The Boston Cannons roster for the 2016 season is taking shape, and once again it is undergoing a change. It’s not like the pre-2015 off season, where the face of lacrosse, Paul Rabil, ended up being moved to New York, but the team still has a different look.
In the worst-kept secret in lacrosse, defender Scott Ratliff wanted to be in Atlanta and the Cannons sent him there. Boston ended up with Brodie Merrill, a former Cannon, back on the roster, along with the additions of Justin Turri and Mike Pellegrino.
“Scott informed us, as expected, early in the off-season of his interest to play for his home town team.” said Cannons general manager Kevin Barney on the team’s official website. “You never look to trade a player like Ratliff, but the reality of our league at this time can dictate certain moves and you work to return the best value possible,”
With Merrill to replace Ratliff, the Cannons defense still does not miss a beat. The team did not make any more trades, but they did have six selections to make.
Greg Coholan, midfielder, Virginia
Coholan led Virginia with 53 points and was an All-American last season. Coholan joins what has become a trend of Virginia Cavaliers on the Cannons roster, joining former draft picks Scott McWilliams and Rob Emery.
“Greg has been a player that the Cannons have been watching for over a year.” said head coach Sean Quirk after the draft. “Above and beyond Greg’s ability to play at the MLL level, his leadership as a two-year captain will add a great deal to the Cannons organization. We know Greg will be an asset in the locker room and on the field. He has tremendous potential to be a star in the MLL,”
Brandon Mullins, defense, Syracuse
Mullins was shockingly available at the ninth overall slot after the other two top defensemen of the draft where selected; Michael Quinn and Matt Dunn went right before Mullins. The Cannons needed defensive depth, and Mullins is a player who can step right in when the college season ends. Mullins was an all-ACC player for two years in a row and was a Tewaaraton candidate last season. A Texas native, he is fifth all time in caused turnovers in the history of Syracuse.
Challen Rogers, midfielder, Stony Brook
The next pick for the Cannons after the first round came in the fourth, and they used that selection to add Challen Rogers out of Stony Brook. He had 53 points total last season, 30 of which were goals, and has 149 points total in his career with the Sea Wolves. A two way midfielder, Rogers adds some depth to a team looking to have a stronger defensive presence in 2016, but he will also add some goals.
Jack Matthai, midfielder, North Carolina
A defensive midfielder, Matthai comes out of North Carolina. “His natural ability to push transition is something that we looked highly on.” said Quirk on the team’s website. “He plays well into our system.”
John Uppgren, attack, Tufts
MLL teams love to go with local players, and Uppgren will be the second Jumbo to be on the Cannons roster after they selected Beau Wood in the supplemental draft in December. Averaging nearly six points per game, Uppgren may have been the most prolific scorer in all of college lacrosse in any division. He had 129 points total in 23 games played. He can play attack or midfield, but would likely fit best as an attackman on the Cannons roster.
Matt Thistle, attack, High Point
Thistle led an improving High Point Panthers program with 52 points last season and he will be one of the captains on the roster in 2016. He has 147 points total thus far in his college career, and last season was a second team SoCon player.
“Matt came highly recommended from Coach Torpey at High Point.” said Quirk after the selection. “Matt is a shifty attackman and has great vision. Matt grew up a Cannons fan as a Massachusetts youth player, his time to become a big part of our organization is something we look forward too,”
Cameron Bell, goalie, Endicott
The Cannons had to select a goalie, with Adam Ghitelman gone. Jack Runkel was added, but the lack of depth behind Jordan Burke was a concern, so the Cannons drafted local product Cameron Bell. Quirk formerly coached Bell, meaning he has seen the goalie first hand as he went undefeated in conference play with an 8.28 goals against average.