On Thursday, July 7, 2022 the NLL hosted the Las Vegas Desert Dogs Expansion Draft, with the league’s 15th team picking its inaugural players. The following are the players that were picked in the draft.
Selection 1: JACKSON NISHIMURA (LD) from the Albany FireWolves
The former second round pick from the 2018 Entry Draft has established himself as a solid defenseman in the NLL. He provides great speed on the backend to bring the ball up in transition. He recorded a career high with 5 goals, 6 assists and 123 loose balls this past season.
Selection 2: CONNOR FIELDS (LF) from the Buffalo Bandits1
Fields was unfortunately the lone key contributor to not be protected out of what was the highest scoring offense in the NLL in the 2021-22 season in Buffalo. Happenstance of having only five players eligible for protection out the front door. The former first round pick from the 2018 draft had a breakout year in front of his home crowd with 32 goals, 35 assists and 97 loose ball recoveries.
Selection 3: RILEY HUTCHCRAFT (G) from the Toronto Rock1
Hutchcraft has been waiting in the shadows for a few years now in Toronto behind Nick Rose. Hutchcraft just turned 25 and has years of experience in front of him. In slim minutes since 2018, he has been impressive with allowing only 12 goals on 75 shots (.840 save percentage).
Selection 4: JOHN WAGNER (LD) from the Rochester Knighthawks
Another young player in John Wagner, 25, who is looking to develop into a consistent NLL player. He suited up for 12 games for the Knighthawks last season, recording 2 goals, 7 assists, 69 loose balls and 7 caused turnovers. In 2020, he played in 10 games for the expansion New York Riptide.
Selection 5: LANDON KELLS (G) from the Calgary Roughnecks
Kells was a third-round selection in the 2019 entry draft to Calgary. The 21-year-old goaltender was able to get some experience in the NLL this past season with just over 10 minutes of action, saving 5 of 7 shots. He has been fortunate to play alongside some of the best goalies across the NLL in Christian Del Bianco in Calgary and Evan Kirk, Mike Poulin, and Matt Vinc in the summers in Peterborough. This summer with Peterborough, Kells has saved 44 of 51 shots (.863 sv%).
Selection 6: BRETT MCINTYRE (RF) from the Colorado Mammoth2
McIntyre was a second-round selection for the Mammoth in the 2020 Entry Draft and made his debut this past season. With the injury to Ryan Lee ahead of the West Conference Finals, McIntyre was thrown into the lineup and performed well. In 6 playoff games, he scored 7 goals and recorded 9 assists. In the NLL Finals, he recorded 6 goals and 7 assists in 3 games.
Selection 7: CONNOR KIRST (LF) from the Georgia Swarm
Connor Kirst got his first taste of NLL action this past season with the Swarm. Although listed as a forward, Kirst scored just 2 goals, recorded 7 assists, 83 loose balls and 13 caused turnovers as a multidimensional player. He also took faceoffs for the Swarm winning 104 draws (2nd among rookies in the 2021-22 season).
Selection 8: JAMES BARCLAY (RD) from Halifax Thunderbirds
Barclay joins multiple members of the Desert Dogs who were drafted in the 2018 Entry Draft (9th overall). In his first three seasons he has not put up numbers that would wow fans of his true skill set as a sturdy defensemen. In his rookie season, he played 16 games, scored a goal, recorded 7 assists, 60 loose balls and 15 caused turnovers. This past season, Barclay only played 6 games for the Thunderbirds.
Selection 9: TY THOMPSON (LF) from the New York Riptide
Ty Thompson is a big body (6’6), a former second round pick in the 2020 Entry Draft and is still only 23 years old. He won a Minto Cup in 2019 with the Orangeville Northmen following his Junior B career with the Nepean Knights where he totaled 288 points in 76 games. He only appeared in 2 games for the Riptide this past season, recording two assists.
