So, how about Howard?

SCOTT ZERR -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:14 AM ET

It shouldn't come as any big surprise if the Edmonton Rush are able to grab Kevin Howard in today's National Lacrosse League expansion draft.

Not just because he's the only local player available to scoop up, but Howard is the kind of talent a first-year team should try to land. A former 30-goal scorer, Howard was but a spare part when he moved from Ottawa to Calgary yet the skills haven't deserted him, which make the Rush more than interested in his services.

"He's got a very good track record and he can play at this level," said A.J. Jomha, the Rush's director of lacrosse operations.

The Rush will get the second pick in each of the nine rounds as they square off against the Portland Lumberjax for the best of the players made available by the other NLL teams.

The draft could also start the ball rolling on a handful of trades in the works between several teams - the Rush included, although their prime target, Toronto forward and Sherwood Park product Jimmy Quinlan, remains a tough commodity to nab.

"We've gotten nowhere," admitted Jomha. "Every team tries to get its local players back because its financially advantageous, but the other teams also put a premium on that. We've love to have Jimmy but only if it makes sense for us on the floor.

"We won't make that deal just because he's local."

389 POINTS

Cory Bomberry of the Arizona Sting, who has notched 389 points in 99 games, would make another attractive draft pick, as would San Jose goalie Rob Blasdell, the top stopper in the league three years ago.

Edmonton could make a stab at a couple of the NLL's most experienced players in Calgary forward Ted Dowling and Colorado's rugged rearguard Pat Coyle.

Dowling came out of retirement last season to aid the Roughnecks' playoff run while Coyle remains one of the league's most intimidating forces.

"There are a lot of people we consider to be in the mix,"said Jomha. "We're trying to weigh whether it's advantageous or not to have those older players here for a short period of time.

"Dowling is a heck of a player and he's on our radar, but there are a lot of young players who've been left unprotected that we think have a lot of potential.

MAMMOTH PLAYERS

Doyle is definitely of interest to the Rush but if another Mammoth player is grabbed early on, Doyle is a lock to be placed back on Colorado's protected list.

Each existing team can only lose two players and after one is selected, the clubs move an unprotected back to their secure list.


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