Complete Recap of San Diego Seals 2018 NLL Draft

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San Diego, California

After the Expansion Draft focused mostly on defenders and hoarding draft picks, the San Diego Seals came into the National Lacrosse League Draft armed with the first overall draft pick and a desire to load their squad with young talent

The rules of the draft are simple. With six rounds, 74 players will be selected to play for an NLL team. Teams will have a maximum of five minutes in the first round to make their pick, with two minutes in the other rounds.

San Diego was extremely efficient and went for a balanced approach in the draft, selecting six forwards, four defenders, two transition players, one goalkeeper, three Connors, two Zachs (one spelled Zach while the other is spelled Zac), and two Austins.

Here is a quick rundown on the baby Seals.

Round 1, Pick 1: Austin Staats, Forward, Onodaga Community College

Staats was the first player selected and has an opportunity to become a potential face of the Seals franchise. The 20-year old was widely anticipated to be the top pick of the draft, and for good reason. In only 14 games in 2018, he got 42 goals with 87 points. He has taken home MVP honors for the 2017 Minto Cup while was named to the All-World Team at the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championship just a couple months ago.

San Diego couldn’t be happier to draft a player who has “electrifying goal-scoring” ability. He should immediately be placed into the starting rotation and is a player the team can build around for years. Staats, for his part, seems to be embracing the challenge, simply saying that he is ready to come to San Diego and make them a winner

Round 1, 10th overall (From Saskatchewan Rush): Connor Fields, Forward, University of Albany

Acquiring both the 10th and 11th picks from Saskatchewan after the Seals selected Brett Mydske in the Expansion Draft, San Diego selected a player who can only be described as “Tough as Nails”. Fields played half of his senior year with not only an injured meniscus and a strained MCL, but on a torn ACL. Much like Phillip Rivers, Fields toughed it out to lead Albany to it’s the best season in school history.

Playing in only 16 games, Fields scored 34 goals and had 84 points for Albany. Compare that to a more healthy 2017, where he amassed 117 points with 52 goals, and the Seals found themselves a potential goal-scoring dynamo to pair with Staats. However, he still may need some time to recover and get properly healthy, as he underwent surgery in August and will have to regain strength. Once he is fully recovered, however, the rest of the NLL will have to be wary of the young Seals striker.

Round 1, 11th overall (from Saskatchewan Rush): Connor Kearnan, Forward, Cansius College

The second first-round pick from Saskatchewan and also the second Connor selected, Kearnan was seen as a safe yet exciting pick by Bleacher Report at number 11. Kaernen led Cansius College to the NCAA Lacrosse Championships but was defeated in the opening round by Robert Morris. He was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year twice while finishing second in school history in assists.

He had himself a stellar 2018 campaign, collecting 44 assists and 71 total points on the season. Kearnan finished his college season at Canisius with 180 total points, good for number five in school history.  He is a great pick to round out the first round with, and the three young picks of Staats, Fields, and Kearnan could spearhead a lethal offense in the very near future.

Round 2, 15th overall: Rylan Hartley, Goaltender, Orangeville

Going into the second round, the Seals broke from the offense and focused and shoring up their goalkeeper position by selecting Hartley out of Orangeville, Ontario. Hartley is a brick wall at the net, as he stopped 44 shots in a playoff game en route to being named Ontario Junior A’s MVP. He also earned the honor of being named the Chris Sanderson Award as the Most Valuable Goalie, while also being named a first-team all-star.

He will have to compete with the other goaltenders on the team for starts as the Seals selected Frank Scigliano in the Expansion Draft and signed free agent Eric Kratz in the offseason. With his youth and success in Canada, Hartley is almost a lock to receive, at the very least, some playing time with the Seals


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