2021 ISL Draft: Live Updates of Retained Swimmers & Rookie Picks

The International Swimming League draft has begun, with the league’s ten franchises retaining up to 15 swimmers from previous seasons.

Below are the swimmers who have been retained – we’ll continue to update as more teams announce their retained swimmers.

The first five swimmers have already been announced. The groups of four, three, two, and one are announced today. You can watch live here. The draft will continue with a full round of rookie picks, then a fan-vote retained swimmer overnight, with teams drafting from the draft pool starting tomorrow.

Cali Condors

First Five:

  1. Kelsi Dahlia
  2. Molly Hannis
  3. Justin Ress
  4. Coleman Stewart
  5. Beata Nelson

Four:

  1. Marcin Cieslak
  2. Kacper Majchrzak
  3. Hali Flickinger
  4. Erika Brown

Three:

  1. Natalie Hinds
  2. Nic Fink
  3. Olivia Smoliga

Two:

  1. Townley Haas
  2. Lilly King

One:

  1. Caeleb Dressel

Notes:

  • Through 9 swimmers, still no MVP Caeleb Dressel for Cali, nor breaststroke star Lilly King.
  • Smoliga was a big scorer, placing 5th league-wide in individual regular-season scoring last year. Cali is still very U.S.-heavy.
  • We’re getting a lot of big names late on these lists – King joins the retained group as the second-to-last swimmer retained by Cali.
  • Lezak played coy for awhile, but eventually picked Dressel with the final pick, adding some drama to the broadcast.

Energy Standard

First Five:

  1. Sarah Sjostrom
  2. Kliment Kolesnikov
  3. Emily Seebohm
  4. Siobhan Haughey
  5. Chad le Clos

Four:

  1. Benedetta Pilato
  2. Evgeny Rylov
  3. Ilya Shymanovich
  4. Marie-Sophie Harvey

Three:

  1. Kregor Zirk
  2. Maddy Banic
  3. Anastasiya Shkurdai

Two:

  1. Femke Heemskerk
  2. Andrey Zhilkin

One:

  1. Florent Manaudou

Notes:

  • GM James Gibson said he feels very confident in his 15 picks to retain. Energy went for versatility in their picks, to try to fill out a full lineup.
  • Pilato and Shymanovich are two of the best breaststrokers in the league. Harvey fits the versatile criteria Gibson talked about.
  • Banic and Shkurdai were breakout stars in butterfly last year, taking over when Sjostrom was out with a back injury.

London Roar

First Five:

  1. Sydney Pickrem
  2. Kyle Chalmers
  3. Alia Atkinson
  4. Kira Toussaint
  5. Emma McKeon

Four:

  1. Freya Anderson
  2. Luke Greenbank
  3. Duncan Scott
  4. Tom Dean

Three:

  1. Guilherme Guido
  2. Annie Lazor
  3. Marie Wattel

Two:

  1. Kirill Prigoda
  2. Minna Atherton

One:

  1. Cate Campbell

Notes:

  • GM Rob Woodhouse mentioned the unknowns still remaining with international travel – London took a big hit last year when their top Australians weren’t able to travel to the ISL bubble in Budapest.
  • In the round of four, London shifted more toward British swimmers, instead of their usual Aussie core.
  • It’s looking more and more like London will not bring back sprint star Cate Campbell, captain Adam Peaty, or world record-setter from 2019 Minna Atherton.
  • Speaking of Atherton, she was retained in the round of 2. She was the first swimmer to set a world record in the ISL, doing so in 2019. She did not compete in 2020, along with many top Australians.
  • A little bit of drama from London, with the star sprinter Campbell saved for the final pick after missing 2019.

