2020 NLL Draft: How to Watch, Draft Order, Top Prospects, Mock Draft

Corey KnappContributor ISeptember 14, 2020

NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz will announce the New York Riptide's first overall pick in the draft for the second year in a row.
NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz will announce the New York Riptide's first overall pick in the draft for the second year in a row.NLL

The 2020 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft is set to take place Thursday night. The league will host the event virtually, with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET, and fans can watch the draft free on B/R Live here

The New York Riptide have the No. 1 pick again this year. They used the first overall pick in 2019 to select Tyson Gibson, who went on to win NLL Rookie of the Year. It's the fourth time in league history that the same team has made the first pick two seasons in a row.

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

With the first pick in the 2019 @NLL Entry Draft, the @newyorkriptide select Tyson Gibson, forward from @RMUMLacrosse 👏 Watch live now ➡️ https://t.co/pj0vBkCFNs https://t.co/jtIHKbCS8V

Gibson's success in his debut season on an expansion team mirrored that of 2018 top pick and consequent Rookie of the Year winner Austin Staats of the San Diego Seals.

Below you can find everything you need to know about the 2020 NLL draft, including how to stream the event, the draft order and length, top prospects, a mock draft, details on player eligibility, and how the virtual event will work.


2020 NLL Draft Date, Time, How to Watch, Stream

The NLL draft begins at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday. Stream it here on B/R Live for free. B/R Live is the home to every NLL game. To get ready for the draft and the 2020-21 season, fans can watch full replays of every game from the past two seasons with the B/R Live Pass.

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

Austin Staats is back 🔥 @SealsLax Look out, @NLL https://t.co/V6e0ENTrGY


2020 NLL Draft Order

The NLL draft will feature six rounds. Because the 2019-20 season did not finish because of the coronavirus pandemic and teams had played varying numbers of games, the draft order is sorted by winning percentage. Here's how Round 1 looks:

1. New York Riptide
2. Rochester Knighthawks
3. Vancouver Warriors
4. San Diego Seals
5. Calgary Roughnecks
6. Georgia Swarm (from Colorado Mammoth)
7. Saskatchewan Rush (from Philadelphia Wings)
8. Georgia Swarm
9. Buffalo Bandits
10. Georgia Swarm (from Toronto Rock)
11. Halifax Thunderbirds
12. Saskatchewan Rush
13. Georgia Swarm (from New England Black Wolves)
14. Halifax Thunderbirds
15*. San Diego Seals
16*. Philadelphia Wings

*Compensatory pick.

Several teams will have compensation picks slotted in throughout the draft. These are the result of a team losing a player who signed with another club as an unrestricted free agent. Compensatory picks will be made at the conclusion of each of the first four rounds. Check out the details of all the team and player transactions that resulted in these picks here.


2020 NLL Draft Top Prospects, Player Eligibility

There is an eligibility wrinkle for this year's draft after the 2020 collegiate spring sports season was canceled. Players who have spent four years with their college programs and have chosen to exercise the extra year of eligibility granted to them by the NCAA will be draft-eligible. Teams can select these players and will retain their rights while they play their final college seasons.

Any prospect under 21 is draft-eligible if he notifies the NLL at least seven days before the draft that he has forfeited any remaining NCAA eligibility. All prospects 21 and older who have never played NCAA lacrosse are eligible for the draft, as are all players who have completed or forfeited their NCAA eligibility.


5 Prospects to Watch

Jeff Teat: Despite confirming he's going back to Cornell for his final season, Teat appears to be the consensus favorite to be the top pick in the draft. He is a dynamic scorer and playmaker who, once he arrives in New York, could form a dangerous trio with Gibson and recent free-agent signing Callum Crawford. 

Jeff Henrick: The defenseman from Ohio State isn't the sort of flashy attacker you typically see at the top of draft boards, but teams will assign plenty of value to his strength at the back. Henrick would instantly lift any NLL team's overall defense.

Tre Leclaire: Another Buckeye, Leclaire is a high-volume scorer in both box and field lacrosse and is a native of British Columbia. With that pedigree, it's hard to see Vancouver passing him up with pick No. 3.

Ryan Smith: He's heading back for his final season at Robert Morris, but Smith seems to get better with each season, so that doesn't seem like a bad thing. And with each step up in competition in his amateur career, the forward has met the challenge, setting himself up to be an offensive focal point early on in his NLL career.

Reid Bowering: The Drexel defender has proved his worth and earned field and box accolades during his college and junior career. Like Henrick, his strength and ability level will allow him to slot right into a lineup and elevate every defender around him.

For more players to keep an eye on throughout the NLL draft check out Marisa Ingemi of NLL.com's prospect profiles. And for a full mock draft of the first round from Inside Lacrosse, go here.


2020 NLL Draft Virtual Broadcast Team, Fan Involvement

While the draft will be remote, the broadcast team will be a collection of familiar faces. NLL's Devan Kaney will host the coverage, and she will be joined by lacrosse draft expert Stephen Stamp, Colorado Mammoth announcer Teddy Jenner and Georgia Swarm floor reporter Tabitha Turner.

Devan Kaney @DevanKaneyTV

The NLL Draft will look a bit different this year, but I’m pumped to get back behind the desk and (virtually) host our selection show for the second year in a row. Now if you need me I’ll be studying until September 17th 📖✏️🥍 https://t.co/HAME6JQexJ

NLL fans will be able to interact and engage in real time with the live broadcast through Twitter comments and hashtag polls. More details on the virtual draft can be found on the league's official site.


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