Who's No. 1?

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 6:52 AM ET

Peter and Patricia Merrill seem to have developed a formula that produces lacrosse's top prospects.

The Orangeville couple will beam with pride tonight (8 p.m.) when their son, Brodie Merrill, will follow in the footsteps of his brother, Toronto Rock defender Patrick Merrill, when he is selected first overall in the National Lacrosse League entry draft in Edmonton.

The expansion Portland LumberJax have the first pick and will waste no time snapping up the 6-foot-4, 205-pound defender out of Georgetown. Patrick Merrill went first overall to the Rock in 2002 at the Air Canada Centre. What's more, Brodie and Patrick's sister, Tory, recently was named Ontario's top under-19 female defensive player.

Never before have two brothers each been picked first.

"It's really cool," said Patrick Merrill, who never has played a game against his brother. "I'm really proud of him.

"He's definitely a guy who has got it all. He can play both ends of the floor really well and he's an unbelievable athlete. He keeps himself in great shape and he's built himself for the long term."

Patrick Merrill, 26, is the first to admit there is much more hype about Brodie, who already has been billed as the next big thing in lacrosse by one website. LumberJax general manager/coach Derek Keenan, who sees a little bit of Rock captain Jim Veltman in Brodie Merrill, said all 10 other teams in the NLL called him about the first pick, including one offer for four picks and four players.

"It (the hype) puts a little bit of pressure on me, but I don't really pay attention to that kind of stuff," said Brodie Merrill, who won a pro field title with the Baltimore Bayhawks this summer after spending the past two summers playing senior box lacrosse in Brampton and Coquitlam.

"I just try to work hard and stay within yourself. You can't get wrapped up (in hype) or you get yourself in trouble."

This draft is considered one of the strongest in years and that's good news for the defending champion Rock, which doesn't pick until the second round (15th overall) after sending its first-round pick to Buffalo last year to acquire the services of GM/coach Terry Sanderson.

"It's the deepest draft I've seen," Sanderson said. "We're quite confident we're going to get a player (who can play next season) at No. 15."

The Rochester Knighthawks pick second and most think they will take Peterborough forward Shawn Evans, leaving Barrie forward Luke Wiles for the Philadelphia Wings at No. 3.


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