The Minnesota Swarm made a franchise record ten draft picks last night, including four in the first round. Who are they, and what do they bring to the team?
Going into last night's draft, the Minnesota Swarm were already one of the youngest teams in the NLL. After drafting ten new players, four in the first round, the Swarm only made itself younger. Whether or not that is a good thing or not will be determined next season, but the way it shapes up right now, it certainly looks like a winning way to do things. The team made the Western Division Finals last season, and the players added last night look like they could make the Swarm a contender for years to come.
In the first round, the Swarm selected 6' 6" Brock Sorenson, 6' 5" Kiel Matisz, pure goal scorer Shayne Jackson, and added some tenacious D by selecting shut down defender Alex Crepinsek. The team did not select again until the fourth pick of the third round (24th overall), where they selected forward Sam Bradman. In a move that will not shock anyone following the team, they then traded the 33rd & 35th overall picks to the Calgary Roughriders for the 37th and 46th picks in this year's draft, and the Roughriders's third round pick in 2013.
In rounds four and five, the team then drafted trasition player Tyler Tanguay (no word on relation to hockey player Alex), transition player Bryan Campbell (not the same guy who plays for the Chicago Blackhawks), and forward Matt Gibson (of the Yale Gibsons).
The team finished up by making yet another trade, trading their sixth round pick in 2013 for the 49th pick to take defenseman Michael Teeter. Adding in their own sixth round pick, the team closed out their night by taking transition player Chris Cudmore.
Who these guys are can be found over on our Swarm hub, but what they mean to the team is likely more important. The "Twin Towers" of Sorenson and Matisz are going to give nightmares to the teams lining up against the Swarm next season. How do you set your defense in order to stop a power forward like Matisz when you have Sorenson bearing down on you in transition with Andrew Suitor or Jordan MacIntosh (or both), and Ryan Benesch and Callum Crawford sprinting in off the bench?
Oh, and don't forget to cover Jackson, whose left handed shot is going to give the opposition fits. Crawford to Benech to Jackson, Crawford to Jackson to Benesch, Benesch to Jackson to Crawford. All. Day. Long. Find a way to stop them, and Matisz will just plow through and score anyway.
The excitement of the first three picks is going to over shadow the rest of the picks, but the addition of Crepsinek is going to be fun to watch play out. This kid shut down the all time leading scorer in the NLL for an entire game in one on one coverage. That's a ridiculous feat, to be sure, and will have Swarm fans buzzing (see what I did there?).
The rest of the guys will all push for roster spots, abut could end up back on other teams, or playing in other leagues. Don't overlook any of them, however, as the Arlottas, along with coach Joe Sullivan, have a keen eye for talent.
Next season is going to be an interesting one at the Hive, and could be for years to come once these guys start to develop and get some time under their belts. I wouldn't want to be on the Swarm's schedule this season, that's for sure.
Be sure to check out the Swarm hub to get all the details on the Swarm's picks last night, and stay with us as we move toward the NLL season in January.