Austin Staats Selected No. 1 Overall in NLL Entry Draft


Austin Staats, who led Onondaga Community College to a junior college national championship this spring, went to San Diego as the No. 1 overall selection in the NLL Entry Draft.

A banner 2018 season continued for Austin Staats as he was selected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 National Lacrosse League (NLL) entry draft. Staats was selected by the expansion San Diego Seals franchise.

Staats led Onondaga Community College to a junior college national championship in the spring, scoring 43 goals with 32 assists in just 11 games. He finished his two-year career at Onondaga with 156 points. This summer, Staats scored 16 goals in helping the Iroquois Nationals win a bronze medal at the Federation of International Lacrosse World Championship in Israel.

Staats was one three San Diego selections in the opening round. The Seals selected Connor Fields at No. 10 and Connor Kearnan at No. 11. Fields, who is in the tryout pool for the 2019 U.S. Indoor Team, had surgery in August after playing through injury while leading Albany to the NCAA semifinal round and then playing three games for Charlotte in Major League Lacrosse (MLL) this summer.

Chris Cloutier, the Rookie of the Year in Major League Lacrosse this summer, went No. 2 overall to the NLL's other expansion franchise - Philadelphia. Cloutier, the Most Outstanding Player at the 2016 NCAA Championship after leading North Carolina to the title, was a member of Denver's MLL championship team this summer and had 24 goals and 16 assists in just six games for the Outlaws.

Buffalo had the No. 3 and No. 4 picks and used them to snag Bucknell's Matt Gilray and Vermont's Ian MacKay. Gilray was a two-year captain at Bucknell and helped Canada win a silver medal at the FIL World Championship this summer. MacKay set a Vermont school record with 150 career goals and was a three-time All-America East player.

Defending NLL champion Saskatchewan selected High Point's Connor Robinson to round out the top five selections. Robinson led High Point with 36 goals as a senior and gained notoriety by piling up three 100-point seasons at the Junior A level.

An intriguing selection also came at the start of the second round with Philadelphia drafting New Jersey native Trevor Baptiste. Baptiste rewrote the NCAA faceoff record book at Denver and helped Team USA win the gold medal this summer at the world championship. He played in the Colorado Collegiate Box Lacrosse League heading into his senior year at Denver and will be participating in the U.S. Indoor Team tryouts this weekend at the Lacrosse All Stars North American Invitational.

Another U.S. indoor hopeful, Connor Kelly, went No. 33 overall to San Diego in the third round. Kelly, a 2018 Maryland graduate, was on the U.S. training team this summer in field lacrosse.

A complete list of the first round selections follow:

No. 1 San Diego - Austin Staats, Onondaga CC
No. 2 Philadelphia - Chris Cloutier, North Carolina
No. 3 Buffalo - Matt Gilray, Bucknell
No. 4 Buffalo - Ian MacKay, Vermont
No. 5 Saskatchewan - Connor Robinson, High Point
No. 6 Calgary - Shane Simpson, North Carolina
No. 7 Georgia - Brendan Bomberry, Syracuse
No. 8 Georgia - Adam Wiedemann, Belmont Abbey
No. 9 Rochester - James Barclay, Providence
No. 10 San Diego - Connor Fields, Albany
No. 11 San Diego - Connor Kearnan, Canisius
No. 12 Calgary - Eli Salama, RIT
No. 13 Calgary - Reece Callies, Colorado Mesa

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