The final pick of the 2012 NLL Entry Draft belonged to (who else?) the Minnesota Swarm. After drafting three guys who seem to be more comfortable moving the ball up the field and scoring goals, the Swarm made a move to shore up the defensive side of the ball as well, taking Alex Crepinsek out of the MSL. Crepinsek is a stay at home style d-man with a strong one-on-one game.
The Swarm need a little help on D after Rich Morgan left for Colorado this summer, and they certainly seem to have found it in Crepinsek. The Hospitality and Management major at RIT is familiar with Swarm slayer John Grant, Jr, having shur Grant, Jr. down for an entire game in the MSL last season, putting Crepinsek on the radar of everyone in the NLL. To be sure, there is not a Swarm fan to be found that will complain if Crepinsek would hold Grant, Jr without a point this season against the Swarm.
From Stephen Stamp at ILIndoor:
Watching him D up on Grant was impressive. Crepinsek realized he had to get out the star sniper, limiting his time and space to shoot, so he played an aggressive match-up game. Given Grant's combination of strength and skill, along with his astonishing passing ability, the defender had to be wary of lunging while establishing contact while working to keep his stick on Grant's hands. It's a tall order and one that almost no one is able to pull off.
Grant may have been having an off night shooting, but you have to give a sizable chunk of the credit for that to the man covering him. No one will expect Crepinsek to be able to shut down top offensive threats every night in the NLL. His marquee night in MSL, though, suggests he has the potential to be a reliable contributor to a pro defence and that he's ready to make the jump.
That should sound like angels singing to everyone who has ever watched the Colorado star pick the Swarm apart.
Crepinsek was also a teammate of current Swarm star-in-the-making Jordan MacIntosh, which will only help Crepinsek's chances with the Swarm. As exciting as the first three picks were for the Swarm, the selection of Crepinsek should be just as exciting for those paying attention. A goal stopped is as good as a goal scored.
It will be interesting to see how fans react to this pick, but after a little time, they'll learn to love him. As they always do.