NLL 2021-2022 Outlook – Toronto Rock

Compiled and Written by Gary Groob


Lax Philly A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

New Faces:

TD Ierlan, Mitch de Snoo, Jason Noble, Phil Mazzuca

Key Losses: 

Scott Dominey, Damon Edwards, Johnny Powless, David Brock, Brock Sorenson

While people will look at the losses saying the defense is depleted, I prefer to say the glass is half full.  A much younger, bigger, and faster defense is now at hand on the Rock, and no team will be able to take liberties on them.

Defense:

While nothing replaces experience, having 2nd, and 3rd year veterans like Adam Jay, Aaron Forster, and Josh Jubenville, plus the return of a healthy Latrell Harris, combined with Veterans such as Challen Rogers, Brandon Slade, Mitch de Snoo, Brad Kri, Jason Noble, Bill Hostrawser, and Sheldon Burns, and you have a mean, tough defense, that can also contribute in transition with speed, and soft hands, keeping the opposition off balance on most games.

Offense:

Zach Manns, Dan Craig, Reid Reinholdt, Dan Dawson, Rob Hellyer, Tom Schreiber, as well as Adam Jay, Jamison Dilks, and Justin Scott show that the mixture of veterans with youth  is also very prevalent on the offense. 

A big change in the offensive is the exit of former player and coach Blaine Manning.  Enter Hall of Famer Colin Doyle, and former Bandits assistant coach, Rusty Kruger. 

The new look offense now is more dangerous inside, with  no fear of crashing the net, keeping defenses on their toes.

Goaltending:

Nick Rose has gotten more and more reliable year after year, and in my opinion is in the top five in the league.  Having Brandon Miller return as the goaltending coach will help develop Rose even further, as well as help Riley Hutchcraft become the goalie we all know he is capable of being on a consistent basis.

Faceoffs:

While Brad Kri has done an admirable job at the X, he is not a bona fide faceoff guy the likes of a Trevor Baptiste, Jake Withers, or a Bob or Geoff Snider. 

Enter TD Ierlan…

Outdoors with Albany, Yale, and Denver, Ierlan won an unbelievable 75.3% of his faceoffs which is the highest by any player in NCAA DI history with 500 attempts. In the box, the Rock have found different levels of success in recent years, but those type of numbers put up by Ierlan are difference makers if he can translate them indoors.

To Sum It Up:

This team was on the verge of doing great things before the season was stopped in 2020, but the team heading to the floor in 2021-22 is even stronger in all departments.  This makes them one of the favorites in the early Vegas gambling lines. 

Can this team be the first in league history to win a seventh championship?  I would say if they can stay healthy, they can certainly make a run at it, but if nothing else, they will be an exciting team to watch.

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