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No. 41 Jake Melchionni, LSM, Delbarton (N.J.) / Leading Edge – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 92
Splash plays for days. Melchionni is an on-ball terror, particularly with his ability to take the ball away in a variety of ways. He has an unbelievable stick and is automatic off the ground. Even when he gets beat, the Maverik Showtime and One Percent All-Star recovers with his stick in front of him to help him stay on the ball or throw one of the many, many checks in his bag. He earned a ton of playing time for perennial powerhouse Delbarton this year, and he’s as two-handed as it gets, particularly for a pole. He’ll need to bulk up to handle the rigors of college lacrosse, but he’s savvy and runs very well in the open field.
No. 42 Michael Smyth, attack/midfield, St. Paul’s (Md.) / FCA Maryland – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 92
Smyth has an extremely high skill level and the versatility to provide mismatches as both an attackman or a midfielder. The tall, lanky lefty had a very good showing at the Nike National All-Star Games, where he helped Maryland engineer a comeback to claim the 2023 division championship. He does a very good job of dodging with his head up and finding open guys while consistently drawing a slide.
No. 43 Wills Burt, midfield, Haverford School (Pa.) / Mesa – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 92
When he’s at top speed, Burt makes everyone else look like they’re running in quicksand. His speed and explosiveness are rivaled by very few in the class, and if you don’t check him when he gets going downhill, he’s got the shooting power to blast one through the net. Burt was one of the top scoring options for one of the best programs in the country in Haverford because he demands an early slide with his speed. He has an incredibly high ceiling, particularly if he can polish up his two-way game.
No. 44 Jack Kiefer, defense, Cherry Creek (Colo.) / Denver Elite – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 92
Denver Elite has quietly put together one of the fiercest defenses in the class, a defense that gives them a chance to win in any game. Kiefer really stood out at the NLF National Championships with an entertaining matchup with Owen Duffy (St. Anthony’s, N.Y. / Team 91 Long Island) where he held his own against the NLF’s No. 3 prospect.
At 6-2, 185 pounds with an exceptional stick, Kiefer projects very well to the next level, particularly as he continues to add size. He started as a sophomore at Cherry Creek for former pro Matt Bocklet, who expects him to take a major leap forward next year.
“He’s going to take us faceoff wings and then drop down to play the other team’s No. 1 attackman next year,” Bocklet said. “He’s awesome.”
No. 45 Brett Koopman, LSM/defense, Sante Fe Christian (Calif.) / Mad Dog – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 92
There’s no denying Koopman’s ridiculous offensive skills with a pole in his hands. He’s a threat to score from anywhere inside the restraining line with a combination of exceptional hands, a hard shot and the dodging ability of a short-stick. You better account for him in the middle of the field when your team has the ball, too, because he’s very aggressive and willing to take a chance to take the ball away. He’s undersized for the position and could stand to polish up his defensive game at times, but he’s a bonafide playmaker and havoc creator.
No. 46 Jordan Faison, midfield, Pine Crest (Fla.) / Team 91 LI – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 92
Much like Wills Burt, Faison is so fast that he makes other players look not fast. He’s small, but makes up for it with ridiculous speed between the lines and the quickness to change directions to get open offensively or to turn his hips and run defensively. An option quarterback in Florida – no need to question his athleticism, right? – who saw his stock skyrocket this summer after earning U.S. Lacrosse All-American honors as a sophomore, Faison is exceptional in transition and has improved his offensive game. He collected All-Star honors at Maverik Showtime, the One Percent Showcase and Main Stage, a nod to his ability to stand out even in loaded fields.
No. 47 Cole Aasheim, defense, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) / LI Express – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 92
Aasheim’s trajectory went straight up this summer as the best defenseman on a very good Long Island Express team. He’ll slot in to the starting lineup for St. Anthony’s next year. The lefty was outstanding for the Express at the NLF National Championships, and he’s a strong, physical lefty who also uses his athleticism to keep attackmen at bay. The 6-foot, 185-pounder projects well to the next level.
No. 48 Alec Gregorek, attack/midfield, Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) / Annapolis Hawks / Legacy – Navy – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 91
A natural goal scorer who is excellent at working off-ball, Gregorek put forth an impressive 43-goal, 18-assist campaign as a sophomore for Shoreham-Wading River. That included the game-winner in overtime to hand rival Mount Sinai its lone loss of the season. He plays very well within confined spaces, but also has a knack for creating space as a midfielder, too. A thickly-built scorer who committed to Navy on July 2, he’s also got a high lacrosse IQ and understands the game at a high level.
NLF No. 14 Trey Deere (Salisbury, Conn. / @Sweetlax_Lax) showing off what makes him so special. pic.twitter.com/yhqcjbD1WN
— NLF (@natlaxfed) July 16, 2021
No. 49 Trey Deere, attack, Salisbury (Conn.) / SweetLax Upstate – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 91
Deere took some time to adjust to life at Salisbury this spring, but he still found a way to make an impact. Also a standout hockey player and a Kahnawake, Québec native, Deere isn’t the type of attackman that will cross his defender up at X and blow by him. Rather, he’s got impeccable stick skills, a nod to his extensive box lacrosse and hockey backgrounds, and the ability to make plays in very tight spaces. Check out the video above and it’s not hard to imagine him being very successful in an offense that’s heavy on picks and two-man games. A solidly-built lefty, he finishes anything inside of 10 yards.
No. 50 Sean Creter, faceoff midfield, Hunterdon Central (N.J.) / Leading Edge –– ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 91
Creter was excellent this spring for Hunterdon Central, going 76 percent at the faceoff X to go along with a whopping 26 goals and six assists. He earned first-team all-state honors in the process. There aren’t many better faceoff guys at handling the ball after the win than Creter, and he’s more than capable of playing full-time midfield. He’s not the tallest faceoff guy, but his very strong lower body and quick hands give him a great combination of power and finesse. Creter battled a handful of nagging injuries throughout the summer, but he’s still very high on a lot of schools’ boards.