Rush Select Ben McIntosh First Overall
Edmonton, AB---The Edmonton Rush selected forward Ben McIntosh with the first overall pick in the 2014 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft held Monday in Toronto.
Touted as the most pro-ready prospect available in the draft, McIntosh size and scoring touch were two components that Rush General Manager/Head Coach Derek Keenan couldn't pass up. The Rush posted one of the best regular seasons in NLL history in 2014 with a 16-2 mark, but McIntosh has all the tools to jump right into the potent lineup.
"Ben has the skill set to be one of the great off-ball players the NLL has ever seen," said Keenan.
"He has been an accomplished scorer at every level. He's a power forward with quick and soft hands on the inside. He's an unselfish player willing to create space for his teammates." In his senior season with Drexel University (Colonial Athletic Conference - NCAA), McIntosh collected 48 goals raising his career total to 191 with the Dragons in 90 regular season and playoff games. The native of Coquitlam, British Columbia, was previously an Honorable Mention All-American at Drexel as well as First Team All-CAA, and a CAA Commissioner's Academic Award recipient majoring in international business. McIntosh finished with 328 career points at Drexel, earning high praise from Dragons coach Brian Voelker.
"He's got great instincts and is just a really talented offensive player," touted Voelker in Drexel Magazine.
"He's one of the most complete midfielders in the country. Not only is he one of our best players, he's a leader." In junior, McIntosh was regarded as one of the "Big Four" with the Coquitlam Adanacs, playing alongside now-Rush teammate Robert Church. Despite playing in limited action due to his college commitments, McIntosh starred for the Adanacs in 2012, scoring 27 goals and 15 assists for 42 points in only nine games, and then going on to finish second in scoring at that season's Minto Cup tournament.
After going first overall in the WLA draft to Maple Ridge, McIntosh had a breakout summer campaign in 2014, leading the Burrards in playoff scoring with 38 points including 27 goals - 14 of which came on the power play. McIntosh suited up for just 11 regular-season games for Maple Ridge but racked up 32 points.
"We like that Ben has always performed well in playoff situations," added Keenan, who was honored as both the NLL Coach and General Manager of the Year at the league awards ceremony on Sunday.
"That's important in the NLL where week to week the pressure to win is present."
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