The Colorado Mammoth today announced its Protected Player List ahead of next month’s anticipated NLL Expansion Draft. Electing to protect one goaltender, five defensemen and five forwards with its 11 selections this summer, the organization will lose one player outside of those protected to the NLL’s newest addition, the Las Vegas Desert Dogs. Nearly a week after capturing its second NLL championship, the organization has some difficult decisions to make as the Draft quickly approaches.
Among the 11 included on the list are 2022 NLL Finals MVP goaltender Dillon Ward and five of the NLL’s most well-rounded defenseman in Robert Hope, Warren Jeffrey, Jordan Gilles, Joey Cupido and Tim Edwards. Mammoth forwards protected from being selected include Ryan Lee, Eli McLaughlin, Connor Robinson, Zed Williams and Tyson Gibson.
“It’s hard to think of losing someone, especially after just winning a championship together,” Mammoth Assistant General Manager and Head Coach Pat Coyle shared. “We knew this draft was coming and I feel like we’ve done a good job having depth at all positions, so we should be in relatively solid shape however it works out.”
Slated to create its inaugural roster on July 7, former Mammoth front office personnel in Desert Dogs General Manager Shawn Williams and Assistant Manager Cody Moll will have their hands full in selecting players throughout the NLL’s deep talent pool, but should be especially familiar with the traits and personalities of its Colorado selection. Mammoth fans should note that the organization has exchanged personnel during both of the last two NLL Expansion Drafts, respectively, as Chris Wardle was selected in both the 2019 and 2021 Expansion Drafts, only to be sent back to the Mammoth for a pair of players each time (2019: Julian Garritano, Mike Mallory 2021: Will Malcom, Jordan Trottier). Goaltender Steve Fryer was the last player to be selected from the Mammoth and actually part ways with the team, as the Rochester Knighthawks chose the veteran netminder in 2019 when Rochester and the New York Riptide shared Expansion Draft honors.
The NLL’s Free Agency window will begin on Aug. 1, where the pieces of each team’s puzzle ultimately begin to fall into place. A mix of restricted free agents, unrestricted free agents and franchise taggable-players have been left off Protected Player Lists throughout the league, but present unique opportunities for teams to be extremely selective in creating its Protected Player Lists.