The second Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) trade of 2014 took place Wednesday as the Brampton Excelsiors traded transition player Ethan O’Connor to the Oakville Rock for goaltender Tye Belanger.
O’Connor leaves a struggling Brampton squad to join the only team to finish behind them in the standings. With only two regular season wins the Rock finished dead last and their mere 140 goals for was the worst in the league.
Last summer O’Connor notched nine goals and seven assists in 18 regular season games with Brampton and was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.
His solid play gave the Toronto Rock enough confidence to select him ninth overall in the 2013 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft. O’Connor’s stellar play in training camp impressed the Rock enough to sign him to their 20-man roster. He has a goal and two assists in three games so far this season with Toronto.
Belanger heads to a storied Excelsiors team who have gone downhill after losing their core group of players two seasons ago who failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 30 years last summer. Goaltending was an issue for Brampton in 2013 as they allowed the most goals against in the league with 219.
He is currently playing in the NLL with the Colorado Mammoth but has had a rough start to season. Four games in he has already allowed 32 goals against in 77 minutes played; that’s a goal every two and half minutes.
A major bonus for Belanger going to the Brampton is the chance for the youngster to work under the tutelage of veteran starter Anthony Cosmo whose stellar career in the MSL is slowly winding down.
Overall this is an equal trade but more moves will need to be made if either of these basement dwelling teams want to climb out of the cellar. In Lacrosse We Trust will be keeping a close eye on the MSL in the next few days as several more moves could be made before the entry draft this weekend.