6/3/10 10:48 AM
With two picks in the first round and nine overall, the Chesapeake Bayhawks couldn’t be in a better spot entering the 2010 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft.
It doesn’t appear the Bayhawks have any immediate holes in their lineup. Offensively, they have 12 different shooters who’ve accounted for 49 goals so far this season with six players making four or more. Defensively, they have a solid unit anchored by goaltender Chris Garrity who boasts the league’s highest 2010 save average of 57.7%. While they’re looking great so far, General Manager Spencer Ford said, “Having the two pick and the six pick is key.”
As expected the Bayhawks have had luck with their top picks in the past. Kyle Dixon was selected second in 2006. Danny Glading was fifth in 2009. Matt Abbott was chosen ninth in 2009. Dixon has 20 career two-pointers and is ranked fifth in the MLL two-point goal standings; Glading has six goals and Abbott has three in just the first three games.
There have also been a few surprises on the Bayhawks roster this season. These seemingly invisible players were picked after the first two rounds and have made it their mission to be seen. Michael Evans was selected 18thin last year’s draft and is having a breakout season thus far. Ben Hunt scored a big two-point goal in week two after being the lackluster 28thpick in the 2009 draft. He has proven himself worthy of the Bayhawk jersey with 12 goals in eight career games.
Peet Poillon leads the league’s score sheet with 17 points, including nine goals. As the 20thoverall pick, he went to Boston last season. Poillon was later released and the Bayhawks nabbed him in the MLL Player Pool. The Bayhawks have done well grabbing players from other teams, including Alex Smith, Ben Rubeor, Ray Megill and Joe Cinosky.
Smith was the number 3 selection in 2007. He broke almost all NCAA records involving the face-off position and has proceeded to make his mark on the MLL’s leader boards. Rubeor came to the Bayhawks last season after playing with the Long Island Lizards, where he was drafted as the 14thpick in 2008. Defensemen Megill and Cinosky were drafted ninth in 2007 and 2008, respectively, and were scooped up by the Bayhawks to lead the revitalized defensive unit in the 2010 season.
This year, the Bayhawks have picks across the board. They are looking to build upon an already amazing group of unselfish scorers and aggressive defenders. Ford said, “It’s going to be a very difficult decision to make with determining who we’re going to bring in, what we’re going to do and how we’re going to accomplish our goals for the season.” That goal is to hold the Steinfeld Cup at their home stadium in Annapolis after the MLL Championship Weekend in August.
“Bottom line is that we’re very happy right now,” said Ford. “I definitely can’t talk about the draft until game four when we could very easily be 2-2. Then we might have to make some changes.” While Ford isn’t ready to name names, Buggs Combs is excited about the possibilities of the Bayhawks’ early picks. The two players he would like to see on their roster are Ned Crotty and Michael Kimmel.
“I think that Ned Crotty is a very good, skilled offensive player who can play midfield or attack,” Buggs said. “Michael Kimmel is going to be very successful in the MLL because he is the type of midfielder who can get up and down the field.”
This Friday, the Bayhawks play the Cannons. Chesapeake’s performance is crucial in determining how they will use their first round selections.
The draft begins Sunday at 7 p.m. and will air live on Universal Sports Network, or you can see pick-by-pick who is going where streaming live on ESPN3.com.