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NY RIPTIDE Off-Season Review

J.J. Pavlick


We will start with the draft then go over the offseason free agent signings and trades. Since its a review no need to be chronological or anything. So, let's dive into Long Islands team and why they're built for immediate success this season. The draft this year was the first live draft since 2019 due to the pandemic. This year Toronto played host and New York created riptides in the ocean of talent.

“We addressed our immediate needs of improving our defense, which was a priority for us and added depth in our lefty offense position,” Riptide general Manager Jim Veltman said. “We also drafted some pure lacrosse talent that has the potential to turn into something amazing. Overall, we feel we had a very successful draft.”

The teams first pick was made in the second round of the draft and the eighth pick was Zack Deaken from Jacksonville University. The 5'9 170lb midfielder from (Orangeville, Ontario) made a major impact to his team from the start. In his freshman year he was named College Crosse/SB Nation All-Freshman Second Team, All-SoCon Second Team and So-Con Academic Honor Roll ('19-'21), his sophomore year he was named SoCon All-Conference First Team ('21) and his junior year he was named USILA Preaseason All-American and SoCon All-Tournament Team ('22). Career stats 49 GP 9 GS 1 G 5 A 6 PTS 101 groundballs and created 49 turnovers. In 60 career Junior A games, Deaken scored 45 points on 13 goals and 32 assists. Deaken won the Minto Cup in 2019 and the Founders Cup in 2016 as a member of the Orangeville Northmen.

The team's next pick was defenseman Mason Kamminga from Detroit Mercy at 27 in the second round. The tall defender/midfielder stands 6'1 198lbs from (St. Catharines, Ontario). While at Detroit Mercy he was named 4x Detroit Mercy Athletic Director's Honor Roll (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022), 2x MAAC All-Academic Team (2020, 2021), and 3x MAAC Academic Honor Roll (2019, 2020, 2021). In 27 collegiate games, scoring one goal, scooping 28 ground balls and causing six turnovers. In 15 games played for Six Nations Chiefs in MSL Senior A, Kamminga scored seven points on two goals and five assists.

The team stayed busy and with the 42nd overall pick they picked, defenseman Tyler Davis who stands 6'3 from Team Canada. New York GM Jim Veltman had this to say of the pick

“We addressed our immediate needs of improving our defense, which was a priority for us and added depth in our lefty offense position,” “We also drafted some pure lacrosse talent that has the potential to turn into something amazing. Overall, we feel we had a very successful draft.”

At the World Junior Championship, Davis compiled 28 points highlighted by nine points in the gold medal game. In the 2021 season, Davis scored 11 points in six games for the Six Nations Arrows of the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League. Riptide Head Coach Dan Ladouceur had this to say of the pick

“Excited about the balance we struck in this draft,” “We had a plan to address needs we have immediately while positioning ourselves for growth in the future. We are excited to see all our picks compete in the near future.”

In the third round, the Riptide acquired the 50th overall pick from the Georgia Swarm in exchange for a 2023 third round pick and selected forward Chris Gray is a 5'7 170lb attackman. The Wading River, NY native currently plays for Atlas in the Premier Lacrosse League. This season, Gray scored 34 points on 17 goals and 16 assists, including one two-point goal, and was named an all-star. A graduate of UNC, Gray scored 299 points on 172 goals and 127 assists in 51 career games. Gray was also a two-time Tewaaraton Award Finalist and two-time USILA and USA Lacrosse Magazine First Team All-America recipient. His potential is mind-blowing and the fact he is returning to Long Island to continue his career is just an amazing story in itself. Look for Gray to light the lamp often for the Riptide and get the Coliseum shaking. He is the type of player that is lethal due to his ability to read the entire field and make his presence felt everywhere and by everyone. He doesn't need to have the ball to create dangerous chances for his teammates or himself. He can literally look like he is fully committed to the shot drawing attention and then hit a wide-open teammate for the goal. If you can't tell I'm definitely excited to seeing him play and have the party going all game long for the Riptide. I'm actually shocked they managed to get him at this spot, I'm sure he will keep that in mind as he faces his opponents this season.

With the teams remaining draft pick's they selected in the fourth-round forward Ryan Haigh at 72nd overall. In 31 career games played for Cleveland State, Haigh scored 54 points on 48 goals and six assists, and also scooped 16 ground balls. In 32 career Junior A games for Mimico, Haigh scored 36 points on seven goals and 29 assists.

Armed with two picks in the fifth round, the Riptide first selected forward Zachary Sunderland at 78th overall. A graduate of Newberry College, Sunderland scored 120 points on 67 goals and 53 assists, scooped 75 ground balls and caused 11 turnovers in 50 career games played.

