It has been rumored that the new NLL CBA might cut rosters from 23 to 20 for 2014. This means 27 current players will be without jobs, along with some drafted players who would have otherwise made it. How does this affect team depth charts?Drafted players are not signed yet, so this just assumes that all of them sign for the sake of this story. The depth charts we use are the ones from SwarmItUp.com since the NLL doesn’t release any official depth charts. We will look team by team of how it affects them.
The Swarm might be most impacted by a roster cut. They have drafted several stud players who will no doubt make an NLL roster. Lefty shooter is currently the biggest weakness on their roster with only three players there; Matt Gibson, Shayne Jackson and Josh Gillam. This opens the door for Logan Schuss, the draft’s top pick, along with Zach Palmer.
With Ryan Benesch gone there is some more room on offense all around. The right handed side has Callum Crawford, Corbyn Tao, Pat Smith and Jay Card. Their drafted right handed shooters include Scott Jones and Cameron Flint. Both first round picks, they should make the team. Does that mean two of their bottom three righty shooters might not be on the team?
Tao scored 23 points last season and has been in the league for two seasons. Smith played in just one game last year with no points and one game the previous year with two points. He is likely one of the ones to go, at least to the practice roster.
Card scored 16 points last season and 34 the season before that. He is someone who they will likely want to keep around. Keep in mind, the current Swarm practice roster holds a third goaltender, Ryan Masters, and defender Mike O’Brien; there is plenty of room there for players they want to experiment with still.
On defense, the Swarm have just one right handed defender in Mitch Belisle. They drafted Jason Noble with the second overall pick, and obvious roster choice, and then Nick Jones out of the University of Minnesota. He is a long shot to make the team, but it has to be kept in mind righty defender is their weakest position. They also have Jordan Houtby and JJ Laforet.
The left handed side sees Jeff Gilbert, Alex Crepisnek, Greg Downing and Dan Ball. Lefties drafted were Dominique Alexander, Jason Noble and Reid Acton. All three of those leftys have a shot at the roster and Noble is pretty much a given. Acton hasn’t played in a while so his best chance would be a good training camp performance.
Andrew Suitor is also returning to the roster along with transition men Jordan MacIntosh, Brock Sorensen, Kiel Matisz, David Earl and Tyler Hass. To cut three of these guys off the roster will be a tough move, but that’s what training camp is for.