SwimSwam Pulse: 50% Agree That Hoffer Was Best ISL Rookie Draft Pick

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers to pick the best first-round rookie draft pick in the ISL’s Draft:


Question: Who was the best first-round pick in the ISL Draft?

Voters overwhelmingly agree: #2 overall pick Ryan Hoffer was the best value of the first-ever ISL Draft, far outpacing #1 pick Arno Kamminga.

The Aqua Centurions shocked fans by selecting Kamminga #1 overall last week – not because Kamminga wasn’t the best swimmer on the board (he arguably was), but because they were already stacked in the breaststrokes after using 4 of their first 5 retained swimmer spots on breaststrokers.

Kamminga is an elite-level breaststroker across the 50-, 100-, and 200-meter events. He’s also a proven commodity in short course meters, the format of the ISL’s professional swimming league. Kamminga’s mix of speed and endurance should make him valuable in the multi-round skins race, which features three rounds of 50s, with the lowest finishers knocked out and the finalists garnering a massive points boost for their team.

On the other hand, Aqua already retained young up-and-comer Nicolo Martinenghi and veteran Fabio Scozzoli, two of the best breaststrokers in the league last year.

DC appeared thrilled to add Hoffer, the versatile superstar of the NCAA format who just wrapped up his senior season with the California Golden Bears. Hoffer can be a top-notch sprinter in free, fly, and back, though he’s much more accomplished in short course yards than in the short course meters format.

Our poll does show some level of skewing towards American swimmers, though. Voters even picked Paige Madden (to Tokyo at #5 overall) above Kamminga. Madden might get a bit of a scoring boost with new checkpoint rules in the 400 free, but it’s hard to argue that she’ll have more value than Kamminga without any major opportunities in the huge-scoring skins races.

Just 5.2% of voters picked Australian Matthew Templewho went to the New York Breakers at #3 overall.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters how many world records will fall at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021. Our poll is asking how many total world record swims there will be – so a world record in semis, then re-broken in finals would count as two world record swims. For reference, here are the numbers of world record swims (far right column) and events with a world record swim (middle column) at the past five Olympic Games:

Meet World Record Events World Record Swims
2000 13 14
2004 8 8
2008 20 24
2012 9 9
2016 7 8

How many world records will fall at the Tokyo Olympics?

View Results

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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2 months ago

I agree with Hoffer on top, but anybody else surprised by the fact that Alvin Jiang didn’t get nabbed right off the bat? I would’ve figured a guy with a 19 low/41 free splits and 44.60 back and 44.50/1:41 fly would’ve gotten on a team already.

Reply to  Bobthebuilderrocks
2 months ago

As well as his killer underwaters ^^^ but that should go without saying

Ol' Longhorn
2 months ago

Gonna be interesting to see how he holds up in skins. If you have strong start/underwaters to 15 meters, I think you do well. Can blast the underwaters, cruise the swim in round 1, progressively increase above-water speed in subsequent rounds. Works for Dressel.

2 months ago

WRs that are likely to happen:
M 100 Fly Semi
M 100 Fly Final
M 200 Fly Final
M 100 Back Final
M 100 Breast Final
M 200 Breast Final
M 50 Free Final
M 100 Free Final
M 400 Medley Relay Final
M 800 Free Relay Final
W 100 Fly Semi
W 100 Fly Final
W 100 Back Final
W 200 Back Final
W 100 Breast Final
W 200 Free Final
W 400 Free Final
W 400 Medley Relay Final
W 400 Free Relay Final
W 800 Free Relay Final
Mixed 400 Medley Relay Final
Total: 21

Eric the Eel > Michael Phelps
2 months ago

OUT OF TOPIC: DAVID POPOVICI 47.56 at euro juniors this evening

2 months ago

Lol no chance more than 7 wr’s are going in Tokyo. Dressel, Milak, and Peaty have a shot, and any of 3 people in m200 breast/w100 fly, but aside from that and maybe the mixed medley relay, I just don’t see it happening this year.

Reply to  Deepblue
2 months ago

m100 back

Reply to  Deepblue
2 months ago

Men: 50/100/1500 free, 100 back, 100/200 breast, 100/200 fly, all relays
Women: 200/400 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 100 fly, all relays
I think there is a realistic chance that more than 10 world records will be broken.
We are seeing it in athletics, the pandemic and lack of testing means crazy improvements for many athletes, you can’t compare it to previous olympics in my opinion.

Last edited 2 months ago by AnEn
Reply to  Deepblue
2 months ago

Events with WRs that could legit go down:


50m free (Dressel)
100m free (Dressel, Chalmers)
100m fly (Dressel)
200m fly (Milak)
100m back (Murphy, Kolesnikov, Rylov, Jiayu)
100m breast (Peaty)
200m breast (a bunch)


100m fly (Huske, Macneil, Yufei)
100m back (McKeown, Smith, Masse)
200m free (Titmus)
400m free (Ledecky, Titmus)
800m free (Ledecky)
1500m free (Ledecky)

Add in the mixed relay and you have a lot more than 7 events.

Last edited 2 months ago by Thrasher
Reply to  Thrasher
2 months ago

Sadly, Ledecky in the 800 and 1500 seems very unlikely.

Reply to  Deepblue
2 months ago

W100back maybe, also the Australian free relays on the women’s side

Reply to  Yabo
2 months ago

All of the men’s relays could go down—the men’s medley WR is quite likely if the US is firing correctly. If GBR’s rolling starts only slightly improve from their times in the 200 (and I think Guy will be about a second faster than his flat start time this year) then the 4*200 free WR goes as well. 4*100 is the most unlikely after US trials, but both them and Russia have a possibility of clipping it.

Reply to  Deepblue
2 months ago

50 free (Dressel)
100 free (Dressel/Chalmers)
100 Back (Murphy/Xu/Rylov/Kolesnikov)
100 Breast (u kno who)
200 Breast (Chupkov et al.)
100 Fly (Dressel)
200 Fly (Milak)
400 Medley relay (US/UK men’s projections are faster than the WR)

200 free (Titmus)
400 free (Titmus/Ledecky)
100 back (McKeown/Smith/Masse)
200 back (McKeown)
100 breast (King)
100 fly (list goes on)
200 fly – jk
800 free relay (AUS)
400 medley relay (USA or AUS)

Mixed medley (USA/AUS)

That’s 17 I’ll deem as “I won’t be surprised if they’re broken”

Reply to  iLikePsych
2 months ago

200 fly jk 😂😂😂😂

2 months ago

People don’t know that Paige Madden isn’t just good at the 400. She can swim a good 200 free, 100 free (relays), 200 back and fly good as well.

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
Reply to  Hswimmer
2 months ago

Which, similar to the Kamminga pick, has way less value to a Tokyo team that already features Leah Smith as one of their protected swimmers vs any of the breaststrokers or spinters who went later in the first round.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
2 months ago

Eh Paige beat Leah at trials in the 200&400 free

2 months ago

Maybe one reason Ryan Hoffer is not more accomplished in short course meters is that there are very few short course meters events in the US, but we have seen how good his turns and under waters are.

2 months ago

Rock the Red babey lessgoooooo!

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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