November 1, 2009

Trade Unites Gajics, Sends Prout to Rochester

from press releases

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The Rochester Knighthawks completed a blockbuster trade on Saturday with the Colorado Mammoth, acquiring forwards Gavin Prout, Andrew Potter and two first-round selections in the 2010 Entry Draft. In exchange, Rochester sent the rights of Ilija Gajic and its first-round selection in the 2012 Entry Draft to Colorado.

“It is a very good deal for the Knighthawks,” said Knighthawks Owner and CEO Curt Styres. “We got a couple of draft picks and shored up the right side with Prout. Andrew Potter won the (junior) scoring championship last year and should do very well.”

Prout enters his ninth season in the NLL in 2010. In his career, he has 230 goals and 441 assists in 127 games. The Mammoth's all time leading scorer and team captain since 2005, Prout, 31, spent the past six seasons with Colorado. He was also a First Team All-Pro and the Championship Game MVP in 2006. Additionally, he was a Second Team All-Pro member four times in his career.

Prout was drafted first overall by the New York Saints in the 2001 National Lacrosse League entry draft. As a rookie, Prout was named to the All-Rookie team as a member of the Saints. Since joining the league, Prout has played in seven NLL All-Star Games (2002, & 2004 - 2009). In 2008, Prout led the National Lacrosse League in assists with 67, a career high. The eight-year pro also captured back-to-back MLL championships in 2008 and 2009 with Rochester and Toronto, respectively.

Potter appeared in just one game for the Mammoth in 2009 following his arrival in Colorado via a trade for (the then-retired) Gary Gait. The trade also gives the Knighthawks two first-round draft picks in 2010, while the Mammoth receive Rochester's first-round pick in 2012. Furthermore, Potter led the Ontario Lacrosse Association Junior "A" circuit with 125 points (51+74) in 22 games this summer.

Ilija Gajic, 24, was the second overall pick in this year’s draft and now heads to the Mammoth. He played three seasons of college lacrosse at the University of Denver and is expected to be an immediate impact player in the National Lacrosse League.

*****

DENVER – The Colorado Mammoth today announced a trade that secures the rights to Ilija Gajic, the second-overall pick in this year's NLL Entry Draft as well as a first round draft pick in 2012.  In exchange, the Mammoth send forwards Gavin Prout and Andrew Potter to the Rochester Knighthawks, along with two first round draft picks in 2010.

Gajic, the middle of three brothers set to don Mammoth jerseys in 2010, led the New Westminster Salmonbellies of the Western Lacrosse Association to a spot in the Mann Cup in 2008, registering 51 points in 14 regular-season games played.  The 24-year-old Burnaby, British Columbia native played three seasons of college lacrosse at the University of Denver and is expected to be an immediate impact player in the National Lacrosse League.

“Ilija Gajic is a tremendous talent who will put points on the board for us for years to come," said Steve Govett, the Mammoth's president and general manager.  "We were excited on draft day when we landed two of the top five prospects available with Alex Gajic and Cliff Smith," explained Govett. "Now with Ilija, we have three of the top five players available this year."

Ilija, Nenad and Alex all reside in Denver and will play a significant role in the Mammoth's community relations and fan development efforts.  Ilija's first appearance in a Mammoth uniform comes this Saturday at the team's rookie camp.

"As an organization, the time had come to make some moves that will hopefully solidify our long-term, on-field success.  In the current economic climate, and following a disappointing 2009 season, it’s imperative that we change some of our operating decisions.  Sometimes that means making tough choices.  We have effectively retooled our entire offense."

The Mammoth’s all time leading scorer and team captain since 2005, Gavin Prout spent the past six seasons with Colorado.  The 31-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2010 season and Mammoth management had to make the hard decision of letting their leader go.              

“Gavin Prout has been a cornerstone of this organization for the past six years,” Govett continued.  “He’s been a key to our success on the field and was the captain of our 2006 championship team – what more can I say?  We simply wish him the absolute best.”

Andrew Potter appeared in just one game for the Mammoth in 2009 following his arrival in Colorado via a trade for (the then-retired) Gary Gait.  The trade also gives the Knighthawks two first-round draft picks in 2010, while the Mammoth receive Rochester's first-round pick in 2012.

The Mammoth opens the 2010 regular season on the road against the Washington Stealth on January 9.  The home-opener is one week later as Colorado hosts the Edmonton Rush at Pepsi Center on Saturday, January 16.  2010 Mammoth season tickets are on-sale now.  Single game tickets for the Mammoth go on sale Friday, December 18.


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