Minnesota Swarm Re-Sign Gillam and Kelly; Agree to Deal with Free Agent HigginsOctober 4, 2012 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) Minnesota Swarm
Gillam, 24, recorded 13 points (4g, 9a) and 21 loose balls in six games during his rookie season with the Swarm last year. The lefty forward made his NLL debut on the road against the Buffalo Bandits on March 17 and notched one assist and two loose balls. The Swarm selected the Peterborough, Ontario native in the second round (18th overall) of the 2010 NLL Entry Draft.
"Josh did everything that we thought he could do when we drafted him a couple of years ago," Swarm associate general manager and head coach Joe Sullivan said. "We're going to be patient with him and I believe that he's going to continue to get better. He had a great summer in Peterborough, where he won a Mann Cup. We might have to wait a little bit into the season to get him, but when we get him, he's a great guy to have come in because he's going to bring energy and 110-percent effort on the floor."
Kelly, 25, appeared in 12 games and collected 18 loose balls during his second season with the Swarm in 2012. Minnesota selected the gritty, 6-foot, 200-pound defenseman in the sixth round (55th overall) of the 2009 NLL Entry Draft.
"Matt brings a focus to always get better," Sullivan said. "He's athletic and his football background from the University of Virginia is very obvious when it comes to the physical part of the game. He's a strong, physical player with speed, and when you have that combination in a young player, I think we're going to see great things from him in the future."
Higgins, 21, joins the Swarm after an impressive collegiate career with Davenport University. With the Panthers, the Courtice, Ontario native was a two-time 1st Team All-CCLA award winner and finished his four-year career with a 30-8 record. In 2011, Higgins was named the CCLA Defensive Player of the Year after posting an 8-1 record and a 8.45 GAA. This past season as a senior, the 6-foot, 225-pound goalie finished 7-2 and made 102 saves with a 7.72 GAA.
Higgins also found much success playing in the Jr. A level in Canada with the Whitby Warriors. In 2011, Higgins helped the Warriors win a Minto Cup and was named the ILIndoor Playoff Performer of the Year following his lights out performance against Coquitlam in the finals. Higgins finished the 2011 regular season with a 9-1 record and led the OLA in goals against average (6.77) and finished second in save percentage (.823). Higgins spent this past summer as a backup goalie for the MSL's Brooklin Redmen.
"Although we're thrilled with what Evan (Kirk) and Tyler (Carlson) have brought to our team, we always want to have depth," Sullivan said. "Zach is a guy who knows what it takes to be a winner. He's won a Minto Cup, and he's played on some strong summer teams up in Canada."
The contracts for Gillam and Kelly are currently pending league approval.
Swarm fans looking to lock up 2013 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. Single Game Tickets are now on sale and start as low as $21. For purchasing information for both Season and Single Game Tickets, fans can call 1-888-MN-SWARM or visit mnswarm.com.
National Lacrosse League Stories from October 4, 2012
- Knighthawks Sign VanEvery - Rochester Knighthawks
- Minnesota Swarm Re-Sign Gillam and Kelly; Agree to Deal with Free Agent Higgins - Minnesota Swarm
- Mammoth Helps 'Fi(gh)t for the Cure' to Knock out Breast Cancer - Colorado Mammoth
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