Selection 10: JACK HANNAH (RF) from the Panther City Lacrosse Club
Jack Hannah enjoyed a successful career at the University of Denver. He would spend time playing with the Rivermen in Ohio of the National Collegiate Box Series in the summer. He was named the #1 player in the 2019 season. He was drafted by Panther City with the 31st overall pick in the 2021 Entry Draft but never suited up for the team. In the 2021 NCBS season, he scored 30 points (15g, 15a) in 5 games played. Could Hannah be the next American born player to go through the NCBS to have success in the NLL?
Selection 11: JACKSON SUBOCH (LD) from the Philadelphia Wings
Adding size to the backend is Jackson Suboch, a first-round pick from the 2020 Entry Draft. In 9 games played in the 2021-22 season, Suboch recorded 2 assists, 25 loose balls and 2 caused turnovers. The 6’5 defenseman is still only 24 years old.
Selection 12: FRANK SCIGLIANO (G) from the San Diego Seals3
Frank Scigliano is a long-standing veteran in the NLL who is familiar with expansion franchises as he was taken by San Diego in their expansion draft. He was a second-round selection of the 2011 Entry Draft and has come into his own since being moved to San Diego. This past season, he was top five among goalies in save percentage and goals allowed average while playing 926 minutes.
Selection 13: JEFF CORNWALL (LD) from the Saskatchewan Rush4
Jeff Cornwall is an experienced veteran with championship pedigree, having been part of the Rush franchise since 2012. The former second round pick from the 2011 Entry Draft has had a great career playing alongside some of the best defenders in the game. This past season, the 6’3 defenseman scored 7 goals, recorded 4 assists, 65 loose balls and 19 caused turnovers. His brother, Travis, was selected by Panther City in their expansion draft last year.
Selection 14: TYSON ROE (RD) from the Vancouver Warriors
Tyson Roe may be the biggest name drafted (literally). The 6’10 defenseman was drafted in the second round of the 2014 Entry Draft and has yet to consistently crack a lineup. He has played sparingly with Vancouver over the past few years. His size and physicality could be an interesting prospect with the Desert Dogs lineup.
Charlie entered the NLL as an undrafted free agent and turned some heads in his time with the Knighthawks this past season. In 17 games played, he totaled 41 points and 66 loose balls. As a player with almost no box lacrosse experience entering the season, he still has room for growth but at 24, he still has years to contribute. With Shawn Williams as his coach, the offensive minded coach will work to develop Bertrand into a consistent and dominant box player.
Sam was a third-round selection by the Georgia Swarm in the 2020 Entry Draft before being traded to Colorado. After an injury to Eli McLaughlin in the NLL Finals, Firth got his first NLL action in Game 2. He would score his first career goal in the deciding Game 3.
Erik Turner is the story of hard work and resilience can lead to great things. Although undrafted and graduating from Cornell in 2015, he was finally able to crack the lineup for the Mammoth this past season after being on their practice roster the year before. In 17 games, he scored 2 goals, recorded 6 assists, 51 loose balls and 9 caused turnovers.
Mark Glicini will be one of the older players on the Desert Dogs but without a ton of experience. In his two seasons with the Seals, he played 15 games, recording 54 loose balls and 11 caused turnovers. The Yale grad from New Jersey is known for his spirit and determination on the field and as an undrafted player, was able to make the roster for one of the most competitive teams in the NLL in San Diego.
The former third round pick from the 2014 entry draft is now moving to his third franchise and his second expansion team. Although not selected in San Diego’s expansion draft, he signed as a free agent and was part of the inaugural season. Clelland was the primary draw man for the Seals, winning about 50% of his draws and has developed into a steady defender and transition player.
Marshal is a former second round selection from the 2019 Entry Draft. In the COVID shortened 2020 season, he amassed 16 points in just 5 games played as a rookie. This season, he only played 2 games, scoring one goal and recording two assists. While he will not be playing with his brother, Jesse, anymore, there is an opportunity for him to be a key player in the right hand forward rotation.