Minnesota & Toronto swap former 1st-rounders, Swarm get ’17 1st-rounder
The Minnesota Swarm and Toronto Rock have announced a trade with the Swarm sending transition player Brock Sorensen to the Rock in exchange for transition player Ethan O’Connor and Toronto’s first-round selection in the 2017 NLL Draft. The transaction is pending league approval.
The Swarm selected Sorensen with the second overall pick in a very deep first round of the 2012 NLL Draft. The 6-foot-6 native of Peterborough, ON enjoyed a great rookie season in 2013 with six goals and five assists for 11 points in addition to 51 loose balls and 10 forced turnovers in 16 regular season games.
In 2014, Sorensen’s loose ball numbers increased to 73 and forced 17 turnovers. The younger brother of Vancouver Stealth captain Kyle Sorensen, Brock dressed for all 18 regular season games and scored six goals and added three assists for a Minnesota team that didn’t qualify for the postseason.
The biggest assets Sorensen will bring to the Rock are his size and athleticism. With last week’s addition of unrestricted free agent Jeff Gilbert, Toronto continues to increase the size of the bodies on the defensive side of the ball.
“Brock will make us a tougher team to play against,” said Rock general manager Terry Sanderson. “The past couple of seasons, at times we weren’t a tough team to play against. Our recent moves have begun to address that issue. However, some of that change in becoming a tough team to face is also going to have to come from within.”
Sorensen played collegiately at Ohio State University and the first four years of his junior lacrosse career was played with his hometown Peterborough Junior A Lakers. In his Junior A rookie season of 2006, he was a part of a surprising Minto Cup championship team that upset the host team from Six Nations. Sorensen finished his Junior A career by playing his last year of eligibility with the Orangeville Northmen in 2010.
“I’d like to thank Brock for his two years of service with Swarm,” said Swarm owner and governor John Arlotta. “We were recently informed that Brock would be unable to play with us this season due to his job commitments, so this was the best situation for both sides.”
O’Connor, 22, appeared in 17 games with the Rock during his rookie season in 2014 and led the team with 133 loose balls, which also ranked first among rookies in the NLL.
“We’re excited to add Ethan O’Connor who was a first-round pick last year and displayed a lot of promise during his rookie campaign in Toronto,” Arlotta said. “He’s a fast, athletic player who will fit in very well with our defensive schemes.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound righty defenseman also notched 15 forced turnovers and showcased a nice scoring touch, tallying five goals to go along with four assists. Toronto selected the Hobart College graduate in the first round (No. 9 overall) of the 2013 NLL Entry Draft.
“We had to give up some significant assets in this trade,” said Sanderson. “Ethan had a strong first season in the NLL and has a bright future ahead of him in this league.”
By acquiring O’Connor, the Swarm now have five of the nine first-round picks from last year’s draft on their roster