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Schuss is ready to prove his worth

11/12/2013, 2:30pm CST
By Brent Hollerud

Minnesota selected Schuss with the No. 1 overall pick this past September

If one were to compile all the awards and accolades Logan Schuss has earned in his young career, they might want to get comfortable – it could take a while.  This September, Schuss was able to add yet another accomplishment to the list, when he was selected as the first overall pick in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Swarm. 

The acquisition of Schuss highlighted an incredible first round for Minnesota, one that saw them nab three of the first four picks in the draft and hold four total selections in the opening round.  The Swarm earned the rights to the top pick thanks to their 2012 trade with the Buffalo Bandits, which dealt goaltender Anthony Cosmo East in exchange for the Bandits’ first-round selections in 2013 and 2014. 

Schuss became the Swarm’s first number one overall selection in franchise history, and is one of eight first-round selections for the Swarm over the last two drafts, fueling the youth movement that is gathering steam in Minnesota. Coach Joe Sullivan is not one to downplay such an opportunity to bolster his roster through the draft.

“The first-round picks gave us the luxury to address more of our needs than any other team could, so we feel real confident entering the year with those players,” Sullivan states.

Much of Sullivan’s fortitude comes with the arrival of the 6-foot, 210-pound Schuss, a left-handed forward from Ladner, British Columbia who is fresh off of a record-setting career at Ohio State University.  On top of leading the Buckeyes in scoring each of his four years – including a 72-point senior campaign – Schuss left Columbus as the program’s all-time leading goal scorer, tallying 146 goals in 62 career games. 

Thanks to his innate knack for scoring, Schuss racked up national recognition on top of his school records, including two ECAC Player of the Year awards in 2012 and 2013, and a spot on the USILA All-American Second-Team this past season.  Even with his impressive resume, Schuss insists that he is not hiding any secrets as to his success on the field.  “Everything was a product of hard work,” says Schuss.

The pattern of excellence Schuss built in his college years expanded beyond the lacrosse field, as he was honored as a candidate for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes student-athletes’ commitment to community, classroom and character along with their athletic performance.  Schuss attributes this accomplishment to his family upbringing, as well as to his insistence of being there for those around him.

“I just like to be a good teammate; someone who the younger guys can talk to and be a close friend with,” Schuss explains.

It was not difficult for Schuss’ teammates to consider him a great role model, as he was a two-time member of the Academic All-ECAC team and three-time Ohio State Scholar Athlete award winner.  Even today Schuss’ commitment to his education is evident, as the Physical Education major is currently still enrolled in classes in order to earn his teaching license, a five-year endeavor.  Even with his burgeoning professional career, Schuss has not lost sight of the importance of his education, as evidenced by his absence at the draft due to class conflicts.

“It’s huge for me,” Schuss says, “I’ve finished the four years [at OSU] but getting my license is the cherry on top.  I’m excited to find a way to balance schoolwork, my student teaching and staying on top of my game every weekend with the Swarm”.

With his college career in the rear-view mirror, Schuss is looking forward to the new challenge of playing in the NLL as training camp is just weeks away.  Making the transition to the pros should be a smooth one for the shifty left-hander, as Schuss had a successful summer stint with the Western Lacrosse Association’s (WLA) New Westminster Salmonbellies, where he took Rookie of the Year honors with 56 points (29 G, 27 A) in 12 games played. 

Schuss also put in time this summer with the MLL’s Ohio Machine, alongside current Swarm players Kiel Matisz, Greg Downing and fellow 2013 draftee and Ohio St. alum Dominique Alexander.  In 11 games, Schuss scored 28 goals and finished with 35 points.

Even with being one of the highest-touted prospects in Swarm history, Schuss doesn’t feel any extra heat coming into camp. “I’m not feeling any added pressure,” Schuss says. “You want to go in there and show why you are the number one pick... Going into camp I’m just going to play my game and I am confident that I can earn my spot.”

Coach Sullivan shares the same belief that his prized rookie can step in and have an immediate impact on the Swarm’s offense.  “We have the expectation that Logan will be ready to go for game one,” Sullivan states. “I am confident that he will be able to put up numbers for us.  He’ll make everyone around him better, that’s what good players do.”

Sullivan raves about the impact Schuss’ addition will have on Minnesota’s forward corps, alongside players like Matisz, Shayne Jackson and Callum Crawford.  “Logan gives us youth on the left-hand side and gives us a different look than we’ve had in the past, which keeps us moving forward,” Sullivan says. “Our offense did really well last year but we need better than that, and we believe Logan will be a step in the right direction.”

Looking ahead, Schuss is set to open the next chapter of an illustrious career with the Swarm, and there is no reason to believe he will not find the same success he has experienced in the past.  When asked if he can envision a NLL Rookie of the Year trophy to accompany all his other awards, Schuss could only laugh and mention a different piece of hardware that he has his eye on. “I’d love to see that happen, but I’d also love to be with our team hoisting the Championship.”

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