NLL Rookie Report – Week 10
Week 10 of the NLL season saw all nine NLL teams in action, but more importantly to the Rookie Report, Week 10 saw the debut of highly touted 2nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, Jeremy Noble. Noble did not disappoint, as he racked up seven points in his debut, showing everyone what the hype was all about. The Edmonton Rush also had a rookie make his long awaited NLL debut this past weekend, as Tyler Melnyk saw his first NLL action, and like Noble, Melnyk did not disappoint as he recorded 4 goals & 1 assist for 5 points in his first NLL action. An not to be outdone, Minnesota Swarm rookie Patrick Miles made his debut this past weekend, immediately making an impact for the Swarm. Overall many rookies had impressive performances this past weekend, as 1st overall pick Ben McIntosh kept up his torrid pace with another 5 point weekend, while Black Wolves lefty Mark Cockerton exploded for his first five point game of his NLL career, and finally Miles Thompson, the most hyped rookie around the league, quietly picked up eight points over the course of two games. This coming week, eight of the nine NLL teams are in action, so we are sure to see more impressive action from NLL rookies.
1. Jeremy Noble (O) – Colorado Mammoth
Noble made his long awaited NLL debut this past Sunday, and what a debut it was, as Noble racked up 2 goals & 5 assists for 7 points to lead the Mammoth offensively. Noble’s impact was felt all over the floor, as the diminutive rookie from Orangeville, Ontario also scooped a game high 10 loose balls in the Mammoth’s 12-8 win over Minnesota. As far as NLL debuts go, Noble had the best one of NLL rookie this season, and it will be a tough act to follow. However if there’s one rookie capable of consistently producing these type of numbers, Noble will be the one to do it.
2. Ben McIntosh (O) – Edmonton Rush
Only a Mammoth 7 point performance from Jeremy Noble could knock Ben McIntosh from the top spot in our weekly rookie report, however McIntosh by know means let his play slip this past weekend, if anything he had one of his better games of the season for the Rush. McIntosh potted 2 goals & 3 assists for 5 points, and scooped 4 loose balls in Edmonton’s 19-7 dismantling of the Vancouver Stealth. McIntosh now sits with 41 points in just 9 games, leading all rookies in scoring.
3. Miles Thompson (O) – Minnesota Swarm
Thompson and the struggling Minnesota Swarm had two games this past weekend, and Thompson produced well in both. In Saturday night’s 10-9 loss to New England, Thompson would put up a goal and four assists for five points, while scooping five loose balls. Sunday against the Mammoth, Thompson continued his strong offensive weekend picking up two goals & an assist for three points, along with three loose balls. Through 10 games this season, Thompson ranks 2nd in rookie scoring with 39 points.
4. Mark Cockerton (O) – New England Black Wolves
Cockerton exploded this past weekend, racking up 2 goals & 3 assists for 5 points in the Black Wolves 10-9 win over Minnesota. The 5 point performance was Cockerton’s best as an NLL player, and it came against a number of former Whitby Warriors Jr. A teammates. Cockerton was able to beat his former backstop with the Warriors in Zack Higgins, twice on the evening, while his five points placed him one point behind former Warriors teammate Shayne Jackson for the game high. Cockerton has the ability to produce like this on a game by game bases, but he needs to stay in the line up an find his confidence and consistency.
5. Tyler Melnyk (O) – Edmonton Rush
Another rookie who made a big splash in his NLL debut this past weekend, Melnyk potted four goals & one assist for five points in his NLL debut. The 5’11, 195 pound lefty from Calgary, Alberta was able to take full advantage of all his opportunities, proving his worth offensively for the Rush. With a five point NLL debut it will be hard for coach Keenan to keep Melnyk out of the lineup for this weekends game against the NLL leading and lethal offensive of the Toronto Rock.
6. Patrick Miles (T) – Minnesota Swarm
Miles was the third of three rookies to make their NLL debuts this past weekend, and he did not disappoint. The 22 year old from Brampton, Ontario picked up 2 assists and scooped 6 loose balls in his NLL debut on Saturday night against the New England Black Wolves. Miles was so impressive he was kept in the lineup for Sunday’s tilt with the Mammoth, where again he produced, picking up an assist and 3 loose balls. Miles also reached the stat sheet creating one turnover in both appearances. Miles tenacity, physicality, athleticism and transition ability should endear himself to the Swarm coaching staff, and allow him to stay in the lineup for the coming weeks.
7. Eli McLaughlin (O) – Colorado Mammoth
McLaughlin may have been a bit more subtle then fellow rookie and teammate Jeremy Noble this past weekend, however McLaughlin has found his niche as the third lefty option on the Mammoth offense. While his touches are limited, and will likely be even more limited with Noble’s arrival, McLaughlin continues to find a way to produce and be effective on a game by game bases. This past weekend McLaughlin found the back of the net on one occasion and scooped 3 loose balls in Colorado’s 12-8 win. McLaughlin now has 22 points in 9 games, placing him 3rd in rookie scoring.
8. Shane MacDonald (O) – Minnesota Swarm
MacDonald hasn’t quite produced at the potent offensive pace he produced at during his Junior A days, however he has been impactful and he has produced. MacDonald got into both of Minnesota’s games this past weekend, and despite his team dropping back to back games, MacDonald would pick up a goal and 2 loose balls over the course of the weekend. With 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points in 6 games, the production is there, but MacDonald is also doing the little things to keep himself in the lineup. He’s injecting himself physically, battling on loosies and getting his teammates open. All little things your average fan wouldn’t notice, but things coaches love to see.
9. Robert Hope (D) – Colorado Mammoth
The 6’2, 192 pound defender from Peterborough, Ontario continues to excel defensively for the Colorado Mammoth. This past weekend Hope was arguably the Mammoth’s top defender, creating three turnovers and scooping 2 loose balls. Hope hasn’t reached the offensive side of the score sheet much this season, which is some what surprising given his transition ability. However has Hope grows as an NLL defender, expect to see his offensive numbers improve as well.
10. Bill O’Brien (D) – New England Black Wolves
With several rookies having strong weekends, and capable of landing in the final spot in this weeks rookie rankings, its hard to find a rookie who was more impactful in his teams performance. O’Brien dropped the mitts with NLL heavyweight Andrew Suitor, picked up an assist and scooped 2 loose balls. O’Brien’s physicality on the floor is something very few defenders can match, as O’Brien is good for at least one huge hit per game. While his foot speed and awareness could improve, he has all the attributes to be a top stay at home defender.