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Rush Land Transition Tandem Amongst Three First-Rounders at NLL Draft

September 18, 2019 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Saskatchewan Rush News Release

Philadelphia, PA - The Saskatchewan Rush handled their business almost exactly as they planned at the 2019 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft.

"Very happy with what we got done. We were focused on adding younger defensive guys and getting a good right-handed forward in the first round and we did that," said Rush GM/Head Coach Derek Keenan.

The Rush went to work early with the fourth-overall selection (via 2015 trade with Vancouver) and were able to select who they expected would be there in transition Holden Garlent from Canisius College (NCAA)/Brooklin (MSL). The Thorold, Ontario, product is regarded as a smart and fast transition talent who declared early for this year's draft.

"It was the right decision for me," said Garlent of coming out ahead of his senior season. "I've got a great relationship with Derek Keenan. I think he likes my style of play and I hope I can build on that relationship and see where it goes."

As a junior at Canisius, the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder led the Griffins and finished second in the MAAC Conference with 26 caused turnovers and finished second on the team with 35 loose balls. Garlent scored four goals and added three assists last season for Canisius and set a school record with six caused turnovers in a victory over Mercer. One year earlier as a sophomore, Garlent earned All-MAAC Conference First Team honors. In box lacrosse, he was the captain and team MVP for St. Catharines in 2016 and then moved to Six Nations a year later and helped the Arrows win the 2017 Minto Cup, scoring eight goals in eight playoff games.

With their own pick at No. 9, the Rush stayed on the defensive side of the ball and landed who they hoped would be there - Justin Robinson from Robert Morris University (NCAA)/Brooklin (MSL). Another early departure from college, Robinson brings an abundance of speed and anticipation to the transition spot. Robinson did post 80 points in 85 Junior 'A' regular-season games with Brampton.

"I stick with my strengths with my transition game and my vision to make up for my size," said Robinson, who is a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder from Pickering, Ontario.

The Rush switched things up with their final first-rounder at No. 16 (compensatory pick), going with forward Tanner Thomson, a fleet-footed right-hander from Marquette (NCAA). The 5-foot-10, 160-pounder from Etobicoke, Ontario, racked up 205 points in 79 Junior 'A' regular-season games with Brampton. Noted for his high lacrosse IQ, Thomson has the look and temperament to be a key complementary piece on the Rush offence.

"He's a smart player, unselfish," said Keenan. "He's the best fit with our team. A team player who is going to fit into our offence really well."

The Rush were back at it in Round 3, using the 42nd overall pick to take the first goaltender of this year's draft in Victoria Shamrocks netminder Cameron Dunkerley. A native of Orangeville, Ontario, Dunkerley put forth spectacular numbers this past Junior 'A' season, going 12-4 for the Shamrocks with an 8.77 goals-against average and .813 save-percentage. His efforts earned him the league's MVP nod as well as a First Team All-Star spot.

In Round 4, the Rush spent the 57th overall selection on a homegrown talent in lefty transition Colin Berglof from the Saskatchewan Swat. A hulking 6-foot-4, 215-pounder, Berglof posted 139 points, including 67 goals, in Junior 'A' action, and added five points with Team Canada at the 2018 World Junior Indoor Championship held in Saskatoon.

"He's a big kid and I've heard a lot of good things about him," noted Keenan.

Round 5 saw the Rush use the 72nd overall pick on a familiar name, selecting defenceman Luke Keenan. The nephew of the Rush's GM/Head Coach is entering his third season of NCAA hockey at prestigious Princeton University, but prior to that, he played lacrosse for the Whitby Warriors in Ontario.

With their final selection coming in Round 6, the Rush chose forward Jordan Getz with the 85th overall selection. Getz is from Calgary and notched 191 points in 62 regular-season Junior 'A' games with Okotoks. He completed his collegiate career with Wheeling Jesuit University.

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