New York followed up by selecting transition player Sam Handley 83rd overall. A graduate of Penn, Handley played in 33 career games for the Quakers, scoring 139 points on 74 goals and 65 assists, and scooping 27 ground balls. In 2022, Handley was named a Tewaaraton Award finalist, the first in program history, was awarded the Donald J. MacLaughlin Jr. Award as the USILA’s top Division 1 Midfielder, which was just the second in program history, and took home Ivy League Player of the Year honors. In 2019, Handley was awarded the Inside Lacrosse National Freshman of the Year, and Ivy League Rookie Of The Year, as he scored 61 points on 35 goals and 26 assists in 16 games played, all of which set Penn freshman records.

The Riptide rounded out the night in the sixth round by selecting defenseman Andrew Horsley with the 93rd overall selection. In 14 games played for the Brampton Excelsiors this season, Horsley scored two points on a goal and an assist.

“Excited about the balance we struck in this draft,” “We had a plan to address needs we have immediately while positioning ourselves for growth in the future. We are excited to see all our picks compete in the near future.” -Dan Ladouceur

The team also made a trade in September after the draft when they acquired transition player Jordi Jones-Smith from the Saskatchewan Rush in exchange for a 2023 second round pick. He will make an impact on the team with his presence, he is from Whitby, ON and was drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 NLL Entry Draft by the New England Black Wolves. He has played in 38 career games, all for Saskatchewan, scoring two points on a goal and an assist and scooping 41 loose balls.

“We are super excited to add Jordi to our maturing defense,” "He has grown into an everyday NLL player that we feel will fit our style of aggressive defense. He also brings a team-first character that will be contagious amongst his teammates. His addition means that training camp just got even more competitive.” - GM Jim Veltman

The Riptide made sure to keep Callum Crawford in New York, The New York Riptide announced today that the team has placed the franchise tag on four-time National Lacrosse League All-Pro forward Callum Crawford, and it has been accepted and signed. A 16-year NLL veteran, Crawford finished the 2021-22 season with 88 points on 39 goals and 49 assists in 15 games. On February 26, Crawford became the 10th player in NLL history to score 1100 career points, and on March 26, became the eighth player in NLL history to achieve 700 career assists.

“Franchising Callum was a priority for us given his commitment to our young team’s overall development,” Riptide General Manager Jim Veltman said. “His professionalism and leadership thus far has been exemplary. We look forward to what he brings for another year.”

The team also secured a deal with Connor Kearnan, The New York Riptide announced today that the team has signed forward Connor Kearnan to a five-year contract extension. This season Kearnan played in 18 games and finished with 62 points on 34 goals and 28 assists, scooped 58 loose balls, all career-highs. Kearnan finished third on the team in goals and points.

“Very happy to have Connor back with the Riptide on a five-year deal,” Riptide Head Coach Dan Ladouceur said. “I think last year we began to see what Connor is capable of, and the chemistry between him and the other O players continues to grow. Connor not only puts up points and helps make our offense well rounded, but he is also fantastic in the locker room and really does put team first.”

The team also announced they signed defenders Dan MacRae and Jay Thorimbert, and goaltender Gowah Abrams to two-year contract extensions, and forward Callum Crawford and defender Damon Edwards to one-year contract extensions.

“Extremely excited and anxious to get going again with our leadership group back together,” Riptide Head Coach Dan Ladouceur said. “MacRae, Crawford and Edwards all wore letters for this group and provided excellent and consistent leadership. Thorimbert is included in our leadership group as a veteran player with lots of experience in this league and lots of advice and guidance to our younger players. The whole group supports our messaging, and their presence is invaluable. Also pumped to have Gowah back with this group. When you talk about a team guy and the glue of a locker room, you must include Gowah’s name in that conversation.”

The New York Riptide announced today that the team has signed forward Dylan Molloy to a one-year contract, and re-signed forward Dan Lomas to a three-year deal, goaltender Will Johnston to a two-year deal, and defender Leo Stouros to a one-year deal. Molloy is a native of Setauket, NY and a graduate of St. Anthony’s High School. The 2017 Tewaaraton Award winner was selected in the fifth round (43rd overall) in the 2017 NLL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Bandits. Molloy played four games for the Colorado Mammoth in the 2019-20 NLL season, finishing with four points on a goal and three assists, and scooped 10 loose balls. In the field game, Molloy was the first overall pick in the 2017 MLL Draft by the Florida Launch, before joining the New York Lizards. Molloy currently plays in the PLL as a member of Chrome LC.

Lomas played in nine games this season after returning from an Achilles injury and scored 22 points on 16 goals and six assists, while scooping 31 loose balls and causing eight turnovers. A five-year NLL veteran, Lomas has scored 106 points on 54 goals and 52 assists in 41 career games played and scooped 134 loose balls. Stouros played in 16 games this season and scored three assists, while scooping 60 loose balls and causing 10 turnovers. A five-year NLL veteran, Stouros has scored 11 points on a goal and 10 assists in 74 career games played and scooped 220 loose balls. Johnston was selected in the third round (34th overall) in the 2021 NLL Entry Draft. On April 30 in the team’s season finale, Johnston made his NLL debut and played the game’s final 9:42, making three saves.

