Rush Focus on Right Side at Training Camp

November 21, 2012 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Edmonton Rush

News Release

Edmonton, AB---Michael Burke, a sturdy 22-year-old from Caledon, Ontario, somehow managed to evade the clutches of teams during the first and second rounds of the 2012 NLL Entry Draft, being fortuitously scooped up by Edmonton 28th overall.

"Burke should never have slipped to the third round, but we are happy he did," responds head coach Derek Keenan.

"We needed right-handed offense, and we got it in Burke."

This confident third-rounder has a similar impression of his talents:

"I believe I can be a scoring threat from the right side, working with my teammates to open room and create scoring chances. I am incredibly excited to join the Rush family, and I cannot wait to get to work with the other members of the team."

Burke is no stranger to offensive production, amassing 45 goals and 84 assists in 20 games with the Brampton Excelsiors Jr. A squad in 2011, earning the top spot in both assists and points in the league. In 2012, Burke graduated to the Sr. A Brampton club, where his 25 points (fourth on the team in scoring) appear somewhat lacking, but not when you consider his totals from his field lacrosse season with the University of Guelph Gryphons, where he earned 42 goals and 13 assists in only 11 games.

Once again, Burke had found himself atop a league - this time the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association - leading in both the goals and points categories in 2012, playing alongside fellow Rush draftee Curtis Knight. Unlike Knight, who tends to be a very understated kind of guy, Burke happily lauds his teammate's abilities and the relationship he and Curtis have, saying,

"He was the workhorse of our team this year. I would say Knighter and I do most of our bonding on the field. He is a very smart player and understands the game like I try to. Many times we are able to read and react to each other on the field without saying anything."

Prior to joining Guelph, Burke had stops in the NCAA with Hofstra University in 2009 and 2010 and with Marquette University in 2011. While his production in those seasons does not match his more recent totals, those tough years may have helped inspire him to return to Ontario. He initially decided to make the move to Hofstra upon recruitment and consequently moved to Marquette after his coach at Hofstra chose to leave, bringing Burke along. Following that experiment, he made the wise choice to come back to Canada, where his skills have since blossomed.

Approaching training camp, Burke has a clear goal in mind:

"As a rookie, I know I have to find my role on the team. I am going to listen, work hard, and establish an identity that will hopefully land me a spot on the roster."

Burke seems very eager to partake in his upcoming Edmonton adventure, announcing,

"I have been to Alberta before, visiting Banff, but I have never been to Edmonton. I look forward to getting to know the city and the people, as well as experiencing what life in the west has to offer."

Elaborating on his friendship with Curtis Knight, Burke considers how a game of Texas Hold "˜Em, one of Knight's favourite off-field activities, might go:

"Curtis can be a serious dude, but I think if he had a good hand I could get him to crack a smile with a bit of questioning. But then again he could be bluffing."

The Rush are extremely happy to welcome this energetic and outgoing young man to the team, and the organization and fans alike look forward to his flashy and dependable on-field performance.

The NLL 2012 Western Division Champs will open the 2013 NLL season training camp this Saturday, November 24 at Six Nations, Ontario.

Returning players hold a memory of a successful playoff season that ended with bitter sweet results of losing the Champions Cup to the Rochester Knighthawks. The 2012 draftee players will enter training camp fulfilling dreams of attending their first professional lacrosse camp and earning a roster spot.

Rush 2013 Training Camp Sessions

Saturday, November 24

11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Six Nations, Ontario

Sunday, November 25

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Six Nations, Ontario

Saturday, December 8

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Toronto Rock Practice Facility

Saturday, December 8

7:00 p.m.

Scrimmage vs Toronto Rock

Sunday, December 9

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Toronto Rock Practice Facility

Friday, December 14

8:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m.

Leduc Recreation Centre

Saturday, December 15

9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Leduc Recreation Centre

Saturday, December 15

1:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.

Leduc Recreation Centre

Sunday, December 16

11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Scrimmage vs Calgary Roughnecks, Genesis Place, Airdire, Alberta

The Rush open their 2013 Season against the Toronto Rock on Crystal Glass Field at Rexall Place on Sunday, January 13th at 2:00 p.m.

Season tickets, mini-packs, group tickets and single game tickets are on-sale and available by calling (780) 732-RUSH.

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