It’s fair to say the Calgary Roughnecks and Minnesota Swarm are two of the youngest teams in the NLL.
Both field 23-man rosters were the average age in around 25-years-old.
But as the Roughnecks have a six players with one year or less of NLL experience, 16 members of the Swarm roster are either rookies or sophomores.
That includes potential stars like Shayne Jackson, Kiel Matisz and Jordan MacIntosh and both goaltenders Tyler Carlson and Evan Kirk.
“Man, they are good players,” said Roughnecks transition star Geoff Snider. “They are going to be guys who have long careers in this league.
"They make it hard on you. They are talented, athletic, youthful and they are guys are passionate about lacrosse. It’s a scary combination.
The Swarm is on the far end of the spectrum of using youth to build a competitive lacrosse. As the sports grows at the grassroots level, it seems that every new draft class is stronger and deeper than the year prior.
Using Roughnecks rookies Matthew Dinsdale and Joe Resetarits as examples, Snider said, “All these guys that are coming out and are the top draft picks, they are older, much more experienced, well-coached players.”
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
1. Ryan Benesch: Ever since he arrived on the scene in Minnesota, it's seemed that the lefty has been the driving force of the Swarm's offence. The former first-overall draft choice can always seem to find the back of the net, and it was no different last time the two teams faced off. He led the Swarm with a hat trick and three helpers.
2. Kiel Matisz: He’s a big boy with a very strong shot. Standing 6-foot-5-inches, the rookie from Stoney Creek, Ontario is second on the Swarm behind Benesch with 16 goals and 15 assists in nine games. Against the Roughnecks, he fired two goals and three assists.
3. Callum Crawford: He was absent in the first game between the Swarm and the Roughnecks, but he should make a big impact when he suits up this week. The one-time Calgary draft pick will act as the Swarm captain for the remainder of the season with Andew Suitor out with a knee injury.
BY THE NUMBERS
2013 NLL Standings Calgary 5-5 Minnesota 3-6
Head-to-Head 2013 Regular Season Calgary 1-0 Minnesota 0-1
Top Scorer in 2013 Season Series Shawn Evans (2g, 9a) Ryan Benesch (3g, 3a) Jordan MacIntosh (1g, 5a)
Calgary vs. Minnesota All-Time Record Calgary 7-5 Minnesota 5-7
Calgary vs. Minnesota All-Time Record at Calgary Calgary 4-3 Minnesota 3-4
Calgary vs. Minnesota All-Time Record at Minnesota Calgary 3-2 Minnesota 2-3