If there is anything certain about the 2019 NLL Entry Draft, it’s that nothing is certain, but what fun is draft season if you don’t make any predictions?
In a mock draft last week, prolific NLL Draft analyst Stephen Stamp named Clarke Petterson as the player he thinks the Mammoth will select in the first round (sixth overall) of the draft this September, if he is available.
Petterson, a 22-year-old native of Toronto, Ontario, is a right-handed forward who has played both box (Brampton Excelsiors) and field (Cornell). Petterson’s versality isn’t surprising when you consider his family tree. His late uncle is Dave Huntley, a beloved member of the Canadian and National Hall of Fame.
Stamp has given reasons for why the Mammoth may want Petterson in an article on NLL.com which you should go read. When you’ve done that, come back for more.
Now, let’s say Petterson is available at sixth overall and the Mammoth select him. Then what? In my opinion, the best way to judge what Petterson would bring to the Mammoth is to look at his recent history. Here’s the rundown on what Petterson has done lately:
Put Down Roots in the PLL
Petterson was selected in the first round (fifth overall) by the Redwoods in the PLL Draft. In seven regular season appearances, he scored nine goals and picked up three assists.
The Obvious: Petterson’s numbers were modest this summer, though that is partly because he split time between the PLL and MSL, missing a couple PLL games. He wasn't an instant star, but he was picked up in the first round of the PLL’s inaugural draft, and he made a PLL roster in the league’s first season. Those accomplishments are something for Petterson to write home about.
Dominated as Half of a Dynamite Duo
The Clarke Petterson-Jeff Teat duo first took the lacrosse world by storm about six years ago. As a pair who grew up together, meeting in their elementary years, they’re heartwarming (cue “You’ve Got a Friend in Me). As a pair who, in 2018, combined for 132 points (78g/54a) at Cornell and 209 regular season points (73g/136a) on Brampton's Jr. A team, they’re terrifying (cue “We are the Champions”).
If Petterson and Teat eventually play together in NLL (Teat is expected to declare for the 2020 NLL Draft), it could be the stuff of legends, but it also seems that the players would also be just fine apart. They’re great together, but they don’t need each other.
In an April 2019 interview with Dan Aburn, formerly a reporter at Inside Lacrosse, Teat said of Petterson, “He’s always in the right spot at that the right time, whether it’s him creating his own shot, getting a feed, or getting some rebounds, which he did in the Towson game. I looked over to him one time and they announced that he had like six goals and I hadn’t even noticed. He does his own thing and puts up numbers quietly. A lot of people don’t really notice all the work that he puts in.”
The Towson game to which Teat referred was a huge game for Petterson. On March 10, 2019, Petterson led Cornell against Towson with eight goals – four more than any of his teammates – and only three of those tallies were assisted by Teat. Cornell won 18-11.
The Obvious: The kind of scorer Petterson has shown himself to be – the kind with the work-ethic; the kind that can finish – could be really, really good for the Mammoth.
Earned Awards for Being a Great Human
Most recently, in 2018, Petterson carried Cornell’s Hard Hat, which has served as way to honor players since 1999.
According to the Cornell Daily Sun, “The [Hard Hat] recipient is someone that the coaches feel demonstrates a blue-collar approach to the game of lacrosse; he is driven and selfless, not the most talented player on the field, but consistently the hardest worker. He puts the team first and embodies how the coaches want Cornell players to act and respond on or off the field.”
Petterson also earned the Hill Academy’s Hill 1845 Award in 2013. Petterson’s Cornell bio says that the award is “given to the hardest working player with a positive attitude.”
The Obvious: Pettersen is a good culture-fit for Colorado. The Mammoth organization is proud of the team’s locker-room chemistry and likely sees Pettersen as a player who will improve an already good thing, given his accolades to date.
To see if Clarke Pettersen does indeed get picked up by the Colorado Mammoth, tune in to Bleacher Report Live’s coverage of the 2019 NLL Entry Draft on Tuesday, September 17. Live draft coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. MT. Round 1 begins at 5 p.m. MT.