The Colorado Mammoth and Saskatchewan Rush have announced a trade with the Mammoth acquiring forward Zack Greer and Saskatchewan’s first-round (9th overall) selection in the 2016 NLL Draft from the Rush in exchange for forward Adam Jones and Colorado’s second-round selection in 2017, pending league approval.
Greer and Jones are in an elite group of just six players to score 40-plus goals in each of the past two seasons. They are the only players in NLL history to score six goals in a quarter, with both having done so earlier this year. The Mammoth acquisition, whose 42 goals in 2016 tied with Jones for seventh-most in the NLL, led the Rush in scoring.
“Zack is a very special player who is truly one of the best in the game,” said Mammoth president & general manager Steve Govett. “We welcome him to Colorado with great expectations, and we’re excited to get back into the first round to bring even more talent to our roster.”
Prior to the trade, the Mammoth did not have a selection until the fourth round of next Monday’s draft.
“It breaks my heart,” said Govett, of trading Jones. “He was nothing short of sensational for our team for five seasons. Adam will always be one of my all-time favorites. I wish him all the best with the Rush.”
Only one player in the NLL (Buffalo’s Dhane Smith) among those to score more than 40 goals in 2016 had a better shooting percentage than Greer. The third-overall pick in the 2009 NLL Entry Draft, Greer has scored 199 goals in his seven-year career. He’s won gold medals with Team Canada in field and box world championship competitions in each of the last two years. And he won the NLL Champion’s Cup with the Rush in 2015 and 2016.
“Zack’s a winner!” added Govett. “Bringing in a player of his caliber who has a winning pedigree puts us in a great position for the future.”
In Jones, the Rush land one of the NLL’s top offensive talents, who set career-highs with 51 goals, 42 assists and 93 points during the 2015 season. He became just the fourth player in Mammoth history to reach the 50-goal plateau, and his 93 points put him tied for eighth in league scoring. Despite missing four games last season, Jones still struck for 42 goals, six of those coming in the fourth quarter of a wild comeback victory over Vancouver.
“Adam is an outstanding player who will be an excellent catalyst for our offence,” said Rush GM/head coach Derek Keenan. “It is not easy trading a player with the skills and character of Zack Greer, but he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2017 season and we have to mindful of the future. Adam is three years younger. He has already proven to be an elite offensive talent in the NLL and there is even more upside to come.”
Greer spent the past six seasons with the Rush and is coming off his second consecutive 40-goal campaign. He will be fondly remembered by the Rush fans for his seven-goal game against Calgary as well as several key goals during the Rush’s run to a second straight Champion’s Cup.
“Zack was an electrifying player for the Rush and a first-class person,” said Rush owner/governor Bruce Urban. “The fans and the entire organization offer a tremendous thank you and heartfelt best wishes to Zack.
“While we say good-bye to Zack, we want to enthusiastically welcome Adam Jones to the Rush and to Saskatchewan. Adam is a thrilling player to watch and we expect he will become even more dynamic playing alongside his new teammates with the Rush.”
Jones has some familiarity with a number of Rush players and coach Keenan. He played with Kyle Rubisch and Mark Matthews on Canada’s gold medal-winning entry at the 2014 World Field Lacrosse Championship, and played for Keenan along with Rubisch, Matthews, Chris Corbeil, Brett Mydske, Ryan Dilks, and Aaron Bold on Team Canada which won its third straight World Indoor Lacrosse Championship in 2015.
Like Greer in 2009, Jones was a third overall pick in the NLL Entry Draft, and he immediately showcased his offensive flair during his first pro season in 2012. He was named the NLL’s Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Rookie Team as he scored 29 goals and added 47 assists for 76 points. The Owen Sound, Ontario, product was named to the NLL All-Pro Second Team in both 2014 and 2015, and through 75 career regular-season games, he has registered 194 goals and 180 assists for 374 points. He has twice scored seven goals in a game including one against the Rush in 2014.
Prior to turning pro, Jones won two Minto Cup championships with Orangeville (Ontario) and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player in 2009. He was also named Tournament MVP at the 2008 World U-19 Field Lacrosse Championship. Jones went on to play in the NCAA for Canisius College and earned All-American honours in his freshman season.