Rush re-sign top players

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:09 AM ET

EDMONTON - So far this off-season, it’s been in with the new for the Edmonton Rush.

But on Wednesday, the NLL club made it in with the old, too, re-signing a host of returning players —including 2011 top scorer Corey Small and top defender Brett Mydske.

But the most veteran of signatures bore the name of Jimmy Quinlan.

The last remaining original member of the 2006 franchise year, Quinlan is the Rush’s all-time leader in scoring and games played.

“Both Corey and Jimmy are two of our key players heading into a very important season,” said head coach and general manager Derek Keenan. “We have a number of new faces coming in but to have both of these guys back is critical to achieving our goals for the 2012 season.”

Mydske, 23, is coming off an all-star NLL season as well as bringing home gold from the World Indoor Lacrosse championships in Prague, Czech Republic.

The six-foot-four, 205-pound Limestone College product will be back in Rush Silver and Black for the next three seasons.

“Brett is a big part of the Edmonton Rush foundation so signing him to a long term deal is very important to the future of the franchise. He is a top young defender in the NLL and will only get better,” said Keenan. “Every game, he is responsible for checking the league’s best offensive players and he consistently limits production.”

Small, out of St. Catharines, Ont., led the Rush’s offensive charge last year, finishing with 23 goals and 40 assists for 63 points and 58 loose balls.

He was the Rush’s first-round draft pick (ninth overall) in 2009, and has a long way to go to reach Quinlan’s numbers.

Growing up in Sherwood Park, Quinlan has played 103 regular-season games for Edmonton, missing only one game in the club’s six-year history. Quinlan stands atop the all-time Rush scoring list with 101 goals and 112 assists for 213 points.

A three-time 20-goal scorer, Quinlan has moved to more of a transition game in the past two seasons, which has resulted in him collecting 167 loose balls.

In 2011, Quinlan collected six goals and five assists for 11 points plus 74 loose balls and six forced turnovers. Quinlan’s best offensive season came in 2007 when he set career-highs in goals (23), assists (32) and points (55). The Rush also signed Alex Turner and Brodie MacDonald, two of the players involved in the trade that sent Brodie Merrill to Philadelphia in the summer.

Turner is coming off his best season in the NLL as he registered 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points last season with the Wings. MacDonald, one of the NLL’s brightest goaltending prospects, was selected 19th overall by Philadelphia in the 2010 draft.

Five other returning players have also signed new contracts for the upcoming season — Tyler Codron, Dane Stevens, John Lintz, Eric Lewthwaite and Jesse Fehr.

A Rush pick from the 2010 draft, Lewthwaite missed all of last season due to a torn ACL, while Fehr — Edmonton’s lone selection from 2011, who played field lacrosse with both Harvard and Duke — was recently named the technical director for the Alberta Lacrosse Association.

The Rush open the 2012 season Jan. 20 at Rexall Place against the Colorado Mammoth. NLL commissioner George Daniel is scheduled to visit Edmonton on Nov. 14-15.


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