NLL Free Agent Update: Brodie Merrill Trade the Big News

A few more free agents were locked down in the past week as NLL teams continue to re-sign their players, but the biggest newsmaker was a trade between the Toronto Rock and the unnamed Connecticut franchise that saw transition Brodie Merrill moved to the Rock for two players and three draft picks.

After remaining quiet on the transaction front for almost the entire first month of the free agent period, the team formerly known as the Philadelphia Wings have gotten active, with the Merrill deal being the centerpiece of their moves.

Connecticut sent Merrill, a finalist for this year’s Transition Player of the Year, to the Rock in exchange for Craig England, Mike Burke, a 2014 second-round draft pick, a 2015 first-round pick and a second-round pick in 2016.

Merrill is arguably one of the finest transition players in NLL history and will immediately improve Toronto’s back end. England played in four games for the Rock last year, recording an assists and 13 loose balls while also accumulating 21 minutes in penalties. Burke saw action for the Edmonton Rush in 2013, playing in two games and scoring once.

Connecticut also locked up several players to one-year contracts, signing Ryan Hotaling, Mike Poppleton, Kevin Buchanan, Michael Diehl and Brian Megill. 

Hotaling last played for the Colorado Mammoth in 2013, recording a goal and 23 loosies in five games. Poppleton (one assist in one game), Buchanan (23G, 46 A), Diehl (one assist in five games) and Megill (two assists in six games) all played for the Wings last year.

Elsewhere in the NLL, the Vancouver Stealth signed two players, reaching a one-year agreement with Dane Stevens and giving Tyler Hass a three-year contract. Stevens and Hass were acquired from the Minnesota Swarm on Aug. 13 in exchange for Mike Grimes. Stevens last played for the Rush in 2011 where he scored four goals and added six assists. Hass played in 14 games for the Swarm last year, scoring eight times and adding three assists and 63 loose balls.

The final transaction of the week saw the Calgary Roughnecks re-signing their first pick in last year’s draft, Tor Reinholdt, to a one-year deal. Reinholdt played in nine games in 2014, recording three goals, two assists and 22 loose balls.