2022 AFL Draft Review: St Kilda

ST KILDA extracted good value from its 2022 AFL Draft haul, nabbing a couple of sliders among its four picks within the top 50. We recap the Saints’ selections and analyse what each player may bring to their new club.


#10 Mattaes Phillipou (Tall Forward/Midfielder, WWT Eagles/South Australia)
#31 James Van Es (Key Defender, GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
#35 Olli Hotton (Midfielder/Forward, Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
#44 Isaac Keeler (Key Forward/Ruck, North Adelaide/South Australia)


NGAAngus McLennan (Medium Defender, Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)

There was plenty of intrigue surrounding how the top 10 picks would pan out, and St Kilda held the perfect pick to nab a slider. Having been courted potentially as high as Essendon’s pick five, Mattaes Phillipou ended up being available and the Saints could hardly wait to call his name out.

The South Australian mid-forward is a terrific athlete who covers the ground well and has an impact both in the air and at ground level. Another point of difference is his ability to hit the scoreboard either as a midfielder or forward, and his high upside is backed by notable confidence.

Next on the clock in round two, the Saints selected twice within four picks. Key defender James Van Es landed at Moorabbin out of the GWV Rebels region, having shown his wares as a capable one-on-one stopper with deceptively explosive athleticism.

Olli Hotton was a surprise round two slider | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

Then came small mid-forward Olli Hotton, the slider of the bunch who is also a great athlete with terrific hands at the contest. The highly touted Sandringham Dragons talent is the son of former Collingwood and Carlton player Trent, but was ineligible for either club as a father-son.

There was only one selection left for the Saints to make, and they would have been thrilled to pick up Adelaide NGA product Isaac Keeler. Though not nominated by the Crows, he ended up sneaking out of the top 40 range and as a super athletic key forward/ruck, has enormous upside.

The Saints then nabbed their own NGA graduate in Angus McLennan, a versatile medium prospect who has played at either end of the ground. As an over-ager in 2022, he utilised his marking ability down back as part of Sandringham’s NAB League premiership defence.

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