SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm today announced that the team has traded forward Ryan Benesch and transition player Andrew Watt to the Buffalo Bandits in exchange for two first-round picks (2015 & 2016) and a third-round selection in the 2017 NLL Entry Draft.
“We would like to thank Ryan and Andrew for their contributions to the Swarm organization over the years,” Swarm Owner and President John Arlotta said. “Ryan was a critical part of our franchise the last four years, and not only brought scoring to the team, but he was also a great leader off the floor. Andrew was our first draft pick when we purchased the team in 2008, and he’s become one of the league’s top transition players since then. We’re happy to see both Ryan and Andrew now get the opportunity to play closer to home in front their family and friends in the Buffalo area.”
Swarm head coach and associate general manager Joe Sullivan added, “Both Ryan and Andrew embodied everything that the Minnesota Swarm was looking for both on and off the floor during their tenures with the team. They were ambassadors for our organization and carried themselves as professionals. Buffalo has gained two great people as well as two great lacrosse players.”
Benesch, 28, leaves the Swarm ranked first in team history in goals (141), second in both points (334) and power play goals (31), and fourth in assists (193). In 2013, Benesch led the Swarm with 34 goals, and finished the season with 84 points in 16 contests. Benesch’s tenure in Minnesota was highlighted in 2011, when the Kitchener, Ontario native led the NLL in scoring with 95 points (46g, 49a) and was selected to the NLL All-Pro First Team. The Swarm acquired the 5-foot-9, 180-pound forward in a trade with Edmonton prior to the 2010 season. In four seasons with the Swarm, Benesch appeared in 60 games, and was a two-time NLL All-Star.
Watt, 29, posted nine points (6g, 3a) and collected 40 loose balls in 12 games this past season. Minnesota acquired the Kitchener, Ontario native in the first-round (No. 8 overall) of the 2008 NLL Entry Draft. Watt leaves the Swarm ranked first in franchise history in shorthanded goals (13) and tied for first in forced turnovers (42). In 2011, the Robert Morris University graduate appeared in his first All-Star Game and recorded a career-high 21 points (16g, 5a) along with 70 loose balls in 13 contests. In five seasons with Minnesota, Watt appeared in 68 games and notched 67 points (21g, 46a) and 312 loose balls.
Swarm fans looking to lock up 2014 Season Tickets can take advantage of a Buy 2, Get 2 at 50% offer. By purchasing two season tickets at full price, fans can add an additional two tickets for half the cost. Call 1-888-MN-SWARM or visit mnswarm.com for more information.