The National Lacrosse League has announced that the 2018 NLL Entry Draft will take place at Xfinity Live! on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The draft will move to Philadelphia’s premier entertainment and dining venue after being held at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre for several years.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank Jamie Dawick and the Toronto Rock for their many years as gracious hosts,” said NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz.“With our most recent expansion into Philadelphia, we felt there was no better time to bring the NLL Draft to this city. This move emphasizes our league wide focus to grow brand awareness for the National Lacrosse League in the United States, while offering our players a first-class experience. We are looking forward to a new class of talent to join our family and elevate our league both on and off the turf.”
The 2018 NLL Entry Draft will begin at 6:00pm ET and is open to the public. Fans will have the opportunity to come and witness the draft first hand, welcoming their team’s newest crop of talent. This year will mark the first time the NLL Entry Draft will be held in the U.S. since 2009 in Buffalo, New York.
“The City of Philadelphia is proud to host the National Lacrosse League’s 2018 NLL Entry Draft this year,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “We are excited that Comcast Spectacor is bringing indoor lacrosse back to Philadelphia once again with the Wings. Philadelphia is a great lacrosse city and we look forward to hosting a first-class draft event.”
No stranger to premier events, Xfinity Live! is the ideal venue to host the draft. Xfinity Live! features state of the art technology to help amplify the entire draft experience for both fans and players. This year’s draft continues to build on the league’s digital first strategy.
“Xfinity Live! is thrilled to host the 2018 Draft,” said Anthony Dagrosa, Vice President of Marketing at Xfinity Live!. “We have the unique ability to welcome thousands of fans into our venue to experience what is expected to be the largest draft in National Lacrosse League history. Xfinity Live! looks forward to having a great long-lasting relationship with the NLL and the Philadelphia Wings.”
This Entry Draft will feature inaugural draft classes for both the Philadelphia Wings and San Diego Seals who will begin play during the 2018-19 season. With the addition of two expansion franchises in the U.S., it was important to host the Entry Draft in one of America’s most iconic cities with the generous support of its agencies, including the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“Philadelphia has a proud professional lacrosse history – including six league championships – and this opportunity to host the Entry Draft will ignite the fan base as the Wings’ franchise returns to the league,” said Larry Needle, executive director of PHL Sports, a business development division of PHLCVB. “As the NLL continues to grow and expand into exciting new markets, we recognize the great work of Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz and his executive team. With the NLL corporate headquarters now in the Greater Philadelphia region, we look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership in the coming years.”
The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) is the official Tourism Promotion Agency for the City of Philadelphia globally, and their PHL Sports sector is specifically tasked with attracting major national and international sporting events and conventions to the Greater Philadelphia region. The NLL will become the third professional draft to come to the city since 2000, in the company of the NHL Entry Draft in 2014 as well as the NFL Draft in 2017. In addition to the NFL and NHL Drafts, the PHLCVB has been responsible for bringing events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup, NBA All-Star Weekend, and the NCAA Lacrosse Championships to Philadelphia.
While Philadelphia is the host city, the San Diego Seals will have the first pick in the draft. As expansion franchises, the Seals selected the first pick in the 2018 Entry Draft and the Wings received the first pick in the Expansion Draft.
First round of the 2018 NLL Entry Draft order (subject to change pending trades) is as follows:
1. San Diego
3. Buffalo (from Vancouver)
5. Saskatchewan (from Toronto)
7. Calgary (from New England)
9. Rochester (from Colorado)
10. San Diego (from Rochester via Saskatchewan)
11. San Diego (from Saskatchewan)
12. Calgary (compensatory selection)
13. Calgary (compensatory selection)