SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm today signed 2011 first round draft pick G Evan Kirk to a three-year contract.
Minnesota selected Kirk sixth-overall this past September, making him the first goaltender to go in the 1st round since San Jose drafted Paul Dawson seventh-overall in 2006.
“A few years ago, I didn’t think I would go that high in the draft,” Kirk said. “Coming into the league as a top goalie is exciting because it’s a rarity these days. I have high hopes for my future.”
With playing experience in both the indoor and outdoor game, Kirk was highly regarded as the top goalie prospect in not only in this year’s draft, but in recent memory.
Swarm Associate General Manager Joe Sullivan, who has coached against Kirk multiple times over the last few years in the offseason, said Kirk proved that he belonged in the NLL with his play on the Kitchener-Watlerloo Kodiaks, an indoor lacrosse franchise in the Major Series League.
“We believe Evan is a future All-Star goalie in this league,” Sullivan said. “He is athletic, charismatic and disciplined. We look for Evan to improve each time out and he expects nothing less than to be a top goaltender in this league in the near future.”
Kirk, 24, posted a 5-7 record and made 126 saves in 12 games during his senior season at Hobart College in 2011. The Orangeville, Ontario native in addition spent the past three seasons playing box lacrosse with Kitchener-Waterloo.
This past summer, Kirk started at goal for the Kodiaks and posted a 10.09 GAA and .754 SV% in 19 games. In 35 career games with Kitchener-Waterloo from 2009-11, he has compiled a 9.73 GAA.
Kirk said the experience he gained playing against many of the NLL’s elite scorers in the MSL has given him the confidence to play at the next level.
“It was absolutely instrumental,” Kirk said, who's also played with Swarm F Ryan Benesch and T Andrew Watt in that time. “If I didn’t have that experience in those three years with the Kodiaks, I don’t think I would have been there that high in the draft. It’s given me a whole new look on players and at a different type of game…a faster game, with better shooters.”
Before Kirk competed on the senior level in Canada, he was a member of the junior ‘A’ Kodiaks. In 2008, he finished with an 11-10 record to go along with a 6.30 GAA and .860 SV%. This past year, Kirk participated in the 2010 FIL World Lacrosse Championships and won a silver medal as member of Team Canada’s 23-man roster.