NATIONALS MAKE MOVES TO SOLIDIFY ROSTER
12/7/11 12:00 AM
(Hamilton, December 7)… The Hamilton Nationals pulled off the first trade of the 2011 Major League Lacrosse Expansion Draft today by re-acquiring midfielder Dan Burns from the Rochester Rattlers. The move allowed the Nats to retain six of their nine players that were left unprotected in the 15-round draft.
Burn played in eight games last season and was one of eight Nationals’ college picks that helped revitalize the franchise. The defensive midfielder was the Nationals’ fourth-round selection (19th overall) in 2011 after completing his college career with a trip to the Division I Finals with the University of Maryland.
"I think in this league you have to have a good core of defensive midfielders," said Head Coach Regy Thorpe. “Getting Danny (Burns) and Donny Moss back was vital to our team’s success.”
Hamilton was also able to pull back goalie Brett Queener, defensive midfielder Donny Moss and midfielder Stephen Keogh, while protecting defenseman Sol Bliss and midfielder Brett Bucktooth after the draft.
The Nats did lose 2011 Rookie of the Year Jeremy Boltus, along with defenseman Kevin Ridgway and goalie Joe Marra. The Nationals roster was a prime target for teams selecting in the Expansion Draft as three of the first five players taken were Nationals. Boltus went No. 2 to the Charlotte Hounds and Ridgway went fifth overall to the Ohio Machine. Marra was drafted by the Hounds in the eighth round.
Burns went to Rochester first overall only to be traded back with a second and third-round supplemental pick in next week’s draft. In return, the Nats sent veteran Kevin Leveille and a second-round supplemental pick to the Rattlers. The picks will allow the Nats to add more talent to their roster in the 2012 Supplemental Draft.
“We are starting the season earlier this year so we have to be aware of that. Guys are going to be very competitive in the NLL and they make it far in the playoffs,” said Thorpe. “We have to prepared and find players that are hungry and can help us when the season begins.”
The Nationals and the seven other MLL teams will replenish their rosters on Wednesday, December 14th via the 2011 Supplemental Draft. The draft will consist of 15 rounds with each team scheduled to make one selection per round.
Hamilton finished the 2011 season tied for second place with a 7-5 record, and advanced to the Championship Game. The Nats dropped a tough 10-9 to the Boston Cannons in the Finals.