LA Current

First Five:

  1. Tom Shields
  2. Beryl Gastaldello
  3. Katie McLaughlin
  4. Madison Wilson
  5. Kristian Gkolomeev

Four:

  1. Ryan Held
  2. Kathleen Baker
  3. Anastasia Gorbenko
  4. Maxime Rooney

Three:

  1. Helena Gasson
  2. Apostolos Christou
  3. Abbey Weitzeil

Two:

  1. Tomoe Hvas
  2. Ryan Murphy

One:

  1. Fernando Scheffer

Notes:

  • One notable absence from the first five: backstroker Ryan Murphy, who was the team’s second-best scorer last year.
  • Baker and Held both withdrew from last season, but were key contributors in 2019. Gorbenko was a top-50 individual scorer over the regular season last year.
  • Weitzeil was the #29 individual scorer in the regular season last year.
  • Saving Murphy to the round of 2 is puzzling. He was the #3 individual scorer in the entire league last year.
  • GM Lenny Krayzelburg also noted that Scheffer should benefit from the new checkpoint scoring in the 400 free.

Iron

First Five:

  1. Katinka Hosszu
  2. Robert Glinta
  3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo
  4. Melanie Henique
  5. Nicholas Santos

Four:

  1. Emre Sakci
  2. Veronika Andrusenko
  3. David Verraszto
  4. Emilie Beckmann

Three:

  1. Kristof Milak
  2. Ida Hulkko
  3. Leonardo Santos

Two:

  1. Guilherme Basseto
  2. Maria Ugolkova

One:

  1. Thom de Boer

Notes:

  • Iron’s GM Dorina Szekeres suggested that the team started out IM-heavy, but overcompensated in a move towards the sprints last year. She said finding balance would be her team’s key this year.
  • Sakci was the league’s rookie of the year last year, a fan favorite and high-scoring breaststroker.
  • Milak is another massive re-addition. He missed last year after falling ill with COVID-19.

Tokyo Frog Kings

First Five:

  1. Catie DeLoof
  2. Suzuka Hasegawa
  3. Vladimir Morozov
  4. Takeshi Kawamoto
  5. Yasuhiro Koseki

Four:

  1. Chihiro Igarashi
  2. Tomoru Honda
  3. Leah Smith
  4. Kanako Watanabe

Three:

  1. Daiya Seto

Two:

One:

Notes:

  • Coach Dave Salo noted that lots of swimmers were excited to join the Frog Kings program. On the live broadcast, Energy Standard GM hinted that Daiya Seto might be retained by Tokyo later today. Seto helped Energy Standard win the league in 2019, but signed with Tokyo in 2020. Seto did not compete in the league last year.
  • Watanabe is a newcomer who didn’t compete last year, but was on the Frog Kings protection list.
  • Tokyo is choosing to not retain all 15 athletes, believing they can bring back better talent via the draft. Seto was their final pick, and the only pick in the round of three.

Toronto Titans

First Five:

  1. Kelsey Wog
  2. Blake Pieroni
  3. Shane Ryan
  4. Anton McKee
  5. Kylie Masse

Four:

  1. Kayla Sanchez
  2. Louise Hansson
  3. Michelle Coleman
  4. Tessa Cieplucha

Three:

  1. Finlay Knox
  2. Yuri Kisil
  3. Cole Pratt

Two:

  1. Lisa Bratton
  2. Alberto Razzetti

One:

  1. Anna Egorova

Notes:

  • Toronto mostly kept their skin race specialists with backstrokers Masse and Ryan at the front.
  • Sanchez is a huge name in the round of 4 – she’s a potential team MVP who missed most of last year after undergoing shoulder surgery.
  • Toronto went all Canadian men in the round of three. They’re also clearly building long-term with young talent like Pratt and Knox.
  • Bratton was by far the top scorer left on the board for Toronto. She was 53rd in the league in regular-season scoring last year. Razzetti didn’t compete last year, but is a massive addition from Italy.
  • Toronto noted that Egorova could be a value, given her ability to lead the 400 free through the early stages, getting the early checkpoint point bonuses in the new scoring format.

New York Breakers

First Five:

  1. Molly Renshaw
  2. Marco Koch
  3. Abbie Wood
  4. Arina Surkova
  5. Joe Litchfield

Four:

  1. Felix Auboeck
  2. Lewis Clareburt
  3. Svetlana Chimrova
  4. Brendon Smith

Three:

  1. Ajna Kesely
  2. Daria S. Ustinova
  3. Sarah Vasey

Two:

  1. Jacob Whittle
  2. James Wilby

One:

  1. Alicja Tchorz

Notes:

  • One very notable absence in the first 5 is Michael Andrew, the versatile star and first-time U.S. Olympian who has headlined New York for two seasons.
  • The round of 4 focused on distance swimmers, taking advantage of the new 400 free and 400 IM scoring.
  • The team confirmed that Andrew will not compete in the 2021 season.

