With the first overall pick of the 2018 MLL Collegiate Draft presented by Cascade Lacrosse, the Boston Cannons have selected faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste from the University of Denver.
As a freshman in 2015, Baptiste appeared in 19 games for the Pioneers and set the NCAA record for most faceoff wins by a freshman with 310. He tallied eight goals and five assists and picked up 140 groundballs as Denver’s primary faceoff specialist. He helped lead Denver to an NCAA Championship with a 10-5 victory over Maryland.
Baptiste built off his strong freshman season in 2016, finishing his sophomore campaign with 272 faceoff wins and 162 groundballs in 16 games. He led the country in groundballs per game with 10.19 and ranked fourth in faceoff winning percentage. Though his offensive production decreased during his sophomore year (he went from 13 points to 5), Baptiste was still one of the best faceoff specialists in the country.
Baptiste enjoyed his most successful season to date in 2017, concluding his junior season with 297 faceoff wins and 178 groundballs. He scored a career-high 12 goals and won double digit faceoffs in all 17 games for the Pioneers. At the conclusion of the 2017 season, Baptiste ranked first in faceoff winning percentage, second in faceoffs won, and second in groundballs per game with 10.47.
In eleven games as a senior thus far, Baptiste has six goals and two assists to go along with 113 groundballs and 197 faceoff wins.
Baptiste was a nominee for the Tewaaraton Trophy in each of his first three seasons at Denver and was a finalist in 2017. He was also named to Team USA for the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships this summer.
“You look at what he has done and in certain games he’s won literally every faceoff,” said Cannons Head Coach Sean Quirk. “He’s a dominant faceoff guy. And with Greg Gurenlian leaving this league, [people] are saying that he could be the next long-time faceoff guy. We’ve certainly been watching him closely.”
The Cannons will pick again in the third round.