Minnesota Swarm re-signed defenseman Dan Ball and goalie Zach Higgins, signed rookies Dominique Alexander and Nick Jonas. (Photo: Adam Borgstahl)
The Minnesota Swarm have announced that the team has re-signed defenseman Dan Ball to a one-year agreement and goaltender Zach Higgins to a three-year contract. The team also signed rookie defensemen Dominique Alexander (No. 39 overall, Ohio State University) and Nick Jonas (No. 52 overall, University of Minnesota) to two-year deals.
Ball, 26, recorded four assists and collected a career-high 27 loose balls in 14 games during his second season with the Swarm in 2013. The Barrie, Ontario native also registered 10 forced turnovers and was a recipient of the Fan’s Choice Award during the Swarm’s 2013 Awards Ceremony. Minnesota signed the 5-foot-11, 185-pound defender prior to the 2012 season out of Georgian College. In his two seasons with the Swarm, Ball has established himself as one of the team’s most energetic defenders.
“Dan is one of our unsung heroes,” Swarm associate general manager and head coach Joe Sullivan said. “He’s a guy that goes out and does what is expected of him. He’s a great agitator with good speed and he had a solid season working on his game this summer. Dan has become a very steady defender in the NLL and we look for him to continue to grow in 2014.”
Higgins, 22, completed his first season with the Swarm in 2013 and finished the final six regular season games, and two postseason contests on the team’s active roster. The Courtice, Ontario native is coming off an impressive summer season where he was teammates with Ball, as he totaled a 4-3 record with an 8.21 GAA and .795 SV%.
“Zach had a breakout year this summer after he was given the opportunity to be in the starting role,” Sullivan said. “They upset a lot of teams this year, and he played a large role in that. He works hard all the time, has great focus and is always trying to get better. When you have a young goalie trying doing all of those things, it’s a great thing for us. Zach is going to come in and push Tyler Carlson and he’s going to see some floor time. Fans are going to enjoy watching Zach play because he’s a big goalie that takes the angles of the net away.”
Alexander, 22, finished his senior season at Ohio State University as a co-captain in 2013 and recorded 29 points (9g, 20a) along with 28 ground balls. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound defenseman appeared in 62 games during his four-year career, and started in every contest with the exception of one game, while totaling 95 points (47g, 48a) and 77 ground balls. Minnesota selected Alexander in the fifth round (No. 39 overall) of the 2013 NLL Entry Draft. The Baldwin, NY native was also teammates in college with fellow Swarm draftee and No. 1 overall pick Logan Schuss.
“Dominique is newer to box lacrosse, but he is a very disciplined player,” Sullivan said. “He’s a guy who pays attention to detail and his physical presence is one thing that we’ll be looking for in camp.”
Jonas, 22, became the first Minnesota Golden Gopher to ever be selected by the Swarm when was drafted in the sixth round (No. 52 overall) this past September. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound defenseman spent the past four seasons playing with the Gophers in the MCLA, which included playing under Swarm assistant coach Aime Caines. Jonas is also a native of St. Louis Park, Minn. and played high school lacrosse for the Orioles.
“We interviewed and watched Nick at the NLL Combine and he caught our eye,” Sullivan said. “He’s very raw but he’s a guy that we’d like to work with. It’s great that he’s from Minnesota and it’s nice to see a local guy get the chance in box lacrosse at the pro level. We were not going to let him slide by us without giving him that chance at home.”
All contracts are currently pending league approval.