The Mammoth needs another lefty on offense: that was Mammoth play-by-play announcer Teddy Jenner’s conclusion in an article he wrote for NLL.com, detailing his opinions on each team’s needs in the 2019 NLL Entry Draft.
In the spirit of draft season, I’ve made a draft prediction based on Jenner’s insight. While he’s projected as the fourth overall pick and the Mammoth currently have the sixth overall pick, I think the lefty most likely to be picked up by Colorado in the first round of the 2019 NLL Entry Draft is Holden Garlent, a left-handed transition player out of Canisius College and Brooklin Lacrosse Club.
Here’s a look at what Garlent has done lately:
Causing Turnovers at Canisius: In his junior year as a midfielder (2018-19) for Canisius, Garlent added his name to the school’s record books, forcing 26 caused turnovers which ranks second-most in a single season in program history. After a record season, Garlent earned All-MAAC First Team honors for the second-straight season (2018-19) and was nominated for the 2018-19 Canisius Male Athlete of the Year award.
“Holden has been a standout box lacrosse player for many years,” said Canisius men’s lacrosse head coach Mark Miyashita. “His development in the field game as a communicator who can help direct a defense will translate directly into the box game. Additionally, his stick skills make him a threat to score in transition as he is comfortable carrying the ball and not afraid to go to the net when given the opportunity.”
When asked if playing both box and field lacrosse has improved Garlent’s game overall, Miyashita said, “Absolutely, his game has risen to a new level over the past two years working with him. Holden has become a better student of the game, taking the time to watch more film and prepare for opponents versus simply playing based on instinct.”
The (Maybe Not So) Obvious: Garlent posted 26 caused turnovers in 2018-19. Posting the same number, 11-year veteran defenseman Greg Downing boasted the fifth-most caused turnovers in the NLL last season. I’m not saying Garlent is the next Greg Downing, but I’m also not saying he isn’t.
Building in Brooklin: Garlent has played two seasons for the Brooklin Lacrosse Club in the MSL, scoring seven points (1g/6a) through 14 games in his rookie year and leveling up to 13 points (5g/8a) through 14 games in his second year.
“Holden's progression from his first season to his second season was key. There wasn’t a game in particular that was a highlight, but how much he improved in his positioning, well timed pushes in transition and ultimately his confidence level,” said Brooklin general manager Brad MacArthur.
MacArthur agreed with Canisius head coach Miyashita that suiting up for both box and field lacrosse has improved Garlent’s overall compete level.
“Unquestionably both versions of lacrosse have improved his game. The distinct differences between the games just assist in developing complete players.”
While striving to be a complete player, Garlent has striven to be a team player, as well.
MacArthur said, “Holden is a respected member of our team. His teammates know he works hard for them; that he'll compete and stick up for them. He has a work ethic and another gear that teammates admire.”
“Another gear” sounds about right. In addition to working hard on the turf, off the turf Garlent focuses on helping children and families cope with tragedy. Garlent and Brooklin Lacrosse Club recently partnered with A Heart Like Mine, an outreach to kids and families who share an unfortunate and common bond of grieving the loss of a close loved one. National League defenseman Will Petschenig, a native of Manotick, Ontario, founded the program after losing his father suddenly in October 2013. The very next year, Garlent tragically lost his father to a heart attack. Petschenig and Garlent now have a common bond and purpose.
“Holden is a great kid who has worked for everything in his life,” said Petschenig. “He’s battled hard to be a top ranked player going into the NLL draft.
“Off the floor, he’s very mature for his age. He went through a difficult time a few years ago after the passing of his father. He wears number 65, his dad’s number, in honor of him. He is a lot of fun to be around and brings a lot of energy wherever he is.
“For his future fans, he is a player that works hard every single time he is on the floor. He plays a very solid defensive game and transitions the ball at a fast pace. He will have a long successful professional lacrosse career because of his work ethic and team-first mentality.
“Fans will enjoy Holden on and off the floor. He has a great personality and they will love him.”
The Obvious: Petschenig said it all. I already want Garlent’s left-handed autograph, don’t you?
Advice for the Future
Garlent has been privileged with coaches and mentors who have been where he’s going and can give him advice for the road ahead.
Brad MacArthur was an NLL defenseman for seven years and was considered to be one of the league’s top faceoff specialists, having won 624 career faceoffs (1999-2004, 2007-08).
“Take care of yourself mentally and physically,” said MacArthur when asked what career advice he would offer Garlent, “It's a great game – you get to meet great people from various walks of life and establish relationships that last a lifetime – so cherish each minute and never take one for granted.”
Mark Miyashita was also an NLL defenseman. Like Garlent, he played for Canisius. Selected as the first overall pick by the Vancouver Ravens in the 2003 NLL Entry Draft, Miyashita would go on to play six seasons in the NLL (2004-2009), including one season (2005) with the Colorado Mammoth.
As advice to Garlent, Miyashita said, “Treat each day of your career as it’s your last since you never know how much time is left on the clock in your pro career.”
The Obvious: You’re invested now, aren’t you? To see if Holden Garlent 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.