan was Toronto’s first pick in last year’s draft with the Rock selecting the Orangeville Junior A grad with the 4th pick in the 2nd round, 14th overall. Bryan’s Orangeville teammate Rob Hellyer was selected in the 3rd round of the draft with the 9th pick, 30th overall. Both Hellyer and Bryan worked their way into the Rock lineup in 2011 and more importantly, each player made an impact in the NLL Championship Game by scoring a goal in Toronto’s 8-7 triumph over Washington.
In addition to those two players, Ryan Dilks was also a Rock draft pick last year and was eventually traded to Boston where he dressed for 12 of the Blazers 16 regular season games as well as their lone playoff tilt. Dilks was the 9th pick in the 5th round, 50th overall in the 2010 draft.
“You find quality players late because you take in a lot of games in the summer,” said Sanderson. “We follow them through their junior careers. We have a lot of people within our organization that work with summer teams. You draw on their knowledge and pick their brain on guys, that’s where you often get the most valuable information from.”
Despite not having a first round pick, the Rock still have six picks in the draft. One each in rounds two through five and two in the sixth and final round. The 2011 NLL Draft is Wednesday night at the Don Valley Hotel in Toronto beginning at 7pm. Every selection will also be broadcast live on the NLL Network at NLL.com.