The Minnesota Swarm begin training camp this weekend for the 2013 NLL season with young talent looking to push veterans for roster spots. (Photo: Alec Schimke)
After selecting four first-round picks in the 2012 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft, the Minnesota Swarm begin training camp this weekend with young talent looking to push veterans for roster spots. Stephen Stamp from ILindoor.com offers some insight into which players might have to fight to make the team this season.
With four first-rounders at camp, something has to give in Minnesota. Which players might not return to the team as Brock Sorensen (2nd overall), Kiel Matisz (3rd overall), Shayne Jackson (4th overall) and Alex Crepinsek (10th overall) press for playing time?
“Last season our success was dependent on us outworking our opponents,” said Swarm associate general manager and head coach Joe Sullivan. “As we head into training camp, we have a great group of walk-ons and draft picks, and the team we got back from last year was a great team."
What will happen with other draftees Sam Bradman, Tyler Tanguay, Bryan Campbell, Matt Gibson, Michael Teeter and Chris Cudmore? As often the case with players picked in the third round or later, they are longshots to make the team.
If they're going to do so, they'll have to knock off other talented young players. It's pretty easy to figure out who's not going anywhere. Ryan Benesch, Callum Crawford, Andrew Suitor, Jordan MacIntosh, Andrew Watt and Jeff Gilbert are all pretty central building blocks.
The release of Richard Morgan and Michael Brascia could make way for Sorensen and Crepinsek. Joe Cinosky has been placed on the holdout list and while Sullivan didn't rule out his return at some point, he made it clear Cinosky would not attend camp.
Tyler Hass, Mitch Belisle and Corbyn Tao would seem to be pretty safe based on last year's performances, but nothing is set in stone with the depth positions. Players such as Dan Ball, Nik Bilic, Jay Card, Greg Downing, David Earl, Joel Henry and Pat Smith may have to battle for a roster spot as camp gets underway at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, Ont. this weekend.
"I hope everyone has come with their work boots and hard hats," Sullivan said. "This will truly be the toughest training camp they’ve ever been a part of."