CALGARY, AB — As the old saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Luckily for the Calgary Roughnecks’ rookie defender Chad Cummings, his National Lacrosse League debut was stellar.

After being drafted by the Roughnecks in 2012 and playing four seasons of NCAA hockey at SUNY Brockport, the 25-year-old finally made his long-awaited NLL debut. Although it was just one game, it appears it may have been all worth the wait.

Cummings was a beast in his own end, punishing Vancouver forwards all night long, and even led the game in caused turnovers with four, while also scooping up five loose balls in Calgary’s 12-11 loss to Vancouver. Cummings was not only impressive in his own end, but he also had his hand in the transition game with a few scoring chances, but was unable to find the back of the cage for his first NLL career marker. With his speed and size, I’m sure he will be getting many more chances to light the lamp this season.

Although it was just his first NLL career game, the Caledon, Ontario native was calm and collected. He looked like a seasoned vet and at times was the best defender Calgary had on the floor. With his 6’5, 210 lb frame and outstanding athleticism, Cummings and teammate Tyson Bell could become a dynamic duo in the defensive end and transition game for many years to come with the Roughnecks.
Cummings had a very strong summer with the Cobourg Kodiaks this past season; it became pretty clear that he was going to be able to become an impact defender in the NLL. But I certainly did not see it happening this quickly. Something tells me this won’t be the last time he finds himself as IL Indoor Grinder of the Week.