Former Golden Eagles Melnyk, Smistad Selected In NLL Draft

Tyler Melnyk became the first Marquette University player selected in a professional draft Monday when he was selected 19th overall by the Edmonton Rush
Sept. 22, 2014

MILWAUKEE - Former Marquette University attackman Tyler Melnyk and midfielder Andrew Smistad were selected in the National Lacrosse League draft Monday night. Melnyk was taken 19th overall by the Edmonton Rush and Smistad went later to his hometown Calgary Roughnecks.

After finishing a record-setting 2014 with the Golden Eagles by posting 36 goals and 15 assists, Melnyk was named a USILA All-American Honorable Mention, the first All-American in the program's history.

"[Melnyk's] got a knack for scoring," said MU head coach Joe Amplo. "He had a great senior season for us. Anytime we needed a big goal, he got it. He's a kid who can make big plays. His left-handed skill set is as good as anybody out there."

Melnyk, also from Calgary, capped his senior season ranked second in the BIG EAST Conference in both goals per game (2.57) and points per game (3.64). He tallied eight hat tricks in 16 games played with his highest offensive outburst coming in a win at Rutgers where he tallied eight points, including five goals.

In his two-year Marquette career, the school's all-time leader scorer racked up 59 goals and 30 assists.

Smistad, who was selected 54th overall Monday, came from Presbyterian in 2011 to help Amplo build a new NCAA Division I program at Marquette. The three-year captain provided strong leadership needed when the majority of his teammates were underclassmen. Although he suffered a season-ending injury during the 2014 preseason, Smistad was an enforcer at the defensive midfielder position in 2013.

"What an honor for him to have another organization recognize the value in things like character and leadership," Amplo said of Smistad. "He wasn't the most impactful player on game day, but he was the most impactful person in our program for three years.

 

 

"At the end of the day, we want really good kids, and that's the thing that I'm most proud of is that Tyler and Andrew are really good people and work hard to get the most out of themselves and their teammates."

Marquette finished second in the BIG EAST Conference in 2014, the Golden Eagles' first year as a member of the league and second season in NCAA Division I.

The NLL is a professional indoor lacrosse (otherwise known as "box lacrosse") league that features nine teams from the United States and Canada. Calgary owns two NLL Championships (2004, 2009). There is a rivalry between the Roughnecks and the Rush known as "The Battle of Alberta" that has drawn nearly 16,000 spectators.

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