When the 2021 NLL Entry Draft takes place, the Philadelphia Wings will select tenth. Here are five options to draft in the first round.
When the 2021 NLL Draft takes place, the Philadelphia Wings will select tenth in the first round.
Practically every forward or transition specialist is healthy and on the Wings active roster. Will they draft the best player available or the top prospect to fill a need? Either way, they are in a winning situation.
How will Paul Day assess the draft class? What philosophy will become his approach on draft day? The Wings could draft a top-notch defenseman in the first round or a forward from a wealthy talent pool.
Here are five first-round targets Philadelphia could land in the 2021 NLL Draft:
In two round-robin games, Kealan Pilon scored sixteen points. He tacked on another five as Canada won the gold medal at the World Juniors. Pilon is a gamer.
Pilon hasn’t missed any time on the lacrosse field over the past few years. Recency bias will play a factor in assessing a player’s stock. Gauging his 2019 performance at the World Juniors, his offensive outbursts are beneficial for the Philadelphia Wings. The Wings can already run away with games on the scoreboard. Pilon helps that cause.
At the forward position, Pilon tops the draft board when Philadelphia is on the clock.
Wings Could Get a Steal Here
Adam Charalambides is a steal if he slips down the draft board.
Charalambides has an injury history. Knee injuries kept him off the field for two seasons, not including the COVID-19 limbo. It’s been five years since he last played box lacrosse. Whoever drafts Charalambides has to have a ton of faith in his durability versus other younger players. Don’t be shocked if he slides in the first round.
With their tenth overall pick, Charalambides is a risk. How much faith does Paul Day have in his assessment?
Similar to Adam Charalambides, Patrick Shoemay missed a couple of lacrosse seasons. One of those missed seasons is due to a knee injury.
What works for Shoemay is his size (6’4″, 210lbs) and his performance back in 2018. Teams evaluating will understand his talent, despite missing a couple of seasons. He isn’t afraid to throw his body around. Shoemay is a lock for the first round.
Shoemay was named the 2018 BCJALL defensive player of the year.
A Sleeper the Wings Could Steal
Unlike Patrick Shoemay, Patrick Kaschalk isn’t entering the 2021 NLL Draft following a missing season. He was selected ninth overall in the 2020 MSL Draft, so his value is clear. Kaschalk could compete with Shoemay for the attention of the Philadelphia Wings.
Kaschalk is a player who flies under the radar in the first round. His talent is more transparent in evaluation than Shoemay’s in terms of recency. Notably, Kaschalk offers positional flexibility.
A Last Name Familiar to the Wings
Rugged and ready, Jerry Staats is another appealing defenseman who should have Paul Day’s attention in the first round.
His brother, Randy Staats, had a career day against the Philadelphia Wings in 2019-2020. Randy totaled seven points, recovered six loose balls, and forced a turnover versus the Wings in nineteen minutes on the field. To combat the Georgia Swarm, Philadelphia could wisely draft Jerry. A personal battle finds context each time the Swarm takes on the Wings if Jerry takes on Randy.
Jerry has been successful everywhere he’s been. He’s a no-brainer option in the first round.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre