Check out the NLL Rookie Report by Bob Chavez on IL Indoor to check in on the progress of first-year players around the National Lacrosse League. After a busy Week 4, there were plenty of young difference makers looking to earn their keep including Ben McIntosh, the first overall pick from the 2014 NLL Draft, along the Minnesota Swarm’s Miles Thompson and many more.
“It’s getting the point where Miles is just being Miles,” Chavez writes. “He didn’t have a hat trick for the first time this season, but he still had a big impact for the Minnesota Swarm. He scored a career-best 7 points on 2 goals and 5 assists to lead the way in the Swarm’s big road win and while he’s getting plenty of love, Miles Thompson is not the only rook making waves out of the front door. Edmonton’s Ben McIntosh is giving the Rush exactly what they wanted when they drafted him. So after 4 weeks, let’s take a look at what the top rookies of the National Lacrosse League are up to.”
1. Miles Thompson (Minnesota): The right-handed forward out of Onondaga Nation scored 2 goals and assisted on 5 others in Saturday’s road win over New England. He scored both of his goals on the power play in the first half as the Swarm built a 10-8 lead, then had 3 of his assists in the second half to help the Swarm outscore the Black Wolves 9-5 over the final 2 quarters. With 15 points (8 goals, 7 assists) through 3 games, he’s easily living up to expectations as the team’s first pick in September’s draft.
2. Ben McIntosh (Edmonton): The right-handed forward out of Port Coquitlam had 2 goals and 5 assists for a career-best 7 points in Saturday’s road win over Calgary. He had 3 of his assists in the third quarter and his second goal came in the fourth to help the Rush pull away from an 8-6 halftime lead. He’s been as-advertised for the Rush and you can even make the case that he’s surpassing expectations. He was expected to take his time and learn the ropes and depth to the right side, but the injury to Curtis Knight pressed McIntosh into more immediate action and he’s responded.
3. Eli McLaughlin (Colorado): The left-handed forward out of Surrey, B.C., scored 2 goals and assisted on another to help Colorado remain unbeaten with Saturday’s home win over Vancouver. He’s got 4 goals this season and is providing the scoring depth any team needs to help take the pressure off the front line.
4. Robert Hope (Colorado): The left-handed defenseman out of Peterborough scored his first 2 NLL assists in Saturday’s home win over Vancouver. He also scooped 8 loose balls, forced 2 turnovers and was solid in his defensive role that held the Vancouver offense to 9 goals.
5. Jerome Thompson (Buffalo): The left-handed forward out of Nedrow, N.Y., was a healthy scratch for Buffalo’s road loss on Friday against Toronto.
6. Quinn Powless (New England): The right-handed forward out of Ohsweken had 1 assist and scooped 4 loose balls in Saturday’s home loss to Minnesota.