Bandits draft Josh Byrne with first overall pick

Bandits select eight, acquire Jordan Durston for Malcolm and pick

Dave Buchanan
September 18, 2017 - 8:00 pm

The Buffalo Bandits continued the offseason retooling of their roster on Thursday night by selecting forward Josh Byrne from Hofstra with the first overall pick in the National Lacrosse League draft.

Byrne, the consensus top prospect according to experts, just wrapped up his first season in the Major Lacrosse League with the Chesapeake Bayhawks where he set a league rookie record with 39 goals in nine games. He was also named the 2017 MLL Rookie of the Year. The 6' 3" Byrne was the team captain at Hofstra last season where he led the team in scoring with 30 goals, 15 assists and 45 points. 

The left-handed Byrne should help fill the void in the Bandits' offense left by the trade of Ryan Benesch earlier this summer. 

The Bandits selected Chase Fraser of Vancouver, British Columbia with their second round pick (20th overall). Fraser put up 79 points in 14 games at Neumann University last year, and was named Rookie of the Year of the Western Lacrosse Association this summer while playing with the Nanaimo Timbermen. 

With their fifth round pick Buffalo drafted Dylan Molloy from Brown University. Molloy was the first overall selection in the 2017 MLL Collegiate Draft by the Florida Launch, He registered 27 points in his rookie season in the MLL, including a hat trick in his first professional game. He excelled at Brown University where he won the Tewaaraton Award in 2016 as the most outstanding American lacrosse player after leading the nation in scoring with 116 points. 

The Bandits selected a total of eight players on Thursday: 

1.) Buffalo – Josh Byrne (Hofstra University)
13.) Buffalo (from Rochester) – Chase Fraser (University of the District of Columbia)
20.) Buffalo - Ethan Schott (Whitby Warriors)
33.) Buffalo (compensatory selection) – Dallas Bridle (High Point University)
34.) Buffalo – Mackenzie Mitchell (Orangeville Northmen/Brock University)
36.) Buffalo (from Calgary) – Connor Laird (Brookline Redmen)
43.) Buffalo – Dylan Molloy (Brown University)
51.) Buffalo – Braedon Wallace (RIT)

Buffalo made one trade involving players in the moments leading up to the draft. They dealt forward Anthony Malcom and the 12th overall pick to the Vancouver Stealth for forward Jordan Durston. Durston logged 43 points for the Stealth last season, and finished fourth on the team in scoring. He was selected in the second round of the 2015 draft and has 81 points in 35 games. 

The Bandits open up the 2017-18 season on December 8 against the Toronto Rock. 

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