A steal at six: Cannons land Pat Kavanagh

By Sarah Griffin | May 9, 2024

Headed into draft day, Cannons head coach and general manager Brian Holman and Matt Kavanagh exchanged about 50 texts with one another regarding the possibility of Matt’s brother Pat falling to Boston with the sixth overall pick. 

A nine-year pro, Matt’s watched on as his younger brothers Pat and Chris have carried on his legacy at Notre Dame. The two helped lead the Irish to their first NCAA title last year, and in the process, Pat broke just about every program offensive record -- including some of his older brother’s.  

Matt said earlier this year that he’d “love to play with those guys” at the professional level. But given Pat’s resume, that seemed like a long shot. 

Four teams were picking ahead of the Cannons, with one of those owning two selections in the top five. Surely, one of them would want Pat Kavanagh – a two-time (likely soon to be three-time) Tewaaraton Award finalist and the most important player in Notre Dame lacrosse history.

Still, Holman laid it out plainly in his pre-draft press conference: If Pat was available at pick No. 6, he would be a Boston Cannon. 

“How cool would that be?” the coach remarked. 

There’s just some things that cannot be scripted any better. Pat slid to six, and the Cannons pounced.

All four PLL coaches who passed on Pat Kavanagh know what a talent he is. Everyone in the lacrosse world does. He’s creative. He’s unpredictable. He’s always the grittiest guy on the field. He has seemingly perfect vision as a feeder, and nobody plays harder for their teammates than him. “He still has the ‘boy in the backyard’ in him,” as Paul Carcaterra put it.

Pat himself thought a reunion with his big brother was unlikely

“We’d kind of been manifesting that for the last year,” he said Monday on “The Pat McAfee Show.” “... We’d been talking about it for a while, but they had the sixth pick, and I was projected to go in the first few, so I didn’t really think it was going to happen.”

So how did he fall to the sixth pick? That’s a discussion I anticipate we’ll all be having for years to come. Sure, positional need and roster fit are two very obviously important factors when it comes to the draft process. But when you can add Pat Kavanagh to your team, you do it. Simple as that. 

Coach Holman mentioned in his pre-draft press conference that the Cannons were looking to add to their attack group of Matt Kavanagh, Brian’s son Marcus Holman, and Asher Nolting as Matt and Marcus get older. Now, it’s become not only (even more of) a family affair, but a matter of the rich getting richer. 

Last season, we saw Nolting as the X attackman for Boston with Marcus Holman on the right and Matt Kavanagh on the left. Where will Pat play? Is he going to eventually replace his brother? That all remains to be seen. 

What we do know is the best offense in the league just got even better, and it’s a very good problem to have when your depth at attack going into training camp is a Kavanagh. 

The Kavanaghs are notorious in the sport for their style of play. They ride hard, they never give up on a play, they’re tough as nails, and they always come in clutch. Pat made headlines last May as he battled through a torn hamstring and torn labrum on Final Four weekend to help the Irish win their first championship.

They’re not your average attackmen, and now Boston has two of them. Without having even seeing Pat Kavanagh play in a Cannons jersey, I’m confident in saying this is a steal at six. He’s the type of player who is made to play in Boston, and in the club’s homecoming season, I can’t think of a better pick.