With Their First Pick The San Diego Seals Select...
"With the first pick of the 2018 NLL Entry Draft, the San Diego Seals select..."
Those words will echo throughout Xfinity Live in Philadelphia on September 25th when the San Diego Seals kick off the 2018 National Lacrosse League's Entry Draft.
San Diego and their expansion partners, the Philadelphia Wings had the outcome of the first overall selections for both the July Expansion Draft and September’s Entry draft decided by the flip of a coin at the 2018 NLL Finals. The Seals came out the winners of the coin toss and opted to select first in the league-wide Entry Draft. San Diego deferred to let the Wings get first dibs in the Expansion Draft.
Leading up to the Expansion Draft, the Seals had been an NLL franchise for ten months and were adding the finishing touches to their coaching staff along with other vital team positions. On July 2nd, just fourteen days away from the Expansion Draft, the Seals landed their first player in franchise history by acquiring Kyle Buchanan from the New England Black Wolves via a trade.
Also included in the package was New England's 2018 third-round pick, the Seals sent a 2018 second-round pick and a 2021 third-round pick to New England to finish the deal. Buchanan ended his sixth NLL season with the Black Wolves registering career-bests of 31 goals, 69 points, and 131 loose balls.
During his previous four seasons in New England, he averaged 60 points per year. In 2015, Buchanan was the winner of the NLL's Sportsmanship Award by playing in all eighteen games without recording a single penalty minute, marking his second consecutive year with no penalty minutes.
On July 16th, the Seals and Wings officially began filling their rosters during the 2018 NLL Expansion Draft. The existing nine teams were able to protect eleven players on their rosters shielding either a combination of one goalie and ten runners, or eleven runners and no goalie.
Since the Seals won the coin toss and elected to draft first in the Entry Draft, the Wings had the pleasure of selecting first in the Expansion Draft. For nine rounds, Philadelphia and San Diego picked nine players with the draft order not switching from round to round. Additionally, a few draft day trades were executed by both teams to help strengthen their team for the future.
The Seals filled out their Expansion Draft board by getting Turner Evans from the Toronto Rock in Round One, Brett Mydske and Adrian Sorichetti from the Saskatchewan Rush with their Rounds Two and Three picks. San Diego then took Cam Holding from the Colorado Mammoth in Round Four.
Holding's teammate Bryce Sweeting was taken in Round Five but then traded to the Buffalo Bandits in exchange for Ethan Schott and Buffalo's 2018 second round (seventeenth overall) pick in the Entry Draft. In Rounds Six and Seven, the Seals selected Goaltender Frank Scigliano and Garrett McIntosh from the Calgary Roughnecks.
To close out the expansion draft, San Diego chose Casey Jackson and Brendan Ranford from Vancouver. The Seals also made a multitude of free agent signings over the course of the summer.
The Entry Draft means we're just one step closer to the start of the NLL's 33rd season of operation, but more importantly, the start of the San Diego Seals inaugural season of operation.
(Photo courtesy of the San Diego Seals)