DC Trident

First Five:

  1. Zach Apple
  2. Zach Harting
  3. Jay Litherland
  4. Linnea Mack
  5. Ting Quah

Four:

  1. Brianna Throssell
  2. Leah Neale
  3. Annika Bruhn
  4. Tristan Hollard

Three:

  1. Jacob Pebley
  2. Bailey Andison
  3. Velimir Stjepanovic

Two:

  1. Zane Grothe
  2. Tommy Cope

One:

  1. Cody Miller

Notes:

  • DC GM Kaitlin Sandeno noted that the team would be retaining more of its men than women from last year’s roster.
  • DC’s group of four were all swimmers who competed in 2019, but couldn’t compete in 2020.
  • Grothe and Cope should both help in the new 400 IM/400 free scoring.
  • Miller had to bow out of last season, but is a fan favorite who probably would have led fan voting for DC’s retained swimmer.

Aqua Centurions

First Five:

  1. Federica Pellegrini
  2. Martina Carraro
  3. Arianna Castiglioni
  4. Fabio Scozzoli
  5. Nicolo Martinenghi

Four:

  1. Szebasztian Szabo
  2. Elena di Liddo
  3. Silvia di Pietro
  4. Alessandro Miressi

Three:

  1. Marcelo Chierighini
  2. Matteo Rivolta
  3. Leonardo de Deus

Two:

  1. Simone Sabbioni
  2. Vladislav Grinev

One:

  1. Thomas Ceccon

Notes:

  • Aqua went with four breaststrokers in their first five, leaning hard on what has been their strength in the past two seasons.
  • Szabo is huge to retain – he was #8 leaguewide in regular-season scoring last year for Aqua.
  • Neither Sabbioni nor Grinev competed for Aqua Centurions last year. This team looks primed for a bit of a rebound after the pandemic really wiped out their roster late last year. They’ve assembled a really good group of male sprinters.
  • Ceccon is a massive pick at the end. He could be the top rookie in the entire league, but somehow ended up in the AQC protection pool despite not competing in the ISL previously.

Rookie Picks

Day 1 ended with each team picking a rookie swimmer:

  1. AQC: Arno Kammingabreaststroke, Netherlands
  2. DCT: Ryan Hoffer, sprint free/fly/back, USA
  3. NYB: Matt Temple, butterfly, Australia
  4. TOR: Kasia Wasick, sprint free/fly, Poland
  5. TOK: Paige Maddenmid-distance free, USA
  6. IRO: Barbora Seemanovafreestyle, Czech Republic
  7. LAC: Martin Malyutin, freestyle, Russia
  8. LON: Kenzo Simonsfreestyle, Netherlands
  9. ENS: Evgenia Chikunovabreaststroke, Russia
  10. CAC: Maaike de Waard, sprint back/fly, Netherlands

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Jack
2 months ago

Is it just me or is it horrifically laggy?

Taa
2 months ago

the have some guy named Mel commenting

ab88
2 months ago

2 comments? gee, this “draft” doesn’t seem very popular (I didn’t even know there was a draft today lol)

SwimSider
2 months ago

This is taking far too long

Jack
2 months ago

I could have made a better production at a junior school with a cam corder and 2 prefects helping transitions. 40 mins in and no relevant new content and just awkward conversations.

Alex
2 months ago

the LIVE link doesnt work ;/

Scott FTW
2 months ago

Couldn’t they just have done all the announcements first and done all the analysis after? That along with the stream lagging and hopping back in time if i dont refresh every few minutes isn’t really helping me want to keep watching.

Ghost
Reply to  Scott FTW
2 months ago

The ISL is big into overproduction!

Scott FTW
Reply to  Ghost
2 months ago

overproduction but seemingly there’s always technical hitches/careless mistakes on graphics too. was hoping to see some of these mistakes smoothed out this year…

Jess
2 months ago

This already feels like its taken 2 hours and could take 7 more hours.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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