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Everything You Need to Know About the 2016 Expansion Draft

November 12, 2015
With Major League Lacrosse’s 2016 season just around the corner, coaches are planning and preparing for the MLL Expansion Draft to ensure the most competitive season yet. With John Tucker, formerly of the Boston Cannons, leading the newest team to the League, the Atlanta Blaze, it’s clear that this will be an unprecedented showcase of talent and skill.

As the new kid on the block, the Atlanta Blaze will have the first selection for the MLL Expansion Draft, Supplemental Draft, and Collegiate Draft presented by Cascade. The Blaze will also be first in the waiver wire for the first four weeks of the season until it changes based on record. 

So how does this all work? And how likely is it that your favorite players will still be playing for your favorite teams? Find out below!

Who’s doing the selecting?

The Atlanta Blaze is the only expansion team new to the League and is the only team doing the picking unless they trade any of their Expansion Draft picks. In that situation, the team acquiring the pick would be selecting in their place.

Who is protected and how?

Each MLL team submits a protected roster of either 10 or 12 players. If the team protects two goalies, they submit a 10 player roster and if they protect one goalie or less, they can protect 12 players. Protected rosters were submitted in the beginning of October and all eight teams opted to keep one goalie or less, allowing them a 12 player roster. You can see the rosters HERE.

How many rounds are in the draft?

There will be 15 rounds.

How long does this take?

Rounds 1-5 give teams three minutes per round to reach a decision, while rounds 6-15 give them two minutes per round. If they don’t have a decision when time is up, they lose their pick for the round. If a team loses three players, teams have one minute to pull a player back to their protected roster (more on this below). The League office keeps time throughout the draft.

How is the draft conducted?

The Expansion Draft is conducted over a conference call.

Are media able to join the call?

Yes, details for registering to receive the dial-in can be done HERE. Media are required to remain on mute as it is not an open opportunity for questioning. The Expansion Draft will also be live streamed on MLL Radio by clicking HERE.

What happens when teams start losing players?

Here’s where it gets a little confusing. If a team loses three players, it can pull back one player to protect in return. For each player lost after that point, a team can pull back another player. A team can lose a maximum of six players, at which point, they retain all remaining unselected players on their roster unless they choose not to.

What’s the difference between an Expansion draft and a Supplemental draft?

The Expansion Draft is strictly for the Expansion Team (pending traded draft picks), whereas the Supplemental Draft will be open to all 9 teams in draft order to fill out their rosters to 40 players. Following the Expansion Draft, the player pool will close until it is reopened for the Supplemental Draft.