January 12, 2011

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NLL Notebook: Rookies Impress; Stealth's Zywicki Out Six Weeks

by Neil Stevens | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online | Chasing 1,000

Cody Jamieson scored two goals in his NLL debut for the Rochester Knighthawks. "In time, Cody is going to be one of the good ones in this league," said Toronto Rock GM Terry Sanderson.

Eight of the 10 players selected in the first round of the 2010 entry draft made their National Lacrosse League debuts last weekend. Here's how they stacked up, with input from coaches from the NLL's weekly coaches conference call Wednesday.

Cody Jamieson, Rochester Knighthawks
Jamieson, the top over pick out of Syracuse, scored two goals in his first game with Rochester, an 11-10 overtime road victory over the Minnesota Swarm. "He’s played a couple of summers of major ball [in Ontario], and it always helps when you play against men," said Toronto general manager Terry Sanderson, whose Rock play in Rochester this Saturday. "In time, Cody is going to be one of the good ones in this league. He’s a real handful to check one-on-one."

Kyle Rubisch, Boston Blazers
Rubisch, the No. 2 pick out of Dowling, gathered a team-high 11 loose balls during Boston's 10-6 win in Philadelphia. "Kyle is mature beyond his years, and we’ll be relying heavily on him," said Blazers coach Matt Sawyer.

Curtis Dickson, Calgary Roughnecks
The No. 3 pick out of Delaware, Dickson scored twice in Calgary's 10-9 home win over Buffalo and once in the 'Necks' 13-11 road win over Washington. "Curtis put up some points and he also made a ton of mistakes which he'll have to correct if he wants to be in our lineup," said head coach Dave Pym.

Andrew Suitor, Minnesota Swarm
Suitor, the No. 4 selection out of RIT, fought Rochester's Dylan Evans during Minnesota's 11-10 OT loss to the visiting Knighthawks.

Dan MacRae, Calgary Roughnecks
MacRae, the No. 6 pick also out of RIT, picked up an assist while lining up on Calgary's defense in Washington.

David Brock, Boston Blazers
Brock, the No. 7 selection out of Albany, got an assist in Boston's win.

Brandon Ivey, Calgary Roughnecks
Ivey, the No. 8 pick from the Orangeville, Ontario, junior ranks, got an assist in Calgary's win Saturday.

Ryan McClelland, Philadelphia Wings
One of the bright spots in Philadelphia's loss was the play of McClelland, the No. 10 draft pick out of Colgate. He had an assist and gathered a team-high seven loose balls.

INJURY REPORT

One of the first injury casualties of the new NLL season was Calgary's Nolan Heavenor. The 28-year-old transition player sprained an ankle during the Roughnecks' 10-9 home win over Buffalo last Saturday and will be out at least a month. Another casualty was star Washington Stealth also forward Jeff Zywicki, who suffered what coach Chris Hall called a "lower body injury" during the Stealth's 11-10 overtime road win Saturday over Colorado, a game in which he had three goals and two assists. Zywicki will be out at least six weeks.

"It's a big blow to the team," Hall said.

Washington signed Craig Conn, who scored 19 goals and added 23 assists with Calgary last year, to replace Zywicki.

NLL NEWS & NOTES

Cody Jamieson was presented with Gary Gait's 22 when Rochester made him the No. 1 pick in the entry draft last September, but then Gait was coaxed into playing another year. So, Gait wore 22 on his back in Denver on Saturday while Jamieson has reverted to the 88 he's worn with his Six Nations summer teams... The collective bargaining agreement activated minimal pay raises this year. Rookies get a maximum of $8,363, up from $7,964; second-year minimum is $11,282, up from $10,745; and veterans get anywhere from the $12,424 minimum, up from $11,832, to the $25,883 maximum, up from $24,650.


Neil Stevens has covered professional and Canadian summer lacrosse since 1971 for various media outlets, including the Canadian Press. He retired from the CP in 2008. That year, Stevens joined the late Tom Borrelli -- a longtime Lacrosse Magazine contributor -- as the only media members recognized by the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame. He played from age 5 to 23, including three years in the junior ranks and one year (1969) as a professional in St. Catherines, Ontario.

Check laxmagazine.com/nll throughout the season for more from Stevens and coverage of the NLL.


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