6/4/10 3:37 PM
MLL Draft Preview – Chicago Machine
By: Dan Kopf
In a little over 48 hours the Chicago Machine will be on the clock with the first pick of the 2010 Major League Lacrosse Draft. This will be the fourth year in a row that the Machine have had the first overall pick. Over the years they have had mixed results with their overall selection.
Last year the Machine selected Attackman Kenny Nims from Syracuse. Nims made his presence felt immediately netting 15 points in just eight games. However Nims is sitting out this summer and will not see the field.
The Machine have also had a history of trading their draft picks. In 2006 the Machine traded the first overall pick to the Rochester Rattlers and in 2008 they traded it to the Boston Cannons.
Despite their history of trading the first overall pick, Machine General Manager Scott Hiller, is planning on keeping this year’s selection. “We haven’t had as many [trade] offers as years past. We have had some inquiries. When you do have the number one pick you have the mindset that unless someone knocks your socks off [with an offer] you don’t trade it,” Hiller said.
Having the first and seventh overall pick gives the Machine a unique opportunity to add two impact players to their roster right away. With the first overall pick look for the Machine to target one of these three players.
This year’s Tewaaraton award winner, Crotty is arguably the most talented player in the draft. Crotty would give the Machine an immediate scoring threat who would also be able to feed the ball to Chazz Woodson and the Leveille brothers.
Although it seems like Crotty is a lock for the first overall pick Rodgers could be the Machine’s second choice. Rodgers had a stellar postseason leading the Fighting Irish to the National Championship Game against Duke. Rodgers would be a great fit for the Machine, who would be able to groom him behind goalie Mike Gabel.
If the Machine feel that defense is their greatest need then look for them to select the drafts best defender, Ken Clausen. Clausen is a three time first team All American and is a master at causing turnovers and scooping up groundballs. Clausen’s speed and intensity on defense is exactly what the Machine are looking for.
Although the first pick is the most glamorous of the draft the seventh pick might be more important. “Having two picks in the top seven is a great opportunity,” Hiller said. “We like what we have right now but we are excited to take the best player available.”
With the seventh pick there will still be plenty of impact players on the board. Here are three that fit Hillers strategy of selecting the best player available.
If Rodgers slides past Long Island and is available then look for the Machine to pick him here, if not Godoi is a great fit. At 6’3 215, Godoi is a massive defender who is also very athletic and would be an intimidating force on the Machine defense.
If Godoi is gone before the Machine pick, Jarvis would be a great choice to fill the Machines void on D. Jarvis is a great leader on the field and is the type of high character guy that the Machine are looking for.
Boyle is a player who could be picked anywhere from as early as round 1 to as late as round 3. If he is available here or in the third round the Machine could select him to add more depth to their offense. Boyle is a goal scoring threat, in his senior year he tallied 32 goals in 15 games for the Blue Jays.
This draft is shaping up to be a very important draft for the Machine. The Machine are already one win away from equaling their win total from last year and are hoping that their first and second round selections will be able to make immediate contributions. However, as GM Scott Hiller remarks, it’s not always that easy.
“In years past it has been sporadic, sometimes they do really well and other times it takes them a year or two to settle in. Our expectation is for them to crack the lineup,” Hiller said. Some guys, like Ryan Boyle, can step in right away and lead their team to the championship. We’re hoping that the players we select will be able to do the same thing for us.”
The draft will take place at 7p.m. at the Yale University and is open to the public.