Roughnecks on Board at No. 5 for virtual NLL draft

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“That kind of boosts the draft a little bit.”

The Roughnecks will round out the pick-’em picking 63rd, 72nd and 87th overall, giving them one in each round plus the compensatory pick at the end of the second round because unrestricted free-agent forward Riley Loewen signed with the Vancouver Warriors last off-season.

“There was no live scouting going on,” said Board of suspended lacrosse across the continent, including the NLL’s pause of the 2019-20 season in mid-March and then its outright cancellation in the summer. “So we spent a lot of time sifting through video of guys that we’re looking at for the draft.

“Draft prep has been a little different. You’re not getting as much exposure to the guys as you may want, but you do more research and call more coaches. Most of the clubs that these guys have played for are pretty good at sharing information — telling you what they think of the kids and sending film … ”

What it all means is new blood for an already-deep organization.

“The roster for 2021 is still in flux,” said Board, who is working to re-sign young defender Liam LeClair and key defender/transition Tyson Bell. “There’s still lots to consider with jobs and COVID (opt-outs). But we’re bringing as many players as we can back — we expect to have the majority back.”

While they lost seasoned defender Greg Harnett and sure-fire hall-of-famer Rhys Duch when both signed as UFAs with the San Diego Seals, they have re-upped veteran Mitch Wilde to a two-year contact and fellow defenders Nick Scott and Tyler Burton and forwards Dan Taylor, Marshal King and Zach Herreweyers to one-year agreements.

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