By Steven Bermel | NLL.com Writer
The Buffalo Bandits have traded a second round pick to the New England Black Wolves in exchange for their lefty scorer Pat Saunders. Buffalo owns three second round picks in the 2017 draft, their own, the Rochester Knighthawks and the Calgary Roughnecks. The Wolves will receive the lowest of those three picks.
“We signed Pat to an offer sheet prior to last season, but he went to New England. [Black Wolves GM] Rich Lisk and I have been in constant contact about him. We’ve had an interest here and they’ve had an interest there.” said Bandits general manager Steve Dietrich. “The asking price was too high for us, even a few weeks ago. But the price was finally right.”
The Bandits also have sustained some more injuries on the left side of their lineup. Ryan Benesch and Blaze Riorden are both out and that creates a hole in the lineup.
“It became more of a need than a want, but we would’ve made this trade anyway. He’s a 40 goal scorer which is tough to find in this league,” added Dietrich. “Benesch being out and Blaze being placed on IR expedited the process.”
Dietrich said he talked with Saunders last night and they’re both excited about the move.
“It’s always tough to leave a team, but Pat’s going to be a good fit here,” said ‘Chugger.’ “But Buffalo is a premier market in the NLL and has the best fans.”
Buffalo plays Rochester in a home-and-home series this weekend and then will have a week off. Dietrich is hopeful that the bye week will give enough time for Anthony Malcom, Nick Weiss, Benesch and Riorden to return to 100% health.