The Edmonton Rush selected Mike Burke in the third round of the 2012 NLL draft, 28th overall, as a talented forward from Hofstra University and the Brampton Exclesiors of the OLA.
Burke played in just two games in his rookie season, scoring once. That made his first NLL season considerably less auspicious than that of fellow Rush rookies Mark Matthews (38 G, 31 A, Rookie of the Year Award) and Curtis Knight (19 G, 27 A).
The 2014 season could be the year that Burke changes all that in Edmonton.
Burke had an excellent summer in Brampton, competing with and against many of the players he’ll be up against in the NLL. He was second on the Excelsiors in scoring, with 56 points, even outpacing former NLL MVP Dan Dawson. In fact, his season’s output was good for 12th best in the MSL.
An unfortunate circumstance in the Rush family also opens the door for Burke to step up and have an impact on the offense. Forward Corey Small, who was third on the Rush in scoring last year with 64 points, tore his ACL while playing for the Victoria Shamrocks of the WLA.
With a critical piece of Edmonton’s offense on the shelf for the season, someone with the potential of Burke could very well get the opportunity to step up and show off what he can do. And with a surrounding cast that includes Matthews and Knight as well as Ryan Ward and Zack Greer, Burke could really get a chance to shine.