(Sept. 29, 2016) – The National Lacrosse League has named its 2016 All-Rookie Team and Georgia was represented in four of the six selections. The 2016 NLL All-Rookie Team is comprised of Swarm players Lyle Thompson, Jesse King, Chad Tutton and Randy Staats; Rochester’s Graeme Hossack and Calgary’s Wesley Burg also made the team.
“Having four of the six players on the All-Rookie Team is a testament to the hard work and professionalism that these four individuals displayed during their rookie seasons,” Swarm Owner and General Manager John Arlotta said. “This rookie class will be remembered many years down the road as one of the most talented in league history, and that’s something we’re incredibly proud of. On behalf of our entire organization, I’d like to congratulate all four on receiving this prestigious award and for their commitment to the Swarm franchise.”
Staats was named the 2016 Rookie of the Year after setting a new NLL single-season rookie scoring record with 95 points, which led the Swarm and was 10th-most in the league overall. Staats led all rookies in points (95), goals (36) and assists (59), and was second in power play goals (8) and fifth in loose balls (84), second-most among first-year forwards. Staats' 59 assists also set a new NLL single-season rookie record. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound righty posted six or more points in nine games including six hat tricks and 14 multi-goal games in 18 games played. The 23-year-old from Six Nations, Ont. played collegiately at Syracuse University and was Georgia's first round (6th overall) selection in the 2015 NLL Draft. Staats was a Tewaaraton Trophy finalist in 2014 and two-time NJCAA Player of the Year at Onondaga C.C. in 2012 and 2013. Staats won the NLL Rookie of the Month award in January and April.
King finished third on the Swarm in scoring with 77 points, second-most among rookies and 18th-most overall, and finished second in assists (55), fourth in goals (22), plus fifth among rookies and third among first-year forwards in loose balls (83). He posted three or more points in 15 games with four hat tricks and five games with six-plus points in 17 games played. The Victoria, B.C. native played collegiately at Ohio State University, where he finished fourth all-time in program history with 208 points and 119 goals, and was a three-time USILA All-American and Tewaaraton Trophy finalist. The 24-year-old, who was selected by Georgia in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2015 NLL Draft, won NLL Rookie of the Month for February.
Thompson, the 2015 No. 1 overall pick, tallied 60 points (27G, 33A), which ranked fourth amongst first-year players and sixth on the Swarm. Thompson also excelled in other areas on the floor and tallied 81 loose balls, 12 caused turnovers and went 18-for-33 on faceoffs. During the Swarm’s three-game win streak this past April, Thompson caught fire and scored at least a hat trick in all three contests. He finished the stretch with 16 points (10G, 6A) and 18 loose balls. The 6-foot, 180-pound forward is the NCAA's all-time leading scorer in DI lacrosse, totaling 400 career points during his four-year career as an attackman at UAlbany from 2012-15. Thompson also holds NCAA DI records for all-time career assists (225) and points in a single-season when he totaled 128 (51G, 77A) in 2014 – his 121 points (52G, 69A) in 2015 rank second all-time. Regarded as one of the best athletes to ever play the collegiate game, the Onondaga Nation, N.Y. native became the first back-to-back male recipient of the prestigious Tewaaraton Trophy (Lacrosse Player of the Year) when he received the award during the 2014-15 seasons.
Tutton quickly established himself as one the league’s most exciting transition players in 2016. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound lefty recorded 22 points (14G, 8A), 90 loose balls, and led all rookies with 24 caused turnovers in 18 games. During a four-game stretch from late March to early April, the Courtice, Ontario native led all Swarm transition players with eight goals and collected 25 loose balls and eight caused turnovers. The University of North Carolina product was the first Canadian to be recruited in the Joe Breschi coaching era, and was one of the Tar Heels' leading scorers as a midfielder. During his senior season at UNC, Tutton posted a career-high 33 goals, and finished his four-year career with 104 scores. Tutton was the No. 5 overall selection in the first round of the 2015 NLL Draft.
The Georgia Swarm opens the 2017 NLL Season at home on Saturday, Jan. 7 against the two-time defending champion Saskatchewan Rush at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Field at Infinite Energy Arena.
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