Rush Bolster Talent Pool in 2020 NLL Draft
Saskatoon, SK - The Saskatchewan Rush bulked up on future talent at both ends of the floor during the 2020 NLL Draft.
General Manager Derek Keenan opened the Rush's prospect cupboard with the team's first of two first-round picks and used the seventh-overall selection on forward Marshall Powless, who declared early for the 2020 draft.
The 6-foot, 185-pounder has racked up some astonishing offensive numbers, highlighted by his play with the 2019 Six Nations Rebels Jr. B squad. In 20 regular-season games, Powless piled up 54 goals and 97 assists for 151 points and was named the Ontario Junior 'B' League's Most Valuable Player. He then followed that up with 108 points in 21 playoff games with the Rebels while also chipping in 21 points in seven games with the Sr. B Six Nations Rivermen.
In the shortened 2020 campaign, Powless notched 11 points in only two games with the Six Nations Snipers of the Arena Lacrosse League. In international action, Powless twice suited up for the Iroquois Nationals at the World Junior Championships, helping the team claim a silver medal at the 2018 event.
With their second pick of the opening round, the Rush cashed in the 12th overall pick with defenceman Connor McClelland, who will return to the NCAA's Marquette University as a fifth-year senior (eligibility extended due to pandemic). The Brampton, Ontario, product is highly regarded for his lacrosse intellect which goes hand-in-hand with him being named to the Big East Conference's All-Academic Team three times.
McClelland's top-end speed comes into play in transition. He collected seven goals in three games during the shortened 2020 NCAA season and picked up 12 goals in 2019 with the Golden Eagles. In Junior 'A' action, McClelland registered 37 points in 85 games with the Brampton Excelsiors.
In Round 2, the Rush used the 26th overall pick to select transition Bobby Kidd, who played five seasons of Junior 'A' with the Langley Thunder. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder, who like Powless declared early for the 2020 draft, is a top-caliber athlete with offensive capabilities as he showed with 20 goals and 20 assists in 50 regular-season games with the Thunder. The Port Moody, B.C., product spent the 2019 NCAA Div. III season with the Young Harris University Mountain Lions, earning six points and 12 caused turnovers plus a spot on the All-Great Lakes Valley Conference Second Team.
With their third-round selection (43rd overall), the Rush went back to a familiar well of talent by choosing lefty forward Clark Walter from Limestone University in South Carolina. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder put up 103 goals in 58 games, including 53 goals in the 2019 season which earned him a spot on the NCAA Div. II All-American First Team. Walter also helped Limestone win the 2017 Div. II title. Walter played five seasons with his hometown Port Coquitlam Saints in the B.C. Junior 'A' League, posting 74 goals and 66 assists for 140 points in 41 regular-season games.
The Rush entered Round 3 with two picks but opted to trade the 46th overall selection to the Toronto Rock in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2021 NLL Draft.
In Round 4, the Rush opted for forward Kelson Borisenko, a standout offensive threat from the Manitoba Blizzard. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound righty finished his junior career with 333 points and was the Rocky Mountain Junior 'B' League's leading scorer in 2016 with 106 points, including 56 goals. Borisenko, who is from Winnipeg, will return to Manhattan College as a fifth-year senior where he is a two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Academic Team member.
The fifth-round pick for the Rush at 79th overall was right-handed forward Erik Maas from the New Westminster Salmonbellies of the B.C. Junior 'A' League. Maas, who hails from Burnaby, notched 60 points in 21 regular-season games during the 2019 season.
The Rush had the second-to-last pick of the draft and with 92nd overall selection, Saskatchewan opted for talent from their own backyard in choosing Estevan's Wyatt Haux.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound transition won gold with Team Canada at the 2018 and 2019 World Junior Championship and played at the 2019 European Box Invitational in Czech Republic. A physical force capable of stirring things up at both ends of the floor, Haux totaled nine goals and nine assists for 18 points in 34 regular-season games with the Saskatchewan Swat and added another five points in nine playoff games.
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National Lacrosse League Stories from September 19, 2020
- Rush Bolster Talent Pool in 2020 NLL Draft - Saskatchewan Rush
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