Check out the NLL Rookie Report by Bob Chavez on IL Indoor after Week 11 below as plenty of first-year pros are making a difference for their teams including two newcomers in Jeremy Noble and Tyler Melnyk who made their NLL debuts this past weekend and ran with it.
“Sunday’s National Lacrosse League debut for Jeremy Noble in Colorado took the lacrosse world by storm, and rightly so,” Chavez writes. “Just 2 days after he was traded to the Mammoth from Rochester, Noble put any rust-factor doubts to rest by pouring in 7 points with 2 goals and 5 assists in Colorado’s win over Minnesota. But don’t let Noble steal all the thunder. There was a kid in Edmonton who made his NLL debut as well. And even though he was the No. 19 overall pick in the draft, Tyler Melnyk got off to a pretty good start as well. Let’s take a look at what Noble and Melnyk did last weekend, along with all the other NLL rookies in Week 11.”
1) Ben McIntosh (Edmonton Rush): The right-handed forward out of Coquitlam had another ho-hum 5-point night as he continues to produce like a season veteran. He had 2 goals and 3 assists in Saturday’s home win over Vancouver, giving him 41 points (19-22) in 9 games. That’s tops among all rookies in the league and considering he’s scored 4 points or more in 6 of his last 7 games, this kid’s proving he’s the real deal.
2) Miles Thompson (Minnesota Swarm): The right-handed forward out of Onondaga Nation had 1 goal and 4 assists while also gathering 5 loose balls in Saturday’s home loss to New England. He added 2 goals and 1 assist with 3 loose balls and a forced turnover in Sunday’s road loss to Colorado. For the season, he’s got 38 points on 16 goals and 22 assists.
4) Tyler Melnyk (Edmonton Rush): The left-handed forward out of Calgary and the pride of the Calgary Mountaineers finally made his much-anticipated NLL debut and he did not disappoint. He scored 4 goals and assisted on another while also scooping 2 loose balls in Saturday’s home win over Vancouver. He scored the first goal of the game, then led off the third and fourth quarters with a goal, including a short-handed goal that gave the Rush a 17-5 lead. When Edmonton traded Corey Small to Vancouver earlier this season, the hype started to build for Melnyk and his potential. He finally got his chance this weekend and while it’s just 1 game, it certainly was a promising game.
5) Jeremy Noble (Colorado Mammoth): The right-handed forward out of Orangeville, Ontario, had 2 goals and 5 assists in his NLL debut, helping the Mammoth defeat Minnesota at home on Sunday. He also had a game-high 10 loose balls and even took 2 draws, winning 1. He came with a lot of hype as the No. 2 overall draft pick and he didn’t waste much time in living up to it. The problem, of course, is a debut like that sets the bar high but when you come from the Horn Head tradition, there is no settling. You want to be the best of the best and Noble is fully capable of carrying on that tradition.
6) Mark Cockerton (New England Black Wolves): The left-handed forward out of Oshawa, Ontario scored a pair of goals and assisted on 3 others for a career-best 5 points in Saturday’s road win over Minnesota. He also scooped 6 loose balls and 2 of his assists came in the fourth quarter to help New England rally, including his third and final assist that came on Kevin Crowley’s game-winner.
The rest of the rooks: Buffalo T Brandon Goodwin had 1 assist and scooped 1 loose ball in Friday’s home win over Toronto and was scratched for Saturday’s road loss to Toronto … In his first game since Feb. 20, New England F Josh Johnson scooped 1 LB in Saturday’s road win over Minnesota … New England D Sheldon Burns scooped 3 LBs and forced 1 turnover in Saturday’s road win over Minnesota … New England D Bill O’Brien assisted on Kevin Crowley’s game-winner on Saturday at Minnesota and showed he wasn’t afraid to stand up for the Wolves in taking on Minnesota’s Andrew Suitor just after the opening faceoff … Minnesota T Sam Bradman had 1 assist and scooped 2 loosies in Saturday’s home loss to New England … Minnesota D Patrick Miles, out of Brampton, made his NLL debut and had 2 assists, 6 loose balls and…