Rush lose Dupont, Heavenor

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

A year ago, the Edmonton Rush got to pick over the rosters of National Lacrosse League teams.

This year, they were exposed in an NLL expansion draft.

Yesterday, the Rush lost forward Tyler Heavenor and Kyle Dupont to the New York and Chicago expansion franchises respectively.

Dupont was selected by the Chicago Shamrox with the 21st pick in the draft, while New York, as yet unnamed, took Heavenor with the 22nd and final pick of the draft.

"We knew that we were going to lose two players and Tyler, who, out of our rookies, played the most last year," said Rush head coach and general manager Paul Day.

"You know you are going to lose a player, so it's tough for us, but he may get an opportunity to play a little more this year in New York, which is good for him."

PLAYED IN 8 GAMES

Heavenor played in eight games for the Rush last season. Dupont did not play in Edmonton at all.

"We picked him in the last round last year," Day said. "He was a 20-year-old last year, he went into the draft early. He's still playing junior lacrosse in Ontario. He's having a good summer, and he was a guy that we were really looking at for the future in the next couple of years."

The Rush were able to protect up to 14 players for the expansion draft. Once they lost Dupont, the Rush were able to place Darren Hillier on their protected list. No team was allowed to lose more than two players from their active roster in the draft.

"It's difficult, because you don't know what they're going to take," Day said. "You only have one opportunity to bring one guy back and we brought back Darren Hillier because he played very well for us last year.

'AN EDMONTON GUY'

"He's an Edmonton guy and he was a guy that we were concerned may get picked by New York or Chicago and possibly get traded. We're pretty happy to get Hillier back because he was a pretty big part of our defence. But it was a little bit nerve-racking."

The new expansion franchises in New York and Chicago bring the number of teams in the NLL to 13.

"I think with the new TV network in the U.S., those are two huge markets to have in New York and Chicago," Day said.

"I've been in the league for 13 or 14 years and those are two markets that you always looked at and said people would love the game in those two markets.

"I think that's exactly what we needed in this league to move forward and I think it would be great for us in the West to get a team like L.A. or something in the future."


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