The National Lacrosse League free agency period began today, and the reigning NLL Champion Washington Stealth wasted little time in bolstering their roster for the 2011 season. The Stealth announced the signing of four players that will look to earn a spot on the 23-man roster in training camp this fall, pending league approval.
One of the players the Stealth signed is a familiar face from last season. Defenseman Rhys Jones was the 29th overall pick in the 2009 NLL Entry Draft and spent last season on the Stealth’s practice roster. Since then, Jones was selected 14th overall in the Western Lacrosse Association Draft (British Columbia) by the Victoria Shamrocks and has enjoyed a terrific summer season. The 6’4”, 225-pounder is emerging as one of the top young defenders in the WLA.
“We feel Rhys is going to make a strong run at securing a spot in our lineup in 2011,” said Stealth General Manager Doug Locker. “He is a big, strong athletic defender who gained valuable experience playing for the Shamrocks this summer. We look forward to having him back in camp.”
Another WLA defenseman looking to crack the Stealth roster in 2011 is Ross Halliday of the Coquitlam Adanacs. The six-foot, 200-pound righty has played three seasons of Senior ‘A’ lacrosse in Coquitlam. Locker and the Stealth coaching staff think that experience could be an advantage for Halliday in training camp.
Ross is another athletic defender with a lot of experience in Coquitlam,” said Locker. He is talented and very hard working and comes to us with strong recommendations from the Coquitlam organization.”
On the offensive end, the Stealth has acquired left-handed forward Martin Cummings. Cummings has spent two seasons with defending WLA Champion New Westminster Salmonbellies. In 28 career regular season games with the Salmonbellies, the 6’3”, 175-pound forward has recorded 48 points (25g, 23a). He was a Junior ‘A’ All-Star with Port Coquitlam in 2008, where he posted 57 points (29g, 28a) in 2008.
“Martin is a scrappy, no nonsense scorer who has played extremely well this summer,” Locker said. “He does a great job of getting to the net and creating offense. We like what Martin brings and are excited to see him in camp.”
The Stealth also signed an American-born player in the free agent market. Brekan Kohlitz was a field lacrosse standout at the University of Michigan in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association. Kohlitz was the captain of the 2008 Wolverine squad that won the National Championship and a three-time All-American. In his college career, the six-foot, 200-pound midfielder won over 71% of his face-offs and averaged 102 ground balls a season.
“Brekan is an extremely hard-working, talented draw man who we are excited to get into camp,” said Locker. “Throughout his collegiate career at Michigan, he was one of the most dominant face-off men in the country and we believe he can make the transition to the NLL.”
The Stealth begins their defense of the NLL Champion’s Cup with training camp expected to begin this November. The 2011 season begins in January and season tickets are on sale now. For ticket information, visit www.stealthlax.com or call 877-MY-75-TIX.