Rush loads up on offence

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:27 AM ET

The Edmonton Rush have loaded up offensively for the upcoming National Lacrosse League season.

Last night the Rush took seven players in the NLL draft, and a number of them have an impressive ability to put the ball in the net.

"We went in with a focus to upgrade our offence, because that's where our need was," said Rush head coach and general manager Derek Keenan. "I really think we did that.

"We tried to make a couple of trades to try and get established players, but it just didn't work out. But we were happy with how we proceeded with the draft."

The Rush selected forward Corey Small from the University of Albany with their first pick -- ninth overall.

"He's a really skilled, extremely fast offensive kid," Keenan said. "He's a four-year college guy and he's played a couple of years of senior lacrosse in Ontario. We moved up a couple of spots by trading Rich Morgan to get him.

"We were real happy to get him."

Morgan, who the Rush had selected from Portland earlier this year in the dispersal draft, was traded to the Minnesota Swarm for the ninth overall pick. With their original first-round pick -- 12th overall -- the Rush selected Scott Tinning from Brampton.

They then took Dane Stevens from Brampton with their first pick in the second round -- 14th overall.

"Our first three picks were offensive guys," Keenan said. "We were real surprised Tinning was still there at 12. We were happy to get him. He's a big, right-handed, athletic guy.

"He's a good scorer, while Dane Stevens is a big guy, about six-foot-four, 215-lb, so he has some size and some skill. We're really happy because we upgraded our offence with our first three picks."

In the third round, the Rush took Brett Mydske of New Westminster, then rounded out the draft by selecting Geoff McNulty and Sean Lapatynski in the fifth round, and Craig Zeeh in the sixth.

"Mydske is another guy from B.C. that is highly regarded," Keenan said. "He's a defensive, transition guy, who is highly regarded. We were pretty happy to be able to get him that late. We're pleased with that pick as well."

This year's draft consisted of six rounds.

According to Keenan, it was one of the deepest drafts in recent history.

"The first probably 16 to 18 picks was probably the best draft we've ever had, so it was a really good draft," Keenan said. "I was happy to jump up and have three selections among the first 14 picks."

Heading into the season, which gets underway in January, Keenan is happy with the group he currently has.

"If I was in a position to get another established offensive player, I would," he said. "But if I can't, I'm really happy with our team."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA

RUSH PICKS

The Edmonton Rush's selections in last night's National Lacrosse League Entry Draft. See Page 22 for more:

9. Corey Small, University of Albany

12. Scott Tinning, Brampton, Ont.

14. Dane Stevens, Brampton, Ont.

25. Brett Mydske, New Westminster, B.C.

42. Geoff McNulty, St. Catharines, Ont.

48. Sean Lapatynski, Edmonton

52. Craig Zeeh, Kitchener, Ont.


Videos

Photos