San Diego Seals to Pick First in National Lacrosse League Entry Draft, Second in Expansion Draft

Credit: KPBS

Credit: SD Seals

Lacrosse is coming to San Diego.

The San Diego Seals have won the rights to select first in the National Lacrosse League Entry Draft.

This honor was awarded to them thanks to winning the coin toss over the Philadelphia Wings during the halftime of game two of the NLL Finals between Rochester and Saskatchewan last Saturday night.

NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz was present to witness the coin toss as well as Seals’ general manager and head coach Patrick Merrill.

By winning the coin toss, the Seals had the option of choosing first in either the Entry Draft or the Expansion Draft. The Seals chose the former.

By choosing the Entry Draft, the Seals with have the first overall selection, as well as two picks (one in the beginning and one in the end) of the second, third, and fourth round. San Diego will only have one pick in the fifth and sixth rounds, making for nine picks in total.

The picks are as follows (tentative to potential trades):

  • Round 1, Pick 1
  • Round 2, Pick 13
  • Round 2, Pick 23
  • Round 3, Pick 25
  • Round 3, Pick 37
  • Round 4, Pick 39
  • Round 4, Pick 49
  • Round 5, Pick 51
  • Round 6, Pick 63

The first pick in the draft has usually panned out well for the teams who have them. The Georgia Swarm selected Lyle Thompson first overall in the 2015 Draft and he was selected as Rookie of the Year in 2016 as well as the League MVP in 2017. In 2010, Cody Jamieson was selected first overall by the Rochester Knighthawks and would eventually win the MVP award in 2014. Merril himself was a first overall pick in 2002 for the Toronto Rock.

However, because the Seals chose to pick first in the Entry Draft, they will be picking second in the Expansion Draft. The rules of the expansion draft are simple and quite like a normal expansion draft. Each team will lose two players in the draft; no more, no less. So, with 11 teams in total, 22 players will be drafted in the Expansion Draft. A team is allowed to protect 11 players in total with a maximum of one goalie and a maximum of five forwards. Teams cannot protect additional players after they lose a player in the draft (For example, if the Seals select Joe Smith from the Saskatchewan Rush, the Rush cannot replace Smith with another unprotected player and must leave said unprotected player exposed to the draft).

The expansion teams do not have to draft one player from each team and can draft multiple players from one team.

For example, San Diego can draft two players from Colorado, which means Philadelphia gets no players from Colorado, but instead get two players from another team, such as New England. Trades can be made between teams to avoid losing certain players or deals can be struck with either San Diego or Philadelphia to select certain players. An example of this kind of deal can be seen with the recent NHL Expansion Draft, when the Anaheim Ducks apparently struck a deal with the Vegas Golden Knights to trade picks and/or a player to Vegas in order to protect a defender like Josh Manson (the Ducks would end up trading Shea Theodore to the Golden Knights to keep them from selecting Manson).

With so many picks in not just one, but two drafts, the San Diego Seals’ front office have their work cut out for them in deciding who to select for the inaugural season. They will most certainly have their pick of the litter and are sure to build an exciting team to represent San Diego.

The Expansion Draft will take place on July 16, 2018, while the Entry Draft will be held in the Fall after the NLL Combine.

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