Austin Staats was compared to all of the greats heading into the draft. As far as “can’t miss” prospects go, it would have been beyond criminal to not take him 1st overall in whichever draft he ended up declaring in. Could have been last year, could have been this year, could have been next year, it didn’t matter. He’s a generational talent so whenever Austin Staats announced he’d be going to the NLL, you knew he was going to hear his name get called first. So when it was announced that the San Diego Seals had been awarded the 1st overall pick in the 2018 draft, you could have started to print the Staats Seals jerseys right then and there.
Fast forward to last night and both the Seals and Staats are making their NLL debut. And what do they go out there and do? Well the Seals pick up their first win in their first game against one of the better teams in the Western Conference in the Colorado Mammoth. And in the process, Austin Staats scored his 1st career NLL goal. Then he scored his 2nd career NLL goal. Then he scored his 3rd and then his 4th and then finally he finished the night with his 5th career NLL goal in his first game. Which would have been completely nasty on its own but then he decided to throw 4 more assists onto his night just for fun. 9 points in his NLL debut in a 17-12 win for the first game in an expansion team’s history. To steal a quote from the Chiclets crew–Nottttaaabbbiiiiiiggggggddeeeaaallllll.
He was the Minto Cup MVP in 2017, which is the junior A box lacrosse championship up in Canada. He helped Six Nations when the Mann Cup in 2016 as an 18 year old which is the senior A box lacrosse championship in Canada. He had 102 goals and 156 points in his 2 years playing for Onondaga Community College and won two NJCAA national championships while he was there. And now he has 5 goals and 9 points in his first career NLL game as the 1st overall pick in the league. If you are somebody who is interested in witnessing greatness, I suggest checking out a few San Diego Seals games this season and for the rest of this kid’s career. Because there’s a decent chance we have a legend on our hands here.
P.S. – The Mammoth may have taken the L on the scoreboard but they did get 1 win out of the night with their Teddy Bear Toss. Great goal from Jeremy Noble for an even greater cause.