Minnesota Trades for No. 3 Pick in Blazers' Dispersal Draft
from press releases
The National Lacrosse League's Minnesota Swarm Wednesday acquired the third overall selection in Friday's dispersal draft of Boston Blazers players in a trade with the Colorado Mammoth in exchange for forward Sean Pollock and defenders Jon Sullivan and Rory Smith.
Minnesota now holds both the third and fourth overall selections in the first round of the dispersal draft, which will take place on Friday at 12 p.m. CT. Players available in this dispersal draft include Dan Dawson, Casey Powell, Anthony Cosmo and Kyle Rubisch.
Swarm owner and president John Arlotta provided perspective on the trade and stated, "Having the third and fourth picks in this dispersal draft with the quality of players that are available is very exciting. Although we have given up a lot in this trade, we have positioned ourselves well in this dispersal draft to accomplish the next phase of our plan, which is to build the Swarm into a contender in the NLL not only next year but for many years to come."
Arlotta continued, "It was tough to part ways with these players. Jon and Sean have been integral parts of this franchise for the past seven years. Sean has not only been a fierce competitor, but living in the community he has also played a role in helping lacrosse grow in Minnesota. Jon was as steady and dependable a player as you can get, and I can't remember him missing a game in the three years that I have owned the team.
"It was also very tough to give up Rory Smith since he is not only the toughest player in the league, but he has now developed into one of the best defensive players in the NLL as well. I'd like to thank all these players for their contributions to the Swarm's success."
Sullivan, 29, recorded nine assists and collected 60 loose balls in 16 games with Minnesota in 2011. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound defenseman spent his first seven seasons (2005-11) in the NLL with the Swarm and registered 50 points (11g, 39a), and 385 loose balls in 104 games. The Swarm acquired the St. Catharines, Ontario native as a free agent in 2004.
Smith, 24, collected 60 loose balls and dished out two assists in 15 games with Minnesota in 2011. Smith joined the Swarm after being selected fourth overall in the 2010 dispersal draft of Orlando Titans players. In four seasons with Minnesota, Orlando and New York, the 6-foot, 200-pound defenseman has posted four points (4a) and 154 loose balls in 54 career games.
"Our stingy defense just got even better," said Colorado Mammoth president and general manager Steve Govett. "Rory and Jon are two of the premier defenders in the NLL."
Smith, a four-year veteran, should transform a defensive unit.
"He brings a level of toughness to this franchise that we've lacked recently," continued Govett. "This move should send a message to the rest of the league."
Smith and Sullivan led Team Canada to the gold medal at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships in May.
"Jon is a shutdown defender," said Govett. "If you talk to people around the NLL, they will say that Jon's a top-five defenseman who doesn't get beat and doesn't spend much time in the penalty box."
The 29-year-old committed just four penalties in 16 games in 2011.
Pollock, meanwhile, had been a constant in the Swarm line-up since the team's inception in the NLL in 2005. In seven seasons in Minnesota, the Wallaceburg, Onatrio native missed just seven total games while accumulating 331 career points and 374 loose balls. In 2009, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward led the Swarm with 65 points (26g, 39a). Minnesota selected Pollock in the 2004 NLL Expansion Draft after he spent his first season in the NLL with the Arizona Sting in 2004.
"Sean is a gritty offensive player who works extremely hard for his teammates," explained Govett. "Given the players we have on our team right now, we needed a player like Sean."
As for the dispersal draft pick Colorado traded to acquire these three players?
"While the Blazers' roster was an impressive collection of talent, it was heavily laden with Eastern-based players who would have found it difficult to play out West," said Govett.
The Mammoth still holds the rights to the 12th, 21st and 30th overall selections in Friday's draft.
Mammoth Sign Holding
The Colorado Mammoth announced another transaction Wednesday. The team signed free agent forward Cameron Holding to a one-year deal. Holding was Edmonton's 4th-round selection in the 2010 NLL Entry Draft.
The 6-foot left-hander finished his college career with Grand Valley State University in record-setting fashion, leading the nation in goals scored (120) and points (155). No other player recorded more than 74 tallies. A first-team All-America selection in 2011, Holding scored 10 or more goals four times as a senior.
The Ontario native played Jr. A lacrosse for the Whitby Warriors in 2009 and 2010.