The 2020 NLL Entry Draft went virtual for the first time ever, but the new format did not faze the Georgia Swarm, as they made a huge splash in the first round with four picks and smart additions in later rounds to strengthen the roster. All told, the Swarm finished the night having selected eight new players.
“It was a great night for the Swarm,” Swarm Owner and General Manager John Arlotta said. “We added a number of pieces that will help us this year, and yet we were able to position ourselves with some really good players that will come on board next season after they complete their extra year of eligibility provided by the NCAA due to the pandemic. As a result, we essentially got two first-round picks this year and two more for next year.”
The Swarm came away huge in the first round with four players: left-handed transition player Robert Hudson (No. 6 overall), right-handed defenseman Jeff Henrick (No. 8 overall), left-handed forward Ethan Walker (No. 10 overall), and right-handed goaltender Laine Hruska (No. 13 overall).
Hudson is an alum of the University of Vermont. In 44 games, Hudson has 71 points (50G, 21A), 25 ground balls, and six caused turnovers. He also played with the Brampton Excelsiors in Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) in 2019. In 17 regular season games, he posted five points (1G, 4A). In four postseason contests, he netted two goals. Hudson is out of Oakville, Ontario.
Henrick is returning to Ohio State University for the 2021 NCAA season, one of the players who elected to return to school after his senior season was shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic. In his seven games in 2020, Henrick recorded two points (1G, 1A), 19 ground balls, and seven caused turnovers. During the 2019 summer, the Orangeville, Ontario native played for the New Westminster Salmonbellies in the Western Lacrosse Association (WLA). In 17 regular season games, he recorded 14 points (6G, 8A), and he netted a goal in five postseason contests.
Walker is also returning for a fifth NCAA season, playing attack at University of Denver. In 55 games played, the Peterborough, Ontario native recorded 219 points (142G, 77A), 84 ground balls, and seven caused turnovers. Walker spent the 2019 summer in the MSL with the Peterborough Lakers, playing in six games and posting 12 points (5G, 7A).
Hruska played in the Arena Lacrosse League (ALL) for the Whitby Steelhawks in 2020, where he was named the 2020 ALL Rookie of the Year. In 285:19 min. of action, Hruska was 5-1 with a league-leading 7.57 GAA. Hruska also played in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League (RMLL) Jr. A with the Saskatchewan SWAT. In 721:03 min., the Warman, Saskatchewan native posted an 8.07 GAA and .837 SV%.
With the first round wrapped up, the Swarm did not pick again until the third round. Before the round got too deep, the Swarm traded two third-round selections (No. 44 and 49 overall) and a fourth-round pick (No. 57 overall) to the Vancouver Warriors for their first third-round pick (No. 39 overall). Immediately afterwards, they selected left-handed forward Sam Firth.
“After the first round, we also added some very interesting young players who are not in college who will bolster our offense and defense and two very good US college players who have huge potential once they learn the box game,” Arlotta said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the talent and high character individuals we acquired.”
Firth, from Ottawa, Ontario, won a Minto Cup with the Orangeville Northmen in the Ontario Lacrosse League Jr. A in 2019. He was called up for the 2017-19 seasons, playing in six regular season games and posting 16 points (8G, 8A). In 24 games across the 2018-19 seasons, Firth recorded 49 points (18G, 31A). With the Nepean Knights in the OLA Jr. B. from 2016-19, Firth played in 79 regular season games and posted 348 points (154G, 194A).
The Swarm next picked left-handed defenseman Tanner Buck in the fourth round (No. 60 overall). Buck played for the Toronto Monarchs in the ALL in 2019-20. In 25 regular season games, he has 93 points (53G, 40A). He also played for the Orangeville Northmen in the OLA Jr. A in 2019, finishing his 19 regular season games with 65 points (28G, 37A) and 12 postseason contests with 27 points (5G, 22A). Buck is out of Orangeville, Ontario.
In the fifth round, the Swarm selected right-handed forward Miles Silva (No. 75 overall) out of Army West Point. Through 34 college games, he posted 66 points (65G, 1A), 47 ground balls, and 10 caused turnovers. Silva played in the 2020 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) season for the Denver Outlaws, and as a rookie, netted four goals. Silva is from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
For their final pick of the night, the Swarm picked right-handed defenseman Reece Eddy in the sixth round (No. 88 overall). A graduate of Boston University and captain for the team, Eddy played in 55 games – two seasons with the Terriers and two with the Canisius Griffins – and collected 237 ground balls and caused 95 turnovers, leading his team every year in that statistic. Eddy wrapped up the 2020 Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) with the Chrome Lacrosse Club, scoring a goal, scooping 13 ground balls, and causing five turnovers. Eddy is from Skaneateles, N.Y.