The Edmonton Rush and Vancouver Stealth have announced a trade with the Stealth acquiring forward Corey Small from the Rush in exchange for Vancouver’s first-round selections in the 2016 and 2019 NLL Drafts, pending league approval.
“Corey is a player we have had a strong interest in for some time so it’s really exciting to finally get him here,” said Stealth president and general manager Doug Locker. “We believe he’s a natural fit for our offense and provides us with another scoring threat that our opposition has to deal with.”
“Ever since Vancouver came into the league, I’ve always thought it’d be a great place to play,” Small said. “I’ve got a great relationship with a lot of the guys and I can’t wait to be on the floor with them this weekend.”
“He’s an amazing player who will fit in and help the team right away,” said Stealth forward Rhys Duch. “He’s an all-around player with a lot of talent who will do anything to help the team win.”
Small missed all of the 2014 NLL season when he suffered a torn ACL in the off-season. He joins a Vancouver squad that has scored an NLL leading 42 goals this season.
“I feel great,” Small said. “My knee feels back to normal and I feel just as good as I did before the injury.”
“Getting quality lefthanders in this league is hard to do, so when the opportunity presented to acquire a player of his caliber we jumped at it,” Locker said.
Small, who was the Rush’s first-round selection (ninth overall) in the 2009 NLL Draft out of the University at Albany, quickly established himself as one of team’s top offensive threats. In 2011, Small led the Rush in scoring, amassing 63 points (23+40) including a career-high 40 assists.
“A very difficult trade for us to make, Corey was the first player I drafted when I came to Edmonton in 2009,” said Rush general manager and head coach Derek Keenan. “He’s been a very good, committed and passionate player for us from day one and he’s an even better person. I will miss him a lot.”
In 2013, Small set career-highs in goals (28) and points (64), and he ends his tenure with the Rush as one of the club’s all-time leading point-producers. He leaves the Rush with 218 regular-season points, one behind Jimmy Quinlan for second place, as well as fourth in goals (88) and second in assists (127).
Small also left his mark in the Rush record book. Alongside Mark Matthews and Shawn Williams, Small co-holds the team record for points in a single regular-season game with nine. With Ryan Ward, Small co-owns the team record for goals in a single playoff game with five.
After missing all of the 2014 NLL season due to a knee injury, Small returned to the Rush this year, and had notched one goal and three assists in Edmonton’s first two games.
“The Edmonton Rush would like to thank Corey for the outstanding contribution he has made to the team over the past six years,” Keenan added. “The trade gives Corey an opportunity to play closer to his home in Victoria and also the opportunity for our team to get closer to the lineup mix we used last season.”
Following the trade, the Rush have activated forward Tyler Melnyk from practice roster to the 20-man roster. Melnyk was acquired in the 2014 NLL Entry Draft in September. Edmonton was awarded a compensatory pick for losing free agent Ryan Ward prior to the start of the 2014 season, and with the No. 19 pick, the Rush selected the Calgary native Melnyk.