With the National Lacrosse League season set to get underway this weekend, NLL teams released their 21-man rosters on Monday. Head coach Curt Malawsky and assistant coaches Bob McMahon and Brian Beisel had only a month of training camp to sort through two years’ worth of draft picks, trades and free agents. Competition was fierce as there were a number of open roster spots to be filled on both sides of the ball and in the end seven rookies were selected to the starting lineup.
Kyle Waters (R)
Tanner Cook (R)
The biggest story during the offseason was the loss of all-time Roughnecks leading scorer and team captain Dane Dobbie. Despite the loss, Roughnecks fans can look forward to Jesse King having a monster season on the left side. Speaking of monsters, the additions of rookies Kyle Waters and Tanner Cook add significant size up front. Of course, the face of the Calgary offense will be Curtis Dickson. The 10-year vet has played his entire career for the Riggers and amassed a total of 763 regular season points.
This group is young and big. Expect some early inconsistencies as it often takes time for an offensive unit to build chemistry.
Andrew Mullen (R)
Carter McKenzie (R)
Ethan Ticehurst (R)
Harrison Matsuoka (R)
The core of this group is essentially the unit that won the NLL Championship in 2019. Zach Currier, Mitch Wilde, Eli Salama, Reece Callies and Shane Simpson are thoroughbreds that ooze athleticism. Veteran defender Curtis Manning and new defensive coordinator Brian Beisel will have to do some on-the-job training with the four new rookies making their NLL debuts.
The Riggers defense is explosive and can affect ball games with their speed. The faster the rookies can pick up the pro game, the more successful this group will be.
Christian Del Bianco
Landon Kells (R)
Perhaps more than any other season, Christian Del Bianco will be counted on to anchor this Roughneck team. Delbs will likely need to steal some games to give his team a chance for the playoffs. Rookie Landon Kells out of Fergus, Ontario will serve back-up duties.
Calgary traded Ryan Martel to Vancouver for Lyndon Bunio. Bunio is an athletic lefty that plays the game at a high speed. A slippery playmaker who should excel at that role once given the opportunity.
Tyler Pace still hasn’t been cleared to play games in the U.S.
Greg Harnett has signed with the Roughnecks, but due to work commitments his status with the team remains unknown at this time.
Tyler Burton and Zach Herreweyers both suffered injuries in training camp and their status has not been updated at this time.
Cole Pickup (R)
Adam Bland (R)