There are still rounds of swimmer retention yet to come, but key absences among these first fives could suggest that a notable swimmer is withdrawing from the professional swimming league for the coming season.
The Frog Kings bring back #27 league-ranked scorer Kawamoto, who was a revelation last year as a rookie. Kawamoto made two butterfly skin race finals in the regular season. They’ll also retain Suzuka Hasegawa (#49 in regular-season scoring and undefeated in her ISL career in the 200 fly), Yasuhiro Koseki (#57), Morozov (#89) and Catie DeLoof (#126).
Koseki was also a skins finalist last year. Morozov was a top-20 overall scorer in 2019 while competing for Iron. He was off a bit last year coming out of the pandemic, but offers as much upside as anyone else in the league as a versatile sprinter.
Some notable names still unretained: Seto (who dominated in one appearance for Energy Standard in 2019, then withdrew from the 2020 season), Ohashi (the #24 overall scorer in the 2020 regular season), Ryosuke Irie (#45), Katsuhiro Matsumoto (#91), Leah Smith (#106) and league newcomer Kanako Watanabe.
DRAFT/PLAYER RETENTION RULES
First, a quick refresher on personnel rules, as announced by the league:
Each team can retain up to 16 swimmers from their 2020 rosters across six different rounds of retention:
- 5 pre-selected athletes to retain
- 4 athletes announced in round 1 of retention
- 3 athletes announced in round 2 of retention
- 2 athletes announced in round 3 of retention
- 1 athlete announced in round 4 of retention
- 1 athlete voted on by fans (this round of retention comes after the first round of the ISL draft, though)
After that, players not retained will fall to the ISL Draft Pool, where the Aqua Centurions and DC Trident will each have a first-round pick. The Draft Pool will include unretained players, but also ISL rookies, like NCAA graduates and other new ISL additions.