GM says trade Rocks

WES GILBERTSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:15 AM ET

The Calgary Roughnecks made their draft-day splash a bit early.

The Riggers landed talented righty Craig Conn yesterday in a swap with the Toronto Rock, surrendering a first-round pick in today's National Lacrosse League draft and a sixth-rounder next fall.

As part of the deal, they also acquired Toronto's second-round selection in 2010.

Roughnecks GM Brad Banister referred to Conn as a "marquee player" and "one of the premier goal-scorers in the league."

That's a lofty billing, but Conn boasts an impressive resume to back it up.

Before tearing the patellar tendon and three ligaments in his right knee two years ago, he was considered one of the NLL's brightest young stars.

The St. Catharines, Ont., product had an offensive breakthrough in 2006, when he lit the lamp 44 times and registered 23 assists in 15 regular-season outings with the Arizona Sting, then added a dozen goals and seven assists in three playoff tilts.

The Riggers are gambling he can find his old form.

Fresh off a year-long rehab stint, Conn notched 14 goals and 18 assists in 11 contests with the Rock last season.

The 25-year-old will fill a void on the Roughnecks offence created by the retirement of Curt Malawsky, who hung up his stick to become an assistant coach.

"He's a real offensive talent," Banister said. "This fills a hole on the right-hand side that we needed to fill. Now, we have as lethal of an offensive guy as we lost."

In 63 career games, Conn has registered 124 goals and 142 assists and scooped up 314 loose balls.

He joins a star-studded attack that also features Tracey Kelusky, Kaleb Toth, Josh Sanderson, Dane Dobbie and Scott Ranger.

WES.GILBERTSON@SUNMEDIA.CA


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