Edmonton inks three draftees in Drexel’s McIntosh plus Shute & McAvoy
The Edmonton Rush have announced that the team has signed forward Ben McIntosh, the first overall selection from this year’s NLL Draft, to a two-year contract agreement.
“Like most first overall draft picks, we believe Ben is NLL ready. He’s physically and mentally mature and we expect him to contribute from the start,” said Rush general manager and head coach Derek Keenan. “The NLL can be a very humbling league for young players but Ben has a lot of playoff and championship experience giving him an edge going into his rookie season.”
Touted as the most pro-ready prospect available in the draft, McIntosh’s size and scoring touch were two components that Keenan couldn’t pass up. The Rush posted one of the best regular seasons in NLL history in 2014 with a 16-2 mark, but McIntosh has all the tools to jump right into the potent lineup.
“Ben has the skill set to be one of the greatest off-ball players the NLL has ever seen,” Keenan told the Edmonton Sun. “He has been an accomplished scorer at every level. He’s a power forward with quick and soft hands on the inside. He’s an unselfish player willing to create space for his teammates.”
In his senior season with Drexel University (Colonial Athletic Conference – NCAA), McIntosh collected 48 goals raising his career total to 191 with the Dragons in 90 regular season and playoff games. The native of Coquitlam, British Columbia, was previously an Honorable Mention All-American at Drexel as well as First Team All-CAA, and a CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient majoring in international business. McIntosh finished with 328 career points at Drexel, earning high praise from Dragons coach Brian Voelker.
“He’s got great instincts and is just a really talented offensive player,” Voelker told Drexel Magazine. “He’s one of the most complete midfielders in the country. Not only is he one of our best players, he’s a leader.”
In junior, McIntosh was regarded as one of the “Big Four” with the Coquitlam Adanacs, playing alongside now-Rush teammate Robert Church. Despite playing in limited action due to his college commitments, McIntosh starred for the Adanacs in 2012, scoring 27 goals and 15 assists for 42 points in only nine games, and then going on to finish second in scoring at that season’s Minto Cup tournament.
Keenan also announced that Adam Shute, the 13th overall pick from the 2014 NLL Draft, has signed a one-year agreement. After playing in the Alberta Junior League with the Okotoks Raiders, Shute moved to the B.C. senior league and showed steady improvement. This past season in Coquitlam, Shute, who also played in the NCAA for New England College, registered a 7.67 goals-against average and a .799 save-percentage.
In addition, the Rush have signed hometown product Mitch McAvoy from Mercyhurst University to a one-year agreement. McAvoy was selected by the Rush in the 2014 NLL Etnry Draft with the 47th selection. A faceoff specialist hailing from Sherwood Park, McAvoy helped Mercyhurst with the NCAA Div. II title before returning to Edmonton and playing for the Senior B Eclipse. Before joining the Lakers, McAvoy played at the prestigious prep school Hill Academy in Toronto.
The Edmonton Rush training camp will begin on Saturday, November 22 at the Leduc Recreation Centre. The Rush will announce their full training camp schedule, including exhibition games, in the coming weeks.