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Tyler Melnyk & Andrew Smistad Selected In The 2014 NLL Draft

Two seasons in, and Marquette's first All-American is now Marquette's first professional draft pick as well. Plus! Marquette's first captain joins the ranks of professional draftees.

Tyler Melnyk, Marquette's first ever NLL draft pick.
Tyler Melnyk, Marquette's first ever NLL draft pick.

I'll admit it: I didn't realize that the National Lacrosse League was having their draft on Monday night.  I'm still new at this whole lacrosse thing, and I consider it a victory to realize that there's a difference between the NLL and Major League Lacrosse.

In any case, Tyler Melnyk, last seen starring for the Golden Eagles the last two seasons, was selected by the Edmonton Rush with the 19th pick of the 2014 NLL Draft on Monday night.  Melnyk was the final pick of the second round of the draft.

Melnyk is Marquette's all time leading scorer no matter how you shake the stat page.  He led Marquette in goals and points in 2013 and 2014, plus he had the team lead in assists in 2014.  His 59 career goals and 89 career points are both program records, and he only trails Conor Gately for the program's all time assists lead by four helpers.

The question now becomes whether Melnyk will make the Edmonton roster.  According to their website, the Rush have 20 players on the roster, which is the NLL limit.  They list just three players on the practice squad, though, and they're allowed four with that designation.  Not helping Melnyk's case is the fact that Edmonton took Drexel standout Ben McIntosh with their first round pick, and McIntosh was an even more prolific scorer for the Dragons that Melnyk was at Marquette.

UPDATE! With the 54th pick in the NLL Draft, the Calgary Roughnecks have selected Marquette's Andrew Smistad.  Smistad was the first captain in Marquette lacrosse history, but his leadership never translated to action on the field.  He played in just nine of 13 games in his junior year, and a preseason injury ended his senior season before it even started.

Smistad might have a better chance of catching on with Calgary than Melnyk does with Edmonton.  The Roughnecks have 21 players listed on their roster, but they don't clarify which guy is a practice squad designee.  In any case, that would still leave three open practice squad slots for Smistad, although he'll have competition from Calgary's other three draft picks.

(h/t to Jack Goods of the Marquette Tribune for assistance on the details of the NLL roster)