By Sean Heenehan | 9/21/11 10:00 AM
The curtain has closed on the eleventh Major League Lacrosse season; a year that brought fans one of the most exciting All-Star Games to date, the ESPN Classic “Hurricane Games” in Annapolis during Championship Weekend, and culminated in the Boston Cannons’ first-ever Steinfeld Trophy. While the momentum is winding down from 2011, MLL is gearing up for 2012 which will bring two new teams to the league, widening the already dense talent pool and heightening the competition.
Each year MLL hosts several drafts in the off-season which play integral roles in stacking each team with talent. Here is a guide to each draft so you can follow your favorite team and athletes.
23-Man Protected List: September 23
The 23 Man Protected Lists will kick off the road to 2012. Lists are due Friday, September 23. These lists are provided by the coaches and general managers of each team and include the athletes they wish to “protect” until the 10 or 12 Man Protected Lists are due. Once teams submit their 23 Man Lists, all players not currently in the Player Pool (and who haven’t been protected) may register online beginning on Monday, September 26th.
10 or 12 Man Protected Lists: October 12th
Next, teams must submit their 10 or 12 Man Protected Lists which are designed for teams to keep either 10 players or 12 players who will not be available for the Expansion or Supplemental Drafts. RULES: Teams that decide to retain 1 goalie may retain 11 field players but teams that decide to retain 2 goalies may only retain 8 field players. If no goalies appear on the protected list, teams may hold on to 12 field players. The 10 or 12 Man Protected lists are due on October 12th. NOTE: Any athletes placed on the 23-Man Protected Lists and who are NOT placed on the 10 or 12 Man Protected Lists can be picked up by either the Charlotte Hounds or the Ohio Machine in the MLL Expansion Draft. If they are not chosen by either of the new teams, they will remain on their original teams.
Player Pool Registration: Opens September 26th, closes December 2nd
MLL Expansion Draft: December 7th
The MLL Expansion Draft will be held on December 7th for the Charlotte Hounds and Ohio Machine. The Machine will have the first pick after the Charlotte Hounds won a coin toss and chose to pick first in the 2012 MLL Collegiate Draft. Any player not protected on the 10 or 12 Man List and registered in the Player Pool is up for grabs.
There will be 15 rounds, which means a total of 30 players will be selected from the pool. Once a veteran MLL team has lost three players, they may pull back one player. In other words, if the Boston Cannons lose three players, General Manager Kevin Barney and Head Coach Bill Daye can claim one of their unselected athletes, removing them from the pool thus protecting them. For each subsequent player a team loses in the Expansion Draft, they can pull back another player to the protected list.
If a team loses six players in the draft, it cannot lose any more players and all of their remaining players from their 23 Man Roster are returned. The Hounds and Machine can trade any expansion pick to any team in the league and can also choose to select players from the Player Pool, not just unprotected players.
MLL Supplemental Draft: December 14th
The MLL Supplemental Draft will take place on December 14th. All teams are involved in this draft and they may select up to 40 players to fill out their roster. There is a maximum selection time of 3 minutes in all rounds, carefully timed by the league. If a team goes over the time limit, they lose that draft choice. Teams that do not fill out their 40 man roster may begin to claim players out of the player pool or they can wait and hold open tryouts. Open tryouts are for players registered in the Player Pool and who are not on the Pre-Season Active Roster and were not selected in either of the drafts.
MLL Collegiate Draft: January 13th 2012
The MLL Collegiate Draft will be held on January 13, 2012 with details to follow. On April 28, 2012 the Major League Lacrosse Season will kick off with two new teams and lots of excitement! Stay tuned for more details.