SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm completed its busiest draft in team history Wednesday night in Toronto, selecting a franchise record nine players in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft.
Last year, Minnesota used its fourth overall selection to select Andrew Suitor, a transition specialist from Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.). On Wednesday, the Swarm continued that trend at the four spot, selecting MacIntosh who also plays transition and is from R.I.T.
“It's a dream come true,” MacIntosh said. “Tonight was an amazing experience. If you would have told me when I was a younger guy playing lacrosse that I would be a first round draft pick in the NLL for such a great organization like the Minnesota Swarm, I would have thought no way. Hard work definitely pays off.”
MacIntosh, 22, was the most coveted transition player in this year’s draft and is known for his ability to contribute on both sides of the floor. In addition to being a superb defender, MacIntosh has a knack for scoring, and notched a team-high 28 goals for the MSL’s Ajax Rock in 2011. He also added 24 assists and was named both MSL Rookie of the Year and IL Indoor MSL Transition Player of the Year. Prior to his time with the Rock, MacIntosh spent the 2009-10 seasons with the OLA Jr. A’s Burlington Chiefs. The native of Oakville, Ontario finished second on his team in scoring both years and won 373-566 (.660%) of faceoffs in that span.
“Jordan is a really well-spoken young man, who is eager to play,” Associate General Manager Joe Sullivan said. “He’s so versatile and he brings a lot to our team. He’s a faceoff guy who battled back and forth with Geoff Snider all summer long on the draws, which is something we needed depth in. He’s the full package and that’s why we took him as high as we did.”
At R.I.T in 2011, MacIntosh led his team with 75 points (43g, 32a) and 131 faceoff wins in 20 games.
Kirk, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of Orangeville, Ontario, was ranked as this year’s top goalie prospect after finishing his four-year career at Hobart College in 2011. Kirk posted a 5-7 record and made 126 saves in 12 games last year. In 2010, he was named to Team Canada’s 23-man roster for the World Lacrosse Championships.
“He’s the best goalie out of the draft and the best goalie I’ve seen come out in a couple of years,” Sullivan said. “Kirk doesn’t get lost out on the field. He saw a ton of floor time for the Kodiaks as a young man this past summer. He’s excited to work with the goalies we have in Minnesota and better his game.”
This summer, Kirk started for the MSL’s Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks, a team Sullivan coached against in his role as an assistant coach with the Peterborough Lakers. Sullivan said he was impressed with Kirk’s ability to shut down some of the game’s best.
“He came within a goal of beating a Peterborough team that had an absolute star-studded offense. He was able to hold Peterborough to nine goals, while stopping John Tavares, John Grant, Scott Evans, Shawn Evans, Mark Steenhuis, and Tracey Kelusky."
Tao, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound native of Coquitlam, British Colombia, finished his senior season at Robert Morris University last year and posted 35 points (25g, 10a) in 15 games. In 2010, he led the Colonials in goals with a school-record 41 and ranked first in the nation in shooting percentage, scoring on 53.2 percent of his shots. This past summer he posted 37 points (13g, 24a) in 17 games with the WLA’s New Westminster Salmonbellies.
“Corbyn’s got a ton of energy,” Sullivan said. “He’s not the biggest guy, but he is going to cause a ton of issues for other teams on defense. He’s relentless and likes to play with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder.”
Card, 22, finished his senior season at Hofstra University in 2011 and led his team with 46 points (29g, 17a). The 5-foot-10, 190-pound native of Caledon, Ontario has also spent time with the New Westminster Salmonbellies (BCJALL) and the Orangeville Northmen (OLA Jr. A & B).
“Jay has played with some absolutely phenomenal programs up here in Canada,” Sullivan said. “He brings the scoring power that we need and the ability to take some pressure off of the guys on the right-hand side.”
Earl, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound native of Simsbury, Conn., served as the captain for the University of Notre Dame in 2011. He was tied for first on the team with 25 points (10g, 25a) and ranked third with 31 loose balls last year.
“David was an All-American midfielder and a big part of a Notre Dame program that has had great success in the last couple of years,” Sullivan said. “He’s a guy who is really going to push to make the team.”
The Swarm then selected D Brian Karalunas 29th overall (4th round), F Pat Smith 31st overall (5th round), F Jeremy Boltus 39th overall (5th round), and Eden Prairie, Minn. native F Todd Baxter 48th overall (6th round).
Karalunas, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound defenseman, was Villanova’s first three-time All-American in Men’s Lacrosse. In 2011, he appeared in all 16 contests as a long-stick midfielder for Villanova and recorded 74 ground balls and 70 caused turnovers. He led the NCAA in caused turnovers per game for the second consecutive year, averaging 4.38 takeaways per game.
“Brian was an All-American and a Big East Defensive Player of the Year while at Villanova,” Owner and President John Arlotta said. “He is a fabulous forced turnover and ground ball guy.”
Smith, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound forward, finished his senior season at Robert Morris University in 2011 and ranked second in points with 47 (34g, 13a). He has also spent time with the Sr. A Nanaimo Timbermen.
“Pat cared enough about the league that he actually spent this summer playing in Western Canada in their senior A league with the Nanaimo Timbermen,” Arlotta said. “And he ended up playing quite a bit, because some injuries occurred.”
Boltus, a 6-foot-1, 181-pound forward, was the 2011 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) Rookie of the Year after posting 30 points (19g, 11a) for the Hamilton Nationals. He completed his college career at West Point in 2011 as the second leading point scorer in school history and also placed 12th in goals and second in assists. In 2011, he paced Army with a career-high 70 points and a personal-best 46 assists.
“Jeremy is first of all a great leader,” Arlotta said. “In addition, he’s a tremendous athlete and a great team guy. This is our way of supporting our servicemen. Here’s a guy who may not be able to play if he goes overseas for an assignment. But we’ll welcome him with open arms when he comes back. We are willing to work with him and teach him the game, but at the same time, we understand that he may not be able to play all the time because of his military commitment.”
Baxter, a 6-foot, 170-pound forward, is a graduate of Eden Prairie High School (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and played a total of 48 games for Denver University, registering 92 points (59g, 33a).
“His college coach Bill Tierney, who is one of the most respected coaches in college lacrosse, said Todd was the heart and soul of his team,” Arlotta said. “He played in all of Denver’s playoff games with injuries and kept operating. He’s a kid who never stops and has great dedication.”