The countdown is on to tomorrow's MLL Collegiate Draft at 8:30pm - follow the action LIVE right here on BostonCannons.com. We've weighed in with looks at the country's top attackmen, middies and defensemen from DI powerhouses. Inside Lacrosse has shared Quint Kessenich's mock draft, as well as one from Kyle Devitte. At the Cannons, we love a hometown hero, so we picked a few more guys off the draft list that are from the New England area and have been making their mark at colleges near and far. Perhaps one of the following will be suiting up in Harvard Stadium this summer?
Ben Smith, Longmeadow, MA
After a solid career at Harvard, Smith moves south to Johns Hopkins University, Cannons star Paul Rabil’s alma mater, in hopes of continuing his career as a grad student. Smith was an All-Ivy League honorable mention in 2010 as he starred for a Harvard team that struggled to go 6-6. Over the course of the season, Smith netted two goals and collected 24 ground balls for the Crimson. Smith could be a pivotal part of the Blue Jays’ midfield this year as they look to improve on some disappointing long stick midfield play from 2009.
Jamie Macdonald, Providence, RI
University of Denver
Macdonald has been named one of Denver’s four captains for the upcoming 2011 season after a stellar 2010 season for the Pioneers. Heading into his senior year, Macdonald has appeared in 47 games and collected 67 groundballs. A short stick defender, the Providence, RI native is one of the best defenders on the team, capable of covering the opposing teams’ best middies and attackmen. Macdonald’s coach has described him as the strongest player on the team and someone who is a great role model for his younger teammates, always putting the team and winning ahead of personal statistics. Macdonald and the Pioneers finished the 2010 as the ECAC champs with a 12-5 (7-0) record and a birth in the NCAA tournament.
Tom Montelli, Weston, CT
Over his first three years at Duke, Montelli has appeared in 49 games for the Blue Devils and collected 67 ground balls. The long stick midfielder has been a key member to Duke’s face-off midfield unit for the past two years and will play a big role again this season. Montelli posted a career high in goals with four in a game last season. In 2009, he scored the game winning goal against North Carolina (sorry, Coach Daye) in the quarter finals of the NCAA tournament. Montelli has also had success off the field, as he was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2008.
Chris Madalon, Darien, CT
Madalon, or “Mads” as he is known by his teammates, had a breakout season for UNC after being named a starter before last season. He started all 16 games in 2010 for the Tar Heels, which posted a 12-3 record with an 8.86 goals against average and a .522 save percentage. Madalon’s coaches say that he is a big athlete who takes up a lot of the cage, great on the outlet pass and a goalie who commands the respect from the players in front of him. Coach Daye could have his eye on Madalon as the two both played goalie for the Tar Heels.
Long Ellis, Darien, CT
Ellis is coming off a solid year for Princeton that saw him named to the All-Ivy League second team as well as the Ivy League all-tournament team. He led the Tigers last year in turnovers caused with 22 while also collecting 26 ground balls. Ellis’ biggest strength may be his versatility; he is capable of playing as a defender or a middie, with a long or short stick. Ellis is also an important part of Princeton’s specialty teams, playing as a key member of the man down unit since his freshman year.
Adam Rand, Niantic, CT
Rand heads into this season in 11
th place all time in face-offs taken and won in NCAA Division I history. He was named an Inside Lacrosse first team All American following a great 2010. Last year, Rand set the Division I record for face-offs taken in a season and had the 4
th best season in terms of face-offs won. He also tied the second place all-time record for most face-off wins in one game with 29 vs. Sienna. Over the course of his career, Rand has played in 45 games for Stony Brook, winning 60.2% of face-offs and collecting 192 ground balls.
DJ Hessler, Monkton, MD
Hessler may not have been born in New England, but he has been the stand out player for Tufts University for the past three seasons. Hessler’s best output thus far for the Jumbos came last year when he started all 21 games, scoring 37 goals and passing for a Tufts record 54 assists, for a total of 91 points. Hessler was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 Division III Championship game as Tufts won their first ever national title in any team sport. Hessler was also named the 2010 NESCAC Player of the Year and was on the NESCAC first team for the third year in a row. With such a fantastic scoring touch, Hessler could be a dark horse in this year’s draft.