(Friday, Nov. 24, 2017) – The Georgia Swarm revealed its final 20-man Active Roster for the 2017-18 season. The team will have one more weekend of training camp with the new roster and will take on the Rochester Knighthawks for one final preseason game on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. ET.
Georgia begins its championship defense on Friday, Dec. 8 against the New England Black Wolves. Faceoff is set for 7:05 p.m. ET. The Swarm’s first home opener will feature the unveiling of the championship banner and a halftime performance by Atlanta-based GRAMMY® Award-winning hip hop artist 2 Chainz. Tickets for this historic night are available at GeorgiaSwarm.com/Tickets or by calling 844-4-GASWARM.
Following up a championship-winning team that finished the 2017 season with the best record in the league and a postseason sweep is no easy feat, but Swarm owner and general manager John Arlotta and the Swarm coaches have put together the best roster they can as the Swarm looks to make it two in a row.
“We are really excited about our roster this year as we continue to bring in players that are talented, athletic and have great character,” Arlotta said. “Our final exhibition game will give a chance to get most everyone back on the floor together for the first time since our championship season, so we are anxious to get everyone back in sync and ready to start the season on December 8th.”
After holding two practice sessions and a preseason game against the 2017 Champion’s Cup runner-up Saskatchewan Rush, the team was narrowed down to the 20 players the coaches and front office feel give the team its best chances at a repeat, along with a four-man practice squad.
Georgia’s dangerous and unselfish offense continues relatively unchanged, but the defensive end will showcase some new names, especially between the pipes as the Swarm will carry two back-up goaltenders to accompany Teammate of the Year Mike Poulin.
The trio of championship team captains remains the same, with two-time NLL Transition Player of the Year and team captain Jordan MacIntosh, assistant captain Shayne Jackson and assistant captain Jason Noble leading the boys in blue and yellow.
Forward Jesse King will be returning to the roster after missing the 2017 season due to a lower-body injury sustained in 2016. He will be rejoining fellow forwards Kiel Matisz, four-time champion Johnny Powless, 2017 NLL and Champion’s Cup MVP Lyle Thompson, Miles Thompson and 2016 NLL ROY Randy Staats.
The transition aspect of the team gets some new names to it. While MacIntosh and sophomore Bryan Cole are returning, Jerome Thompson is himself transitioning from forward to the new position. The remaining trannies all come from the 2017 NLL Draft, featuring Georgia’s top two picks in Zed Williams (No. 4 overall) and Frank Brown (No. 24 overall).
The defense features familiar faces in John Ranagan, Leo Stouros, Connor Sellars and Alex Crepinsek. With Poulin returning as the starting goaltender, the last two spots on the roster were given to back-up goalies Warren Hill and Kevin Orleman. Hill returns to the Swarm after being on the 2017 Swarm’s practice squad during the season, and Orleman came as a free agent signing after spending the 2017 season on the Buffalo Bandits’ practice squad.
Following their recent three-year contract extensions and successful championship season, head coach Ed Comeau will have Sean Ferris back to instruct the defense and Dan Ladouceur returning for his second season with the team leading the offense.
“We understand the challenge ahead this season and are excited with our roster,” Comeau said. “The experience we gained as a group last year is something we can share with our new additions to help them ready themselves for the NLL season.”
Inactive Roster: Defenseman Chad Tutton is unlikely to play in the 2017-18 season after sustaining a lower-body injury during Game 1 of the East Division Final against the Toronto Rock. Forward Jordan Hall, goaltender Mason Jones and transition players Ethan O’Connor and Joel White will all start the season on the Holdout List due to personal reasons.
2017-18 Georgia Swarm Roster (*Denotes first-year players)
Forwards (7): Shayne Jackson ‘A’, Jesse King, Kiel Matisz, Johnny Powless, Randy Staats, Lyle Thompson and Miles Thompson
Transition (5): Frank Brown*, Bryan Cole, Jordan MacIntosh ‘C’, Jerome Thompson and Zed Williams*
Defensemen (5): Alex Crepinsek, Jason Noble ‘A’, John Ranagan, Connor Sellars and Leo Stouros
Goaltenders (3): Kevin Orleman*, Mike Poulin and Warren Hill*
Practice Squad (4): Liam Byrnes (D), Isaiah Davis-Allen* (D), Lauchlin Elder* (D) and Brayden Hill* (D),
Holdout List (3): Jordan Hall (F), Mason Jones (G), Ethan O’Connor (T) and Joel White (T)
Physically Unable to Perform List (1): Chad Tutton (T)