Connor Sellars is a quiet guy off the floor, but on the floor, he makes noise as one of the Swarm’s shut-down defenders.
Sellars, one of the Swarm’s two first-round picks in the 2016 NLL Draft along with Bryan Cole, has lived up to, if not exceeded, the expectations the Georgia Swarm had for him when he was drafted No. 10 overall.
He’s out there to close lanes and deliver punishing hits, and his defensive abilities one-on-one make him a shut-down defender.
“When we play Saskatchewan, he’s covering Mark Matthews,” Swarm assistant coach Sean Ferris said. “He’s on a big body. When we play Toronto, he’s on Adam Jones. He is a good, lock-down, physical defender, and we put him in a role.”
In addition to being a wall in front of opposing lacrosse shooters, Sellars gets the ball back for the Swarm, with 76 loose balls (second most among Swarm defensemen) and 13 caused turnovers (most among Swarm defensemen). He also led the Georgia defensemen in scoring with 11 points (1G, 10A).
His goals for total shrank compared to his rookie season, but his assists jumping up 150% speaks to how good Sellars has become in transition, making dangerously accurate clears leading directly to goals.
It’s exciting to think of how Sellars has improved between two seasons. It’s even more exciting to imagine how he’ll internalize all he’s learned over the past two seasons and what that’ll look like on the floor in 2018-19.
“We’re not going to put him on a fast, quick, speed guy, but I’ll tell you, his physical presence and his domination on one-on-one defense was very impressive this year,” Ferris concluded.
What a Hit:
For the Swarm to win in Scotiabank Saddledome, an arena it hasn’t won in since 2012, it was going to take strong individual efforts from all 19 men off the bench. Sellars set the bar for effort high early in the game.
About six minutes into the game, Calgary had its O out and was trying to net its second goal of the night. Swarm goaltender Mike Poulin stuffed a shot attempt, but the Roughnecks took the ball back off the rebound. Another shot was blocked, and Sellars and Holden Cattoni were trying to collect the rebound for their respective teams. The ball went in a different direction, and Zach Currier was there to grab it. Sellars streaked towards Currier and checked his logo, knocking the rookie hard onto his backside while simultaneously soaking a check to his left shoulder from Wes Berg.
Things got better from there. Lyle Thompson received the caused turnover, dodged a check from Berg, and passed to the still upright Sellars. Sellars perfectly cleared to Shayne Jackson, streaking off the bench, and Jackson netted the transition goal.
It wasn’t the hardest hit Sellars had all year, but his actions before, during, and after the hit were integral in the Swarm starting its fifth game of the season strong and eventually earning its second win of the season.
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