Two seasons ago the Edmonton Rush came within a half of winning the Champions Cup. Last season the Rush go 7-1 on the road, but only 2-6 at home, placing them in a three way tie for the West. They were given third (due to tiebreakers) and were eliminated in round one by the Stealth 12-11. So we ask, what are the Rush coming to camp with and what is there depth?
First the bad news, Corey Small suffered a knee injury during the WLA Championships and will be gone for the entire 2014 season. There is a chance he could return by the end of the season. So the Rush need to replace 28 goals 36 assists (3rd on team). The Rush made a trade at the draft sending there number four selection to Minnesota for Nik Bilic and the number five pick. That selection was Robert Church from DrexelUniversity. Church played 9 games this summer with the WLA Burnaby Lakers and registered 12G/21A, and he also led the Lakers in playoff scoring with 13 pts.
Riley Loewen from LimestonCollege put up 90 points in his final season there and was selected in round two and played his summer with the WLA Maple Ridge Burrards and registered 23G/14A. So there is no doubt the Rush will be looking for Church and Loewen to fill the shoes of Corey Small.
Adrian Sorichetti Hofstra also drafted in round two will be fighting for a spot and playing time.
Ben Snider Delta BC was the final selection and will add some much needed “grit” to the team.
Add in returning players, Ryan Ward, 2013 R.O.Y. Mark Matthews, Zack Greer, Jarrett Davis, and Curtis Knight. That’s 122 goals of the 203 (3rd highest) they registered and you have a an offense that can score a ton.
On defense Brett Mydske, Jarrett Toll, Kyle Rubisch, John Lintz will anchor the defense. IN the third round the Rush drafted Reid Mydske. Reid was the top defender in 2012 BC junior league, and has the skills to be one of the best defenders in the NLL.
The goaltending is just as strong with Aaron Bold (10.56 GAA) and Brodie MacDonald (8.03 GAA) between the pipes. Bold was 8-5 last season while MacDonald went 1-2.
This season we will have 18 games, so we shall see how this young rush team holds together. Overall I expect the Rush to once again contend for the Western title, and have a chance to return to the Champions Cup
And here is one more thing to think about…
There is a rumor that the new NLL CBA wants to cut the rosters from 23 to 20 for the 2014 season, along with a possible new playoff format. If this happens, 3 Rush players may be finding new homes or not in the league at all