Rock goes with defence

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

Jeff Summerfield can save his frequent-flyer miles for non-lacrosse travel.

In a move that delighted the Brampton Excelsiors junior-A defender, the Toronto Rock selected the Scarborough native with its first pick (second round, 16th overall) in the National Lacrosse League entry draft last night.

"It couldn't be better," said the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Summerfield, 21, who has attended quite a few Rock games at the Air Canada Centre. "I'm tremendously excited."

So was the Rock when Summerfield, the Ontario junior-A defender of the year this past season, remained on the board at No. 16 in a draft that was conducted by conference call.

Defence always has come first for the Rock and general manager/coach Terry Sanderson wasted no time picking the former Niagara Falls junior-B hockey player.

"We've watched him extensively and we think there is an upside," Sanderson said of Summerfield, who is doing a Niagara College business co-op course at Royal Bank. "We know he was rated lower, but we like his size and his character."

As expected, the Buffalo Bandits used the first overall pick to snap up Six Nations forward Delby Powless.

Summerfield, who will attend a drafted players/free agent camp Nov. 5-7 in Six Nations, knows he's anything but a shoo-in to crack the loaded Rock roster and he's cool with that.

"I know jumping in will be tough," he said. "I've got to earn my way into the lineup. I'm just another guy at camp."

The Rock used its second pick (22nd overall) to snap up St. Catharines junior-B leading scorer Andrew Burkholder, who is playing semi-pro hockey in the United States and hasn't committed to playing lacrosse this season.

Meanwhile, Sanderson said he is close to re-signing free-agents Glenn Clark and Chris Driscoll. Training camp starts Nov. 13 in Six Nations and the Rock is expected to play up to three exhibition games, including one in Prince George against the Vancouver Ravens.

There were several big trades in the NLL yesterday. The biggest saw the Minnesota Swarm ship former Ken Millin and Mike Accursi to the Rochester Knighthawks for four players, including star forward Derek Malawsky.

The expansion Swarm also acquired goalie Matt Disher and defender Ted Jenner from the Anaheim Storm for goalie Matt King, defenders Cam Bergman and Rory Graham and forward Shawn Cable.

The Rock opens the 2005 season Jan. 7 in Buffalo.

NO RADIO?

Sources say the Fan 590 AM, the radio home of the Rock since its inception in 1999, will not be broadcasting the team's games this season.


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