January 3, 2012

Future is Now for Edmonton Rush

Matt Disher (above) could be pushed by Aaron Bold in goal.
© Larry Palumbo

by Neil Stevens | LaxMagazine.com

Edmonton Rush

2011 Record: 5-11

Offseason: Traded captain Brodie Merrill to get high-scoring Athan Iannucci

Rush general manager and coach Derek Keenan said trading Merrill was the most difficult lacrosse decision he has made in his career, but he had to do something daring given the step back his team took last year.

Bringing in Iannucci from the Wings, getting Aaron Wilson in a deal with Minnesota and trading for highly-respected Rochester captain Shawn Williams should silence critics who harped on Edmonton’s lack of offensive power.

Those developments don’t obscure the much-needed improvements that have been made to a defense that allowed more goals than any NLL team. The powerful Kyle Rubisch, whom Keenan got with the second pick in the dispersal draft, and Chris Corbeil, another young stud who came over from Buffalo for next year’s first-round draft pick, give Edmonton’s back end a new and improved look.

The future is now for the Rush, who didn’t have a first- or second-round entry draft pick.

Aaron Bold, a backup in Rochester last season, could emerge as the No. 1 goalie given Matt Disher’s numbers last season. Also, Brodie McDonald is a top prospect who came over in the blockbuster with the Wings, so the Rush appear set in the crease for years to come.

Insider’s Take

“If Williams can get Iannucci to pass the ball, and if Rubisch has as big an impact as most of us foresee, Keenan will steer the Rush back into the playoffs.”

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