Will New Parts Mean Improvement in Colorado?
|Colorado has a chance to be the
most improved team in the NLL.
© Michael Martin
by Neil Stevens | LaxMagazine.com
2011 Record: 5-12, lost to Calgary in West semifinal
Offseason: Selected Adam Jones (Canisius) with third overall pick in entry draft
Getting Jones, the All-American whose box background includes Canadian junior championship MVP honors, will provide a huge lift to an offense that was the West's weakest.
"Adam has the ability to come in and be a game changer right away," Mammoth general manager Steve Govett said.
But the biggest buzz surrounding the Mammoth is its defense.
Colorado had the best unit in the West last season. It will be even tougher to get close to goalie Chris Levis in 2012 with Jon Sullivan and hard-rock Rory Smith picked up from Minnesota for a dispersal draft pick, and with Govett also drafting the imposing Dan Coates in the first round (eighth overall). Coates was the best defenseman available and also a Canisius teammate of Jones.
Things took an upswing when Gavin Prout was reacquired last winter, and the trend should continue in 2012.
Look for John Grant Jr. (36g, 47a) to have a big year.
"The Mammoth should be the most improved team in the NLL this season. They might be a year away from challenging for the championship, but we see enormous potential."