Men’s lacrosse faceoff specialist, Peyton Smith, was drafted by the Boston Cannons in the sixth round of the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) draft on Monday. The 34th overall pick, Smith is now the second Marist player ever to be drafted into the MLL.
“It’s definitely very special,” said Smith. “It’s been one of my goals for a long time.”
The MLL season—originally slated to being May 30—has been delayed due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, leaving some uncertainty ahead for this year’s draft picks. Back in February, when Smith was still focusing on his season ahead, he noted the difficulty of playing professional lacrosse, as many players have full-time jobs to make a living, in addition to playing in the MLL during their summer season. The uncertainty of when the season or full-time job offers will begin does not ease this.
Unlike many professional sports, there is more than one league in professional lacrosse that a collegiate player could be drafted in to, and then having to choose where to continue their lacrosse career. There is still the possibility Smith could be drafted into the Premiere Lacrosse League in a few weeks.
“My plan for the summer is that hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to play if restrictions are lifted,” Smith explained.
There is no official start date for MLL’s 12-week season that takes place from the end of May into August.
While Smith was drafted to play at the professional level, there was the outstanding option to continue to play at Marist for one more season. Smith and his senior teammates were granted an additional year of eligibility due to spring seasons being cut short due to COVID-19 concerns. While a few seniors have opted to take this extra year, Smith will not be taking this option as he focuses on a full-time career, and his future career in professional lacrosse.
“It was definitely a difficult process. Obviously, my best friends are here and there were some goals that I knew we were going to reach: winning a MAAC Championship and continuing to be a top program in the country,” said Smith “But I’m graduating in May and I thought this was the best opportunity for me.”
In three seasons and one season cut short, Smith finished his career at Marist with a .621 face-off percentage, the best percentage in program history. Moreover, he finished the 2019 campaign with a .630 face-off percentage, ranking 11th in the NCAA, and helping the team to take a MAAC title. He is tied for third all-time for ground balls with 215.
Coming into Marist as one of the nation’s top lacrosse prospects, Smith is graduating with a degree in Advertising and a minor in information systems, a program record, and as the highest draft pick in Marist lacrosse program history.
“Going to the professional level is definitely going to be a big step up,” noted Smith. “I know that there’s a great coaching staff there and a great ability to learn and hopefully compete for a starting spot.”
Edited by Dave Connelly