A quartet of rookies part of Rush lineup

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 12:21 PM ET

For all the improvements the Edmonton Rush made for the upcoming season, the team was also looking toward the future.

Four Rush players are making their National Lacrosse League debut as the 2010 season got underway on the road this weekend, which wound up last night with the Rush traveling to Denver to take on the Colorado Mammoth.

Rookies Scott Tinning, Steven Dane and Corey Small join the Rush roster on offence this season while Brett Mydske comes in on transition.

"I like Scott Tinning, I get to play with him on the right side," veteran forward Gavin Prout said of the six-foot-one, 193-pounder from Kitchener, Ont. "He's a bigger body, he plays with a lot of energy.

"I can only speak from that side because I play with rookies from that side, but he brings a lot of passion to our game, some size to our offence and he makes a lot of room for us playmakers a little bit when you've got a big body out there."

Entering his ninth season in the league, Prout has seen his share of fresh faces to the league and said he is excited to see what the Rush's new recruits can do.

"Mydske, he's a great pressure defender," Prout said. "He can get out there, he's a big body as well, tough to beat because he's lanky. He's got a pretty long reach."

As he should, for someone who is six-foot-four, 205 pounds.

Mydske hails from New Westminster, B.C.

"Corey Small and Dane Stevens are both lefties," Prout said of the two new forwards who are on opposite ends of the size spectrum.

Stevens, from Westham Island, B.C., tips in at six-foot-four, 215 pounds, while Small, out of St. Catharines, Ont., stands five-foot-nine, 180 pounds.

"Dane, obviously, is a little bit larger than Corey, but Corey can shoot the lights out," Prout said of the Rush's top draft pick in the off-season. "He's got a great outside shot and he's very crafty inside.

"Dane has his size, obviously. They're all great additions to this team, I think. They're all going to contribute at any given time in this league and on this team, particularly. When they get their shot, they'll be ready to go."

Last night's second of a back-to-back trip was Prout's first game back in Denver, where he became the Mammoth's all-time leading scorer before joining the Rush in the off-season.

Prout helped Colorado to the 2006 NLL Champion's Cup where he was named MVP of the final.

The Rush's next game is their home-opener, slated for 7 p.m. next Saturday against the Buffalo Bandits at Rexall Place.

GERRY.MODDEJONGE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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