Revisiting The 2021 ISL Rookie Draft: Hits, Misses & Hidden Gems

With the 2021 International Swimming League (ISL) playoffs set to commence on Thursday, we’ve taken a look back at the league’s first-ever draft that was held over the summer—and how the early results are looking for each of the 10 ISL clubs through the regular season.

As it turned out, the top rookie scorer from the season went undrafted: The LA Current’s Ingrid Wilm, who was a prudent free-agent signing for the club, had an unbelievable breakthrough performance, winning six individual races over the season and averaging 42.1 points-per-match.

The #2 scorer (based on points-per-match) was Toronto Titan teen Summer McIntosh, who was an 11th round, 92nd overall pick by the Titans during the draft.

The top scorer among a top-10 draft pick was Iron’s Barbora Seemanova, who was selected sixth overall in the opening rookie round of the draft and went on to average more than 35 points per match.

In addition to being the top first-timers, Wilm, McIntosh and Seemanova also ranked 1-2-3 among unretained swimmers, meaning the athletes that were available for selection during the ISL Draft after teams finished picking who they would protect.

Thank you to SwimSwam’s Barry Revzin for compiling the data.

Top Unretained Scorers

Rank Name Club Points-Per-Match
1 Ingrid Wilm LAC 42.1
2 Summer McIntosh TOR 35.5
3 Barbora Seemanova IRO 35.4
4 Kasia Wasick TOR 31.6
5 Marius Kusch TOR 30.6
6 Holly Barratt AQC 29.8
7 Vini Lanza LON 28.0
8 Evgeniia Chikunova ENS 26.8
9 Maria Kameneva AQC 26.6
10 Andreas Vazaios DCT 26.4
11 Yui Ohashi TOK 25.3
12 Ali DeLoof DCT 25.1
13 Paige Madden TOK 24.0
14 Matt Temple NYB 23.2
15 Fabian Schwingenschlogl TOR 22.6
16 Sherridon Dressel CAC 22.6
17 Katsumi Nakamura LON 22.5
18 Aleksandr Shchegolev DCT 21.9
19 Dylan Carter LON 21.2
20 Katie Shanahan LON 20.8

We find a wide range of results when looking at how the top-10 rookies selected in the draft fared throughout the season.

Top selection Arno Kamminga averaged 15.6 points-per-match, ranking 34th among unretained swimmers, while #2 pick Ryan Hoffer averaged 12.7 for 34th.

Top 10 Rookie Picks

Selection Name Club Points-Per-Match Rank Among Unretained
1 Arno Kamminga AQC 15.6 34th
2 Ryan Hoffer DCT 12.7 57th
3 Matt Temple NYB 23.2 14th
4 Kasia Wasick TOR 31.6 4th
5 Paige Madden TOK 24.0 13th
6 Barbora Seemanova IRO 35.4 3rd
7 Martin Malyutin LAC 20.4 21st
8 Kenzo Simons LON 1.5 153rd
9 Evgeniia Chikunova ENS 26.8 8th
10 Maaike De Waard CAC 11.7 68th

Overall, the DC Trident had the best offseason based on points added. The team drafted 163.8 points and added an additional 60.6 from free agency for a total of 224.4 added points.

Despite failing to qualify for the playoffs, Tokyo was a close second with 223.8 points added, followed by Toronto with 214.6.

The New York Breakers, who finished fourth in four straight matches before narrowly placing third over Tokyo in the Play-In, had the worst offseason by points added with 127.1.

Team Retained Drafted Undrafted Added Total
DCT 192.9 163.8 60.6 224.4 416.8
TOK 177.7 96.5 127.3 223.8 401.5
TOR 297.9 178.9 35.7 214.6 512.5
AQC 274.3 136.5 42.6 179.1 453.4
IRO 271.5 120.8 57.2 178.0 449.5
LAC 267.2 87 89.2 176.2 443.4
LON 329.4 135.6 39.4 175.0 504.4
CAC 507.3 97.3 45.5 142.8 650.1
ENS 471.1 91.3 48.9 140.2 611.3
NYB 183.4 64.5 62.6 127.1 310.5

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1 year ago

NYB with the lowest points added despite getting an early pick. 🤣

Last edited 1 year ago by Troyy
1 year ago

Tokyo proves that if you don’t retain swimmers you can have a lot of added points.
Also the efficiency of the draft process is clear from the fact, that Cali’s retained swimmers outscored 7 of the 10 teams’ totals, Energy’s outscored 6.

Reply to  Goag
1 year ago

Tokyo comes with an asterisk because they didn’t retain Yui Ohashi (25.3pts/match) nobody drafted her, and then they signed her later again. So it’s more like they retained 203.0 and added 198.5.

Last edited 1 year ago by Barry

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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