With the 2017-18 season in the books for the Georgia Swarm, the team turns its attention completely to the immediate future. The offseason is full of key dates for the Swarm, and these dates are all the more important with two new teams joining the National Lacrosse League.
The San Diego Seals and Philadelphia Wings will be joining the West and East Divisions, respectively, for the 2018-19 NLL season. To make the teams competitive, the two new franchises will participate in an Expansion Draft and compliment it with NLL Draft picks and free agents.
With so much ahead for Georgia before Training Camp, it is important to review what is coming in the near future:
JULY 2 –PROTECTED LISTS SUBMITTED
At noon on Monday, July 2, the Swarm will have to submit its protected players list to the league. Of the Swarm’s current 20-man roster, only 11 players total can be protected. A maximum of one goaltender and a maximum of five forwards can be protected. Any other players would be either transition players or defensemen.
Players not on this protected list are eligible for the Expansion Draft in the middle of July.
This protected players list must be approved by NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz. Also, teams will be unable to conduct transactions after 12 p.m. ET. This means the Swarm will be unable to make any trades or roster moves. This freeze will remain in effect until the Expansion Draft.
JULY 16 – NLL EXPANSION DRAFT
Having won the coin toss at halftime of Game 2 of the NLL Finals, San Diego elected to have the first pick in the NLL Draft. This means that Philadelphia gets the first of the 18 picks in the Expansion Draft on Monday, July 16.
Fortunately, the Swarm can get to work at 3 p.m. ET when the Expansion Draft starts. The freeze on team transactions will thaw, and trades and roster moves are now permitted.
On July 16, two unprotected Swarm players will be selected to play in either Philadelphia or San Diego. The Expansion Draft will go nine rounds as the Wings and Seals begin to lay the foundation for their respective teams. A maximum of two players from any of the nine current teams can be selected.
Georgia will lose two players.
JULY 31 – DEADLINE FOR QUALIFIED OFFERS AND FRANCHISE PLAYER DESIGNATION
The deadline for qualified offers to veteran players as well as potentially tagging a player with the Franchise Player designation is Tuesday, July 31.
AUGUST 1 – FREE AGENCY BEGINS
Teams will be able to contact, speak and sign rostered free agents, restricted and unrestricted, on Wednesday, August 1. All teams will also be permitted to sign practice players and non-rostered free agents.
AUGUST 24-26 – NLL JR. TOURNEY
For those that love to grow the game, there is no better event than the Jr. NLL Tournament in Oakville, Ontario. This three-day event will feature youths between ages 11-16 competing against other Jr. NLL talent from across the continent. If your child wishes to participate in the Swarm’s Jr. program, click here for more information.
MID-SEPTEMBER – NLL DRAFT
The date is TBA as of this writing, but the 2018 NLL Draft will take place sometime in September. The Swarm will be able to fill the holes from the Expansion Draft in either free agency or through the NLL Draft. The Swarm will have the following picks:
1st Round – 1 selection
2nd Round – 5 selections
- 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 22nd overall
3rd Round – 1 selection
4th Round – 2 selections
5th Round – 2 selections
6th Round – 1 selections
MID-OCTOBER – TRAINING CAMP
Teams will be able to start their respective Training Camps in mid-October.
EARLY DECEMBER – 2018-19 REGULAR SEASON STARTS
The NLL is aiming tentatively for a start in early December for the 2018-19 season. More information on this will be released closer to then.
As part of its constant effort to discover new talent to heighten the quality of play, the NLL is holding five combines across the continent between now and Training Camp:
- Monday, July 9 in Dallas, Tx.
- Saturday, August 11 in San Diego, Ca.
- Saturday, September 8 in Vancouver, British Columbia
- Sunday, September 9 in Philadelphia, Penn.
- Saturday, September 15 in Oakville, Ontario
There will be a final invite-only combine in Philadelphia that is tentatively scheduled for October 6-7. For more information on participating in any of the NLL combines, visit the league site.
Training Camp will be here before anyone can blink, and the start of the regular season on the heels of it. While the Swarm will be returning a solid core of strong players, there will be some new faces on the roster come December. Until then, Georgia soldiers on in its quest for its second NLL Cup.
Season Tickets for the Swarm’s 2018-19 season are On Sale Now! Join The Hive by reserving your membership today by calling 844-4-GASWARM. Renew your tickets by July 1st for a chance to win either a trip up to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, a game-worn Swarm jersey, gift cards, and more great prizes!