On September 17, 2002, Patrick Merrill heard his name called by the NLL commissioner when the Toronto Rock made him the first overall pick in the 2002 NLL Entry Draft. In one week, that same kid from Ontario will make the first overall selection in the 2018 NLL Entry Draft as the San Diego Seals’ general manager and head coach.
“It really does come full circle,” said Merrill. “I remember that day so clearly. I was excited then and I’m excited now. Draft Day is a monumental day, whatever side you’re on.”
Sixteen years later, Merrill will make the first overall selection leading San Diego’s expansion team. Knowing exactly what it feels like to be selected with the number-one pick, Merrill is excited to give someone that same feeling.
“My family was all there,” said Merrill. “I heard my name called and got to walk up there and put a jersey on for the first time. Now I’ll get to hand a young guy his first jersey that he will hopefully get to wear for a very long time.”
The first overall pick will join the ranks of some of the greats, right up next to Gary Gait, Casey Powell and John Grant Jr. Number one has the potential to be an immediate game changer and a spark throughout the organization.
From being selected first overall to making the first overall selection, Patrick Merrill is looking forward to the upcoming draft. Thinking about his draft day sixteen years ago and the road he took to get to his position today, September 25 will promise to be a special night for the former number one pick…and the latest one.