BOSTONCANNONS SELECT 12 PLAYERS
IN SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT
Four New England natives, including 1st pick J.J. Morrissey, selected by Cannons
Boston, MA -- December 14, 2010 –The Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, selected 12 players in today’s MLL Supplemental Draft, according to Vice President and General Manager Mark Kastrud. Winchester, MA native J.J. Morrissey was one of 4 New England natives selected by the Cannons.
“We are very happy with our picks. We selected talent across the board that gives us depth and insurance at several positions,” said Cannons head coach Bill Daye.
The Cannons had the fourth overall pick, and in the first round selected midfielder J.J. Morrissey, a Winchester, MA native returning to the MLL after a hiatus to teach in Switzerland. An MLL veteran, Morrissey was first drafted by the Rochester Rattlers out of the University of Virginia in the 2006 Collegiate Draft. Without playing in any games for Rochester, he was acquired by the Los Angeles Riptide mid-season. Morrissey played for the Riptide through 2008, including a second place finish in the 2007 championship game to the Philadelphia Barrage.
“J.J. is a veteran MLL player that was with us at training camp two years ago,” said Daye. “He’s an athletic midfielder who plays shutdown short stick defense and makes good decisions with the ball during transition. And he’s a local player which is always nice as well.”
Morrissey is a product of Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA, where he returned to work as a history teacher following college graduation. In 2008, Morrissey told Wicked Local Newburyport, “I would love to finish my lacrosse career in Boston [with the Boston Cannons]. It would be a lot of fun to be able to finish in the state where I started and to have my family see me play.”
With their second round pick (10th overall), the Cannons selected attackman Steven Boyle, bringing the Derry, NH native back to the Cannons for his second MLL season. The Cannons drafted Boyle in the 2010 Collegiate Draft out of Johns Hopkins University. In two games last season, Boyle notched two goals and one assist.
In the third round, the Cannons selected defenseman Pierce Derkac (16th overall). Derkac, a 2010 graduate at Cornell University, was co-captain his senior year and led the team to three final fours in four years. Derkac’s older brother Britton played for Cannons in 2006.
The Cannons’ fourth pick (22nd overall) was Benson Erwin, a short stick defensive middie who played in three games for the 2010 MLL champion Chesapeake Bayhawks. Erwin was drafted out of Johns Hopkins University in 2005 to the Baltimore Bayhawks. From 2006-2009 he played for the Denver Outlaws before returning to the Bayhawks.
Goalie Bruce Bickford was drafted by the Cannons in the fifth round (28th overall). Bickford, the 2008 CAA Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Year at Drexel University, was a member of the Cannons practice squad last season. Another New Englander, Bickford calls Providence, RI home.
With their sixth pick in the draft (34th overall) the Cannons selected midfielder Jason DuBoe. The Cannons drafted DuBoe out of Harvard University in the sixth round of the 2010 Collegiate draft, making him the second player from Harvard to enter the league. At Harvard, DuBoe was twice named to the New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association All-New England team.
With their seventh round pick (40th overall), the Cannons re-acquired Chazz Woodson at attack. Woodson was the 19th overall pick in the 2005 collegiate draft out of Brown University. First with the Long Island Lizards and then the Cannons in his debut season, Woodson played for the Los Angeles Riptide for two seasons. Woodson went on to play for the Chicago Machine and was most recently on the roster of the 2010 MLL champion Chesapeake Bayhawks.
The 8th selection of the draft for the Cannons (46th overall) was midfielder Chris Ajemian of Duxbury, MA. Ajemian played in one game with the Cannons in 2010 after being selected in the 7th round of the 2009 Supplemental Draft. Ajemian captained the Stags his senior year at Fairfield University.
In the 9th round, the Cannons selected face-off specialist Mike Cama (52nd overall). After winning the 2010 Division II championship with C.W. Post, Cama was voted USILA Specialty Player of the Year and the Inside Lacrosse 2010 Division II Player of the Year. The Toronto Nationals drafted Cama in the 2010 collegiate draft, but he did not see any action last season.
Defenseman Tony McDevitt was the Cannons 10th round (58th overall) choice. McDevitt was drafted by the New Jersey Pride in 2008 following his senior season at Duke University and spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons with the Long Island Lizards.
The Cannons drafted Matt Messina with their 11th round (64th overall) pick, bringing him back for a second season with the team at midfield. A 2009 first team All-American at the New York Institute of Technology, Messina was originally drafted by the Boston Cannons after graduation that year.
With their final pick in the Supplemental Draft, the Cannons selected midfielder Tom Burke (12th round, 70th overall). Following his 2010 senior campaign at SUNY Cortland, Burke was named a Division III All-American as well as winning the Division III Specialty Player Award (short stick specialist). He scored 23 goals and 17 assists on offense, and was second on the team with 81 ground balls and 18 forced turnovers.
“We are excited to get several guys back who were on our squad last season,” said Kastrud. “Some saw playing time last year and we look forward to seeing how they can further help our team in 2011.”
New for 2011, MLL has moved the Collegiate Draft to Friday, January 21. In the past 10 years, the Collegiate Draft has taken place in late May following the NCAA Lacrosse Championships. Teams will select current collegiate players, but these players will not be eligible to sign or play in MLL until their collegiate season is over in late spring. This change of date will provide challenges to MLL teams as they will be selecting players prior to their final NCAA season.
“The 2011 collegiate draft is going to be a deep one,” said Daye. “Now the challenge is to pick the best players prior to their final NCAA season. It’s tough, since several things are out of our control until their seasons end. But as always, we will as always look for the best players who can make an immediate impact on our team.”
On the positive side, it will provide further interest for MLL fans during the collegiate season knowing which players have been drafted by their favorite MLL team.
“It will be fun to see the excitement around players we draft,” added Kastrud. “There is also plenty of positive marketing behind ESPNU announcers referring to players as ‘recently drafted by the Boston Cannons’ throughout the season.”
2011 Cannons season tickets are on sale now with packages starting at $140 including all six Cannons home games plus the 2011 MLL All-Star Game. For more information, please contact the Boston Cannons at 617-746-9933, firstname.lastname@example.org by visiting BostonCannons.com.
2011 Boston Cannons Roster
Ajemian, Chris - Midfield
Belisle, Mitch – Defense
Bickford, Bruce - Goalie
Boyle, Ryan – Attack
Boyle, Steven - Attack
Buchanan, Kevin – Midfield
Burke, Jordan – Goalie
Burke, Tom - Midfield
Cama, Mike - Midfield
Casey, Matt – Midfield
Connolly, Jim – Attack
Derkac, Pierce - Defense
Downing, Greg – Midfield
DuBoe, Jason - Midfield
Eck, Chris – Midfield
Erwin, Benson - Midfield
Heim, Patrick – Midfield
McDevitt, Tony – Defense
Messina, Matt - Midfield
Morrissey, J.J. - Midfield
Nixon, Chris – Midfield
Nizolek, Ryan – Defense
Ortolani, John – Midfield
Passavia, Chris – Defense
Poskay, Matt – Midfield
Quinzani, Max – Attack
Rabil, Paul – Midfield
Reid, Jack – Defense
Ross, Brad – Midfield
Smalley, Matt – Midfield
Smith, Justin – Midfield
Stone, Mike – Midfield
Sweeney, Kyle – Defense
Turner, Kip – Goalie
Woodson, Chazz - Attack
BOLD=2011 Supplemental Draft Pick
CLICK HERE for a complete list of players drafted by all 6 teams.