While the news this week coming out of the state of Minnesota hasn’t been all that great, we can’t ignore the efforts being put forth by the boys over at the XCel Energy Centre. For years the Swarm have been a team that flucuates on the bubble as a contender and a first round bust. They’ve always had a solid core of veterans and talented youth mixed in with a physical defense. However, in the past few seasons things have changed in the land of a thousand lakes and since the Arlottas have taken over, the culture and dynamics of the Hive has seen a dramatic shift. Building around youth has been a priority in Minnesota and that all really took off last year when they drafted Andrew Suitor. A natural born leader, Suitor comes from an Oragneville Northman Jr program that continues to pump out NLL ready talent every year. This year he was named captain of the Swarm, becoming the NLL’s youngest captain and while humble in his ways, his play on the floor is loud, proud and very confident. Have a listen to this weeks OTCB Podcast with Minnesota Swarm Captain, Andrew Suitor.
Drafted 4th overall in the 2010 entry draft, Suitor came into the NLL with a lot of hype, having won the IL Indoor defender of the year while helping to lead a Northman squad to their third straight Minto Cup appearance. Immediately, he didn’t dissapoint. A fantastic rookie season landing on the NLL’s All Rookie Team, making his debut with the Victoria Shamrocks of the WLA and then playing for Team England at the World Indoor Championships this past summer in Prague. It’s been a pretty amazing year for the young defender and 2012, has just gotten better.
Under the eye of GM John Arlotta, Suitor was named captain for a Swarm team that continues to stockpile young talent through the draft. While many questioned Arlotta’s tactics, trading veterans and high profile talent for the opportunity to draft unproven rookies and sign young free agents- it’s worked quite well for the Swarm who sit at 3-2 and one of the most exciting teams in the NLL. ‘
Watching him play, lacrosse fans will see that he’s everywhere. He plays almost every defensive shift, short man, runs constantly in transition and can even score from his own goal-line. While his play on the floor is very loud, he’s a quite humble guy off the floor who knows that the team comes first and the tighter the team is off the floor, the better they will be on it. As the leader of the pack, Suitor enjoys his role but continually enjoys learning from those around him and soaks in as much information as he can.
This summer, he will get a chance to play along side some of the games best players when he pulls on the Peterborough Lakers jersey. “I may not even say a word when I walk in that dressing room. I’ll probably need a notebook for all the information I’m going to absord. It’s gonna be awesome.”
And while on the floor he’s all buisness and uber competitve, off the floor he’s just the same. When we talked with him yesterday, he was taking time out from playing ping-pong with the boys, then later last night, he lost the “River Corssing Ping Pong Tournament” to Pat Smith and he was none to pleased with it. Boys will be boys.
A future as bright as his smile, Suitor will be in the NLL for a long time and it’s a safe bet that under his guidance, this years young Swarm squad will continue to improve, surprise and gain confidence into the playoffs giving us more positive news from the Hive.Teddy Jenner is one the leading sources for lacrosse information. He comes by his love of lax honestly with a lifetime of experience, two Mann Cup championships and six years of play in the NLL. Email him at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter @OffTheCrosseBar or catch him on Team 1410 radio in Vancouver, B.C., as the host and producer of the Off the Crosse-Bar Radio Show In 2012, he was awarded the BCLA's Norm Wright Merit Award- handed out to a member of the media deemed to have have contributed to the promotion of lacrosse.
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