November 19, 2013

Minnesota Swarm Lock Up Three 1st Round Picks

from Press Release

Jason Noble, the second overall pick in the draft, was among three first-round picks to sign with the Swarm. 
© Minnesota Swarm 

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The National Lacrosse League's (NLL) Minnesota Swarm today announced that the team has signed three first-round picks in defenseman Jason Noble (No. 2 overall, Cornell University), transition player Cam Flint (No. 4 overall, Denver University) and forward Scott Jones (No. 7 overall, UMBC). Both Noble and Flint agreed to two-year deals, while Jones signed a one-year agreement. Minnesota also came to terms with one of its third-round selections, signing forward Zach Palmer (No. 23 overall, Johns Hopkins) to a one-year deal.

Noble, 22, earned the reputation as one of the NCAA's top defensive players and was a first team All-America honoree with Cornell University in 2013. Noble, who is 5-10 and 170 pounds, finished his career as a three-time All-America and All Ivy League selection. The Orangeville, Ontario native was also a first team Lowe's Senior CLASS Award winner during his senior season as Cornell's team captain. Noble won three Minto Cups with the Orangeville Northmen during his junior lacrosse career.

"Having Jason in our lineup just adds to the dynamic that we've tried to create here in the last three years, as he is an athletic young guy that can play the defensive end of the turf as well as anybody," Swarm associate general manager and head coach Joe Sullivan said. "Jason is going to have an immediate impact on our system, and he also has the ability to be on our draw team and transition the ball with efficiency."

Flint, 23, notched 37 goals and was a first team All-America honoree during his senior season with Denver University in 2013. Flint, who is 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, spent the 2013 summer season playing for the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse (MLL). In his four-year career at Denver, Flint was a three-time All-America and All ECAC selection.

"Cam also adds to what we are trying to grow and improve upon, which is our speed, athleticism and the ability to play both ends of the turf," Sullivan said. "To have Cam on the floor allows us to have that quickness to take off and do what we need to do on the offensive end. On the other side of it, I know that he is going to respect the defensive aspect of playing an offensive role and will be able to cover the top of the floor and get back and play a stand up style of defense."

Jones, 24, played collegiately at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and led his squad in scoring during his final three seasons of play, including back-to-back 35-plus goal seasons from 2012-13. The British Columbia native, who stands tall at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, has spent the past three summers playing Sr. A ball with the Burnaby Lakers of the WLA. Jones was a two-time captain with UMBC and his older brother is Jeff Ratcliffe, a former NLL player for the Philadelphia Wings and New York Titans.

"What I'd like to see Scott understand from the get-go is that we need him to be an impact player," Sullivan said. "He has the ability and size to do that, and as long as he works as hard as he can, I believe he's going to be a guy that sets the tone offensively and takes pressure off other players."

Palmer, 22, is a left-handed forward from Johns Hopkins University, who totaled 71 goals and 140 points during his four-year career from 2010-13. In 2012, Palmer led the team in points (53) and assists (26), and finished second in goals (27). The 5-foot-7, 175-pound native of Oshawa, Ontario played his junior ball with the Whitby Warriors and won a Minto Cup in 2011.

"Zach has the potential to be an electric player, as he has a great outside shot, and can finish inside as well," Sullivan said. "If Zach works hard enough to get in the lineup, I believe he can have an immediate impact."

All contracts are currently pending league approval.

In 2014, the Swarm will be celebrating their 10th season of professional box lacrosse in the NLL and will kickoff the regular season on the road against the defending NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 28.

Minnesota will make its home debut at The Hive celebrating Native American Heritage Day on Sunday, Jan. 19 during a 2 p.m. matchup against the Philadelphia Wings at Xcel Energy Center.

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