The Georgia Swarm have announced the team has re-signed defensemen Mitch Belisle and Alex Crepinsek to two-year agreements along with forward Josh Gillam to a one-year contract for the 2016 National Lacrosse League season.
Belisle, 29, recorded five points (3G, 2A) and 66 loose balls in 17 games last season for the Swarm. Known for his energy and veteran leadership both on the floor as well as in the locker room, the Cornell University graduate has been a key component on the Swarm’s defensive unit over the years. In his seven seasons in the NLL with the Swarm, Boston and New York, the 5-foot-10, 195-pound defenseman has totaled 42 points (12G, 30A) and 506 loose balls.
“We’re very happy that Mitch as an unrestricted free agent decided to stay with the Swarm,” Swarm Owner and General Manager John Arlotta said. “He’s a great leader and will be an important anchor to our defense for the next two years in Georgia. He’s a tremendous locker room guy and he is a great example of the character that we want to have in our Swarm players.”
Crepinsek, 26, collected a career-high 71 loose balls to go along with seven points (3G, 4A) during his third NLL season in 2015. The Swarm selected the Oakville, Ontario native in the first-round (No. 10 overall) of the 2012 NLL Draft. Having only missed one contest in three seasons (51 games played), Crepinsek has been a regular fixture on the backend for the Swarm and in that time has tallied 49 forced turnovers.
“We’re excited to have Alex back with us for the next two years,” Arlotta said. “He’s a very dependable shut-down defenseman who is also able to quickly transition the ball up the floor and score some goals for us as well.”
Gillam, 27, missed the 2015 NLL season due to a leg injury, but has been an energetic forward for the Swarm on the left-side, totaling 60 points (21G, 39A) in 28 games from 2012-14. The Dartmouth University product has also collected 98 loose balls in that span and set personal highs in points (28) and goals (13) in 2014. The Swarm acquired the Peterborough, Ontario native in the second-round (No. 18 overall) of the 2010 NLL Draft.
“Josh is coming off an injury and we certainly missed him last year,” Arlotta said. “He’s a lefty offensive player that will fit nicely back into our lineup after a year away from the floor.”