NLL Rookie Report: Week Twelve

Week 12 of the rookie report once again see’s the top three guys take their place atop the rankings, as Miles Thompson, Ben McIntosh and Jeremy Noble all had strong weekends to continue their impressive freshmen seasons in the NLL. Meanwhile Eli McLaughlin broke out this past weekend with six points in the Mammoth’s 12-6 win. In the Mammoth’s win we also saw rookie goaltender Alexis Buque absolutely stand on his head in his NLL debut as a starter. Toronto Rock righty, Brandon Benn also made his NLL debut this past weekend, and while he did not record a point he did not look out of place, firing 6 shots on goal. The likes of Blandon Clelland, Patrick Miles, Shane MacDonald and Sheldon Burns look to have secured strangle holds on their spots in their respective teams lineups week in and week out at this point, as the rookies continue to impress.

1. Ben McIntosh (O) – Edmonton Rush
The #1 pick overall in the 2014 NLL draft, Ben McIntosh continues to excel in his first NLL season. This past weekend McIntosh racked up three goals & three assists for six points in Edmonton’s 16-3 domination of the Rochester Knighthawks. McIntosh also scooped 7 loose balls and fired 14 shots on goal in the win. With 50 points in 11 games, McIntosh leads all rookies in scoring.

2. Jeremy Noble (O) – Colorado Mammoth
Since the Mammoth acquired Noble, they haven’t lost. While that may just be the team playing better, its hard to argue it doesn’t at least have something to do with Jeremy Noble’s presence, as he posted 7 and 6 point performances in his first two games. This past weekend Noble saw his production drop to five points, as he recorded 2 goals & 3 assists. Noble also scooped four loose balls and forced one turnover in the Mammoth’s win.

3. Miles Thompson (O) – Minnesota Swarm
Miles Thompson has been not only effective throughout the season for the Swarm, but consistent, as he has found the back of the net in all but one of Minnesota’s games this season. This past weekend he and the Swarm stopped a six game losing streak with a win over the New England Black Wolves. In the game Thompson would record three goals, and one loose ball. While the Swarm may be hard pressed to make the 2015 NLL playoffs, Thompson is becoming the teams most consistent offensive threat.

4. Eli McLaughlin (O) – Colorado Mammoth
McLaughlin had a breakthrough performance this past weekend for the Mammoth, racking up six points on 2 goals & 4 assists. McLaughlin has been solid in a depth role with the Mammoth this season but with Adam Jones out this past weekend, he stepped up and showed his worth in a more prominent role. Through 11 games this season McLaughlin has racked up 13 goals & 16 assists for 29 points.

5. Alexis Buque (G) – Colorado Mammoth
In hands down the best rookie goaltending performance this season, Alexis Buque made his first NLL start a memorable one, defeating the Vancouver Stealth, while allowing just six goals. Buque made 49 saves on 55 shots, and was undoubtedly a large reason why the Mammoth where able to to handily defeat the Stealth this past weekend. With Dillon Ward not going anywhere soon, the Mammoth have two of the best young goaltenders in the game.

6. Mark Cocketon (O) – New England Black Wolves
Cockerton has been in an out of the Black Wolves lineup all season, however after his breakout five point performance against the Minnesota Swarm, he has become a mainstay with the Black Wolves offense. This past weekend Cockerton recorded 2 assists and scooped four loose balls in New England’s 13-9 loss to Minnesota. With more touches Cockerton will continue to produce more and more potently.

7. Mike Burke (O) – Colorado Mammoth
The fourth Mammoth rookie to crack this week’s Rookie Report, Burke was held out of the lineup last week, for the first time since joining Colorado’s active roster. In slipping back into the lineup this past weekend, Burke was able to produce, although in a minimal role. Burke was able to find the back of the net on one occasion, while also scooping up one loose ball. With only one ball to go around and John Grant, Adam Jones, Jeremy Noble and Drew Westervelt needing their touches, don’t expect Burke to produce gaudy numbers, however his lacrosse intelligence allows him to be effective on the floor without the ball in his stick.

8. Sheldon Burns (D) – New England Black Wolves
Burns continues to impress on the Black Wolves back end. While he won’t stand out to the naked eye, what he brings to the Black Wolves defense should not go unnoticed. Burns has been an excellent on ball defender all season, shows is speed and athleticism week in and week out and has been a vacuum with loose balls. Burns won’t contribute much offensively, however he does make good decisions with the ball in transition. This past weekend Burns scooped six loose balls.

9. Shane MacDonald (O) – Minnesota Swarm
MacDonald continues to be a mainstay in the Swarm lineup as the season has wore on. While his production is far off his junior numbers, MacDonald has been able to produce in a depth roll, while improving his game both off ball and as far as getting guys open goes. This past weekend MacDonald reached the score sheet once again, finding the back of the net on one occasion, while also scooping one loose ball.

10. Robert Hope (D) – Colorado Mammoth
The fifth Mammoth rookie to make this weeks rookie report, Robert Hope didn’t wow anyone on the score sheet this past weekend, heck he only scooped one loose ball. But his man on man defense, transition ability and overall play allowed the Mammoth to shut down the Vancouver Stealth this past weekend. Hope continues to be successful game in an game out, and while his stats won’t stand out to the average fan, what he brings to the Mammoth back end should be noted.

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