Head coach and general manager Shawn Williams welcomed 10 new Desert Dogs players to the franchise on September 10, 2022 in the Desert Dogs’ inaugural National Lacrosse League Entry Draft.
“We’re ecstatic,” said Williams. “I think we hit a lot of our targets and we’re bringing a lot of high character, talented guys into the fold. I feel like we got everything – size, speed and great lacrosse ability – and we’re pumped to have them here. Now it’s time to get to work and get this team prepared for our first training camp.”
The draft, held at the historic Carlu in downtown Toronto, saw all 15 NLL franchises select the game’s most exciting young talent, which included the No. 2 overall pick for the Desert Dogs in forward Dylan Watson.
“I’ve known Dylan since he was a little guy, and to see him grow up to the man he is today is amazing,” said Williams. “I had the opportunity to play with his father Bob who is an NLL Hall of Famer and have been lucky to get to know his family over the years. He’s going to be a big part of our franchise and the Las Vegas community for years to come.”
The Guelph, Ontario native projects as one of the top left-handed offensive players in the game, after a standout junior career with the Orangeville Northmen and an All-American season with Georgetown in 2022. Watson will play out his final year of collegiate lacrosse ability after transferring to Jacksonville for the 2023 season, and will join the Desert Dogs roster heading into the 2023-24 campaign.
Las Vegas picked up lefty defenseman Jake Saunders with its other first round pick, another high-end defensive prospect who will join the team next year after his final collegiate season at Richmond this spring.
Williams executed two trades in the draft, swapping the team’s 18th overall pick to Rochester for a 2024 second round selection and goalie Joel Watson. Additionally, the franchise traded its 39th overall pick to San Diego for a 2026 second round pick.
The Desert Dogs will announce their inaugural season schedule soon. Get on the waitlist now for exclusive access to purchase the best seats in the house for opening night this December. A very limited quantity of special tickets will be released very soon. Get on the waitlist now to secure your spot.
Full 2022 Entry Draft Selections
1st Round – #2 overall – Dylan Watson (Forward)
1st Round – #16 overall – Jake Saunders (Defense)
2nd Round – #24 overall – Griffin Hall (Defense)
2nd Round – #26 overall – Sean Westley (Forward)
3rd Round – #44 overall – Zach Cole (Defense)
4th Round – #59 overall – Colin Jeffrey (Goalie)
4th Round – #74 overall – Chris Merle (Defense)
5th Round – #75 overall – Peytin Wallace (Defense)
6th Round – #90 overall – Tyler Ewen (Forward)
6th Round – #91 overall – Stryker Roloff (Defense)
About Las Vegas Desert Dogs
The Las Vegas Desert Dogs were launched on June 21, 2021 as the 15th team in the NLL beginning play in December 2022. The team is co-owned by Wayne Gretzky, Dustin Johnson, Steve Nash, and Joe Tsai. The team will play at Michelob ULTRA Arena located inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
For more information on the Desert Dogs, visit lasvegasdesertdogs.com, call 702-818-DOGS or follow the team on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@vegasdesertdogs).