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Albany FireWolves add Seven Players in NLL Entry Draft

The Albany FireWolves of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) selected seven players in the 2022 Entry Draft over the weekend, three of which were first round picks.

Round 1, Pick 4: Alex Simmons

Round 1, Pick 7: Will Johansen

Round 1, Pick 17: Tye Kurtz

Round 3, Pick 10: John Piatelli

Round 4, Pick 9: Matt Duncan

Round 5, Pick 2: Grant Ammann

Round 6, Pick 9: Aiden Guld

With the team’s first of three selections in the opening round, the FireWolves took Alex Simmons, a forward.  Simmons played collegiately at the University of Denver where he played in 50 career games and started in 33.  He tallied 129 points on 81 goals and 48 assists during his tenure, splitting time between midfield and attack.  He also played for the St. Catharines Athletics of the Ontario Jr. A Lacrosse League (OJALL) for five seasons where he compiled 232 total points on 100 goals and 132 assists.  He led St. Catharines to a title and was named league MVP in 2021.  Simmons recently transferred to Syracuse University where he will play his fifth year of college eligibility.  The forward will be available on the FireWolves Roster for the 2023-24 season.

The team had a second selection inside the top 10 and chose Will Johansen, a defense and transition player.  Johansen played his college ball with Robert Morris University where he scooped up 58 ground balls and caused 20 turnovers throughout his four years.  He also added 32 total points on and even 16 goals and 16 assists.  Johansen was a captain of the Junior A Nanaimo Timberman before he was selected by the Senior A team.  Johansen will play another year collegiately and will join the FireWolves ahead of next season.

To round out the team’s first round picks, the FireWolves added Tye Kurtz, a forward.  Kurtz was a teammate of current FireWolves forward Charlie Kitchen at the University of Delaware.  During his four years with the Blue Hens, Kurtz tallied 194 total points on 122 goals and 72 assists.  In the box game, Kurtz spent time with the Kitchener-Waterloo Braves in the OJALL where he took Rookie of the Year in 2016.  He led the Braves in goals in 2017 and points and assists in 2018.  Kurtz also won a Canadian championship in 2015 as a member of Team Ontario.  The forward also played with the Cobourg Kodiaks of the Major Series Lacrosse.  Kurtz will join the team for the 2023-24 season as he finishes out his college eligibility. 

In the third round, the FireWolves made their fourth selection with John Piatelli, a forward.  Playing four years at Cornell University, Piatelli compiled 196 points on 147 goals and 49 assists.  Piatelli was First-Team All-Ivy League in 2022 and was on the Final Tewaaraton watch list in both 2020 and 2022.  During his season, he led the nation in scoring with 3.56 goals per game as he racked up 66 goals in just 19 games.  Piatelli is also a member of the Cannons of the Premier Lacrosse League.

In the fourth round, the FireWolves took Matt Duncan, transition.  Duncan was a teammate of Johansen at Robert Morris University.  During his tenure, Duncan collected 120 ground balls and caused 48 turnovers.  Offensively, Duncan added 24 total points on nine goals and 15 assists.  Indoors, Duncan was a member and captain of the Toronto Beaches in the OJALL.  He was also a member of the Brooklin Lacrosse Club of the Major Series Lacrosse Senior A League and the Brooklin Merchants of the Ontario Senior B League.  Duncan will join the FireWolves for the 2023-24 season.

With their fifth-round pick, the FireWolves selected Grant Ammann, a defenseman.  Ammann attended High Point University where he played three seasons for the Panthers. During that span, the defender scooped up 39 ground balls and caused 13 turnovers.  Ammann will be unavailable this year, but will join the FireWolves for the 2023-24 season.

The FireWolves concluded Saturday night’s draft by selecting Aiden Guld in the sixth round.  Guld played collegiately for the University of Toronto and spent time with the Coquitlam Junior A Adanacs. 

Season tickets for the 2022-23 Albany FireWolves season are also available now! Reserve your season tickets in the Wolves den today for just $25! For more information, visit www.AlbanyFireWolves.com

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