Features | 9/30/2013 9:36:20 AM | Alex Pagliano
Entering the 2013 NLL Draft, Bandits coach Troy Cordingley had an informal outline for player selection: add youth and quickness.
By the end of draft night, the Bandits made several transactions to address those needs.
The team selected five players, including first-round selections Nick Diachenko and Mitch Wilde and acquired forward Joe Resetarits from Edmonton in exchange for the club’s 10th overall pick in this year’s draft and a second-round pick in 2014.
Forward Mitch Jones was also acquired from Edmonton for the 20th overall pick in 2013 and a fifth-round draft selection in 2015.
“We wanted to get faster and younger [particularly on offense],” Cordingley said.
The acquisition of Resetarits improves a Bandits offense that scored the second-fewest goals (171) last season. The Hamburg, N.Y. native posted 24 points (8+16) for Edmonton in 14 appearances last season. The second-year pro has the opportunity to create offensive opportunities for teammates in the transition game.
Cordingley remarked on Resetarits’s quickness and his ability to get to the net with ease.
“He possesses [a lot of] speed. We believe that he can help our team offensively,” Cordingley said. “He’s going to have to be one of our guys [that we expect to contribute offensively].”
Jones added four points on one goal and three assists for Edmonton last season in three appearances. The second-year player comes regarded for his ability to set up his teammates. In over 70 appearances in the Ontario Junior-A Lacrosse League, Jones recorded over 200 assists.
On the other end of the floor, the Bandits selected transition player Nick Diachenko with the 14th overall selection in the first round of the draft.
While considered a raw prospect, Diachenko possesses unrivaled speed. Diachenko averaged 2.3 goals per game for Delaware last season, a mark that ranked fourth amongst all Colonial Athletic Association players. At 6-foot, 185 pounds, the Coutice, Ont. native should provide Cordingley both size and youth.
Minutes later, the Bandits added transition player Mitch Wilde with the 15th overall selection.
Wilde scaled the draft board with an impressive performance at the NLL combine, ranking second overall in the combine’s fitness and agility testing. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Wilde posted a career-best seven points on three goals and four assists for Robert Morris University last season.
Both are expected to contribute to a defense that ranked at the bottom of the league in goals allowed (211). Defensively, the Bandits will add a level of aggressiveness to their style of play.
“We expect to have a punishing defense,” Cordingley said.
Cordingley expects the combination of youth and speed to translate to improvement on the floor.
“You have to have a sense of pride,” he said. “There’s a responsibility on us. But the onus is on [the players]. Players need to work for the name on the front of the jersey and not the back [of the jersey]. There must be improvement.”
The Bandits open the regular season on Saturday, Dec. 28 against the Philadelphia Wings at First Niagara Center.