SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm made history on Monday night, becoming the first team in NLL history to select three of the draft’s Top 4 picks in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft. Minnesota took T Brock Sorensen (Ohio State Univ.) second overall, F Kiel Matisz (Robert Morris Univ.) third overall, and F Shayne Jackson (Limestone College) fourth overall.
“We’re really excited to have Brock, Kiel and Shayne join the Swarm family,” Swarm Owner and President John Arlotta said. “All three of these guys have had significant winning experience at every level of lacrosse that they’ve played in, and they’re quality people in addition to being outstanding lacrosse players.”
In total, Minnesota drafted a team-record 10 players, which included another first-rounder in D Alex Crepinsek with the 10th overall pick.
Sorensen, 23, became the highest draft pick in Swarm history on Monday evening and will bring a unique blend of size and speed to the Swarm’s transition game. The Peterborough, Ontario native can run the floor and create scoring opportunities in addition to his ability to be a premier stay-at-home defender with his 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame. Sorensen spent his collegiate career at Ohio State as one of the nation’s most decorated midfielders from 2009-12 and was a two-time captain of the Buckeyes. In 2011, Sorensen became Ohio State’s first true junior to be named a captain since 2005. Sorensen recorded 12 goals and 10 ground balls in 14 games during his senior campaign this past spring.
Sorensen joins the Swarm having spent time with head coach Joe Sullivan and team captain Andrew Suitor. Sorensen played several seasons with his hometown squad, the MSL’s Peterborough Lakers, and has won two Mann Cups.
“Brock fits the bill for what we’re looking for,” Sullivan said. “We want character people and we want guys that are the best at their positions. Anyone who has watched film on Brock knows that he was the best defender and transition guy in the draft. We’ve been waiting to get him, and we got him. He’s going to fit the mold well, and he’s already bonded with many of our players.”
Matisz, 23, never missed a game during his four-year career as a forward with Robert Morris from 2009-12. This past season as a senior, Matisz notched a team-high 40 goals and helped lead the Colonials to their first-ever league title. Like Sorensen, Matisz is another big, athletic body at 6-foot-5, 215-pounds, and a two-time captain of his collegiate squad. In 2012, the Stoney Creek, Ontario native was a Tewaaraton Award nominee, USILA All-American (third team), Lowe’s Senior Class Award (second team) and the NEC Player of the Year & Offensive Player of the Year.
“Kiel is going to do whatever we ask of him, and he’s already made that real clear with us,” Sullivan said. “His size and athleticism will allow him to do what he wants on the floor and he’s going to give a lot of teams trouble.”
Matisz is the latest Robert Morris product to join the Swarm, which already includes F Corbyn Tao, F Pat Smith, T Andrew Watt, and D Jeff Gilbert. Matisz played alongside Tao and Smith before they were drafted last fall.
This past summer, Matisz teamed up with Gilbert and D Dan Ball on the MSL’s Brooklin Redmen and recorded 40 points (18g, 22a) in 12 contests. In Jr. A ball, Matisz made a name for himself with the Burlington Chiefs where he was the OLA scoring champion after notching 59 goals in 2010.
Jackson, 21, is hard-nosed, left-handed forward from Limestone College (Division II) who has knack for both scoring, and distributing the ball. In his senior year at Limestone College in 2012, the Bowmanville, Ontario native tallied 71 points (27g, 44a) and lead Limestone to the DII Championship Game. As a junior, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound forward became the first player in Limestone history to be named a Tewaaraton Award Finalist after he posted a career-high 82 points (32g, 50a). That season, he was also named the Lacrosse Magazine Online National Division II Player of the Year. Before spending time at Limestone, Jackson helped Onondaga win two NJCAA National Championships, and was the 2010 NJCAA Player of the Year after racking up an astonishing 121 points (58g, 63a).
Jackson played a crucial role in helping the WLA’s Langley Thunder earn a trip to the Mann Cup this summer. As a teammate of fellow Swarm D Nik Bilic in Langley, Jackson ranked fourth on the team in scoring with 38 points (18g, 20a). In Jr. A, Jackson won a Minto Cup with Whitby in 2011 after notching 84 points (31g, 53a).
“Shayne is a fearless competitor,” Sullivan said. “He’s going to cut through the middle anytime, and he’s going to burn you with an outside shot. I watched him this summer in Langley during the Mann Cup, and he was a big contributor to their success. He’s a competitor, and that’s what we’re looking for.”
With their fourth and final first-round selection, the Swarm nabbed D Alex Crepinsek (R.I.T) with the 10th overall pick. Crepinsek, 23, is considered to be shutdown type defenseman and recorded 66 loose balls during his senior season at R.I.T. in 2012. Crepinsek also spent time with T Jordan MacIntosh at R.I.T. and with the Ajax Rock of the MSL. In 17 games the past two seasons with the Rock, Crepinsek has posted 12 points (7g, 5a).
“We rounded out the first-round with a shut-down defenseman,” Sullivan said. “Every team in our league has two or three players that can burn you on offense, and when I can allocate one player to shut-down a particular player, that helps. There’s going to be an opportunity for him to step in and learn our system real quickly.”
With its only third-round selection, Minnesota selected F Sam Bradman of Salisbury University, who is no stranger to success. The 6-foot, 165-pound midfielder led the Seagulls in goals during his senior campaign, putting the ball at the back of the net 71 times. Salisbury won the Division III National Championship in 2011 and 2012, going undefeated during the latter season. In both instances Bradman, 22, took home the Division III Most Outstanding Player award, becoming the first player in DIII history to earn the honor in back-to-back years.
Minnesota rounded out the draft with five additional selections: T Tyler Tanguay (Adrian College) No. 37 overall, T Bryan Campbell (Brock University) No. 42 overall, F Matt Gibson (Yale University) No. 46 overall, F Michael Teeter (Victoria Shamrocks Sr. A) No. 49 overall, and T Chris Cudmore (Mars Hill College) No. 51 overall.
* The Minnesota Swarm traded the 33rd & 35th overall selections in the 2012 Draft to the Edmonton Rush in exchange for the 37th & 46th overall selections and Edmonton's 3rd round selection in the 2013 Draft.
** The Calgary Roughnecks traded the 49th overall selection in the 2012 Draft to the Minesota Swarm in exchange for Minnesota's 6th round selection in the 2013 Draft.