SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The National Lacrosse League (NLL) today announced that T Jordan MacIntosh and G Evan Kirk of the Minnesota Swarm have been named to the 2012 All-Rookie Team. The Swarm selected both MacIntosh (fourth overall) and Kirk (sixth overall) in the first round of the 2011 NLL Entry Draft.
“All around, we couldn’t have asked for more from our first round picks in (Jordan) and (Evan),” head coach and associate general manager Joe Sullivan said. “Both of them exceeded our expectations and have been great people to our organization.”
MacIntosh, 22, became the first rookie in team history to play in an All-Star Game and led all Swarm rookies with 51 points (23g, 28a) in 2012. The R.I.T. grad finished the season ranking among the Top 5 leaders in the NLL in loose balls (153) and faceoff wins (151). His 153 loose balls set a new Swarm record.
Offensively, MacIntosh scored a goal in all but one game in the regular season, and surpassed the 50-point mark, becoming the first rookie to do so since F Craig Point in 2008. The Oakville, Ontario native also forced 14 turnovers in 16 games. MacIntosh was a one-time winner of both the Transition and Rookie of the Week awards and was recently named the April Rookie of the Month.
“Jordan was the guy that we had planned on getting whether we had the first pick or whatever pick we had,” Sullivan said. “We got what we wanted and he delivered all the goods so-to-speak. He played a great transition game for us, he was great on the faceoffs, played good offense and defense, and he was on our power play. You put a lot of those things onto a young player and for him to embrace it the way that he did and rise to the challenge and exceed our expectations in all those different facets of the game, there’s really something to be said about that. The great thing is that a young guy got rewarded for paying attention to all those details and really trying to focus in and help his team get better.”
Kirk, 24, led the league in both GAA (9.81) and SV% (.807) during his first season in the NLL. The Hobart College graduate finished the regular season with a 4-4 record in eight appearances and also collected his first road playoff win in the West Divisional Semifinals against Colorado on May 5.
Kirk was victorious in his first career starts at home and on the road, and received Rookie of the Week honors following both efforts. In his first career start, Kirk held the Rochester Knighthawks to just six goals, while stopping 46 of 52 shots in a 9-6 home win on Feb. 12. In his road debut, Kirk limited the Washington Stealth to seven goals, while making 43 saves on 50 shots on Feb. 24 during the Swarm’s 15-7 victory. For his efforts in February, Kirk was named the Rookie of the Month.
While two those performances were memorable, Kirk’s most impressive outing ironically came in a losing effort. In a 9-8 overtime road loss to Edmonton, Kirk held the Rush scoreless for over 37 minutes of play after replacing G Tyler Carlson in the second quarter. Despite picking up the loss, Kirk still earned Defensive Player of the Week honors.
“Evan came in as a goalie in this league, and typically these guys come in as a backup,” Sullivan said. “He was good enough to become a starter on this team, and then obviously he had a great season across the board statistically. Even in our worst game, he didn’t come unfrazzled. You didn’t see any foolishness or immaturity come out so he’s developed his game beyond his years. I think you’re going to see Evan live and learn from how we finished off the year and I think it’s going to help us come out of the gate even that much stronger in 2013.”
Last season, Minnesota also featured two players on the All-Rookie Team in transition players Andrew Suitor and Tyler Hass.
Joining MacIntosh and Kirk on the All-Rookie Team were Adam Jones of the Colorado Mammoth, Kevin Crowley of the Philadelphia Wings, and Johnny Powless and Stephen Keogh of the Rochester Knighthawks.
The announcements of the 2012 NLL Season Awards continues Thursday with the All-Pro teams. The awards are voted on by the league's board of governors, general managers and head coaches.