Buffalo brings back scoring duo, inks Dance, Rooney & Jerome Thompson
The Buffalo Bandits have announced that the team has agreed to terms on three-year contracts with Ryan Benesch and Dhane Smith. Buffalo has also signed Jordan Dance, Jamie Rooney and Jerome Thompson to one-year deals for the 2015 NLL season.
Benesch and Smith were first and third, respectively, in scoring last season for the Bandits. Their contracts are still pending league approval.
In his first season with the Bandits, Benesch paced the team with 78 points (25+53) in 18 games. He also finished among the team leaders in power-play goals (2nd, 7), shorthanded goals (T-1st, 3), loose balls (4th, 88) and shots on goal (2nd, 124).
Smith made the switch from forward to transition last year and finished with 59 points (20+39) in 18 games. The second-year player was third on the team in shots on goal (111) and fifth in loose balls (79).
The seven-year NLL veteran Rooney, who is entering his third season with the Bandits, notched 21 points (8+13) in 12 games last season and has posted 20-plus points in five seasons since entering the league in 2008.
Buffalo’s third-round pick (24th overall) in the 2014 NLL Draft, Dance spent last season with the Orangeville Northmen, where he scored 43 points (18+25) in 17 games,
Thompson, the brother of the Edmonton Rush’s Jeremy Thompson and Minnesota Swarm’s Miles Thompson, is back for a second stint in Buffalo after he was drafted by the Bandits in the third round (25th overall) of the 2011 NLL Draft. “Hiana” helped the Iroquois Nationals win their first-ever bronze medal at the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships this past summer.
The Bandits will help open the 2015 NLL season by visiting the New England Black Wolves at Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, Jan. 2. The following night on Saturday, Jan. 3, Buffalo will host the Edmonton Rush for their home opener at First Niagara Center