“Happy to continue to bring back some leadership pieces in Leo and Dan.” Riptide Head Coach Dan Ladouceur said. “These are experienced members of a returning core that will continue to help shape our identity. Signing young players like Molloy and Johnston will help to make decisions difficult coming training camp and beyond. Will is coming off a strong summer and is looking to turn some heads.”

The New York Riptide announced today that the team has signed transition player Kevin Brownell to a two-year contract. The move is pending league approval.

Brownell was selected by the Buffalo Bandits in the third round (22nd overall) of the 2012 NLL Draft. Last season, Brownell played in 16 games, scoring 15 points on two goals and 13 assists, scooping 86 loose balls and causing 21 turnovers. In the 2022 NLL Playoffs, Brownell played in six games, scoring five assists, scooping 26 loose balls and causing four turnovers. A nine-year NLL veteran and a graduate of Robert Morris University, Brownell has played his entire career with the Bandits, amassing 118 points on 36 goals and 82 assists, scooping 633 loose balls in 135 career games.

“We are thrilled to add a player like Kevin to our developing defense,” Riptide General Manager Jim Veltman said. “He comes from a cup-contending team and will know what it takes to get our team to the next level. We look forward to what he will bring to our group.”

The biggest trade of the off-season was when the Riptide acquired forward Reilly O'Connor from the Albany Firewolves for the 2022 1st round pick (8th overall), 2022 1st round pick (4th overall), and Kieran McArdle. O’Connor has logged 96 career games, scoring 295 points on 92 goals and 203 assists, and scooping 346 loose balls.

“We are very excited to add such a talented lacrosse player to our team and all the intangibles that Riley O’Connor brings,” Riptide General Manager Jim Veltman said. “We feel he will have an immediate impact that will propel our team’s progress forward for right now and for the foreseeable future. He has been on our radar for a while, so we can’t wait for the contributions we know that he will make to our squad.”

The New York Riptide have signed Scott Dominey, Jack Kelly and Brent Noseworthy to two-year contracts, the team announced today. Last season, Dominey scored 16 points on 10 goals and six assists, scooped 120 loose balls and caused 18 turnovers in 17 games played. Dominey was acquired by the Riptide in June 2021 via a trade with Panther City Lacrosse Club, after he was selected by them in the 2021 NLL Expansion Draft from the Toronto Rock.

Noseworthy was acquired in March 2022 via a trade with the Buffalo Bandits. Noseworthy was selected in the first round (12th Overall) of the 2019 NLL Entry Draft by the Bandits. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Noseworthy has played in 22 career NLL games, scoring seven points on a goal and six assists, and scooping 67 loose balls. The Riptide selected Kelly in the second round (21st overall) of the 2021 NLL Entry Draft. In 53 collegiate games at Penn State, Kelly scored 102 points on 83 goals and 19 assists, including an impressive 42 goals in his 2019 junior season, in which he was named an honorable-mention All-American by Inside Lacrosse, and a USILA third-team All-American. During that season, Kelly ranked first in the Big Ten and third nationally in shot percentage (.538). In 58 career Junior A games, Kelly totaled 105 points on 40 goals and 65 assists.

“Excited to have Scott and Brent back again,” Riptide Head Coach Dan Ladouceur said. “Scott is coming off a strong summer and has shown his willingness to not only to push pace and be a threat out the back, but to subscribe to a ‘stop first’ defensive mentality. The injection that Brent gave us last year after the deadline was pure energy. Such a big, smart, tough player that will allow others on his unit to play with confidence and be decisive. Very excited to see what Jack Kelly is going to add to this squad. We know he has the ability to be an impact player and looks forward to working him into the Riptide fold.”

The Riptide also shored up some front office and technical staff deals to keep the core group together that are making the moves to bring a championship to Long Island. The New York Riptide announced today that the team has signed General Manager Jim Veltman, Head Coach Dan Ladouceur, Offensive Coordinator Jason Crosbie, and Defensive Coordinator Pat Jones to three-year contract extensions. In addition, Video Coordinator Bennett Drake has been promoted to Director of Scouting, US Scout, and will retain his Video Coordinator duties.

“Since I arrived on Long Island it was a goal of mine to make us the premier team in the National Lacrosse League, and that starts with an excellent group to lead,” Riptide Executive Vice President Rich Lisk said. “I am thrilled with the progress that the staff has made and I’m looking forward to watching them continue to build the team into something special, continuing today with the NLL Entry Draft.”

Reminder you can get all your ticket needs addressed by visiting the team site at the link below.

For season Tickets 2022-23 Season Tickets | New York Riptide

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