Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/9/11
From Press Releases
The Philadelphia Wings, of the National Lacrosse League (NLL), today acquired 2010 NLL Transition Player of the Year Brodie Merrill from the Edmonton Rush, as part of a six-player trade that will send Wings forward Athan Iannucci to the Rush.
As part of the transaction, the Wings will also acquire Rush forwards Dean Hill, Mike McLellan, and Edmonton’s 41st selection in the 2011 entry draft and 4th round selection in 2013, while Edmonton will receive Wings forward Alex Turner, goalie Brodie McDonald and the team’s first round picks in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
“We welcome Brodie to our organization. He is a very loyal player and adds to our leadership, builds our defense, solidifies our transition game and strengthens our man-down and face-off situations,” said Wings General Manager and Head Coach Johnny Mouradian. “Brodie is one of the best lacrosse players both indoor and field in the world, and he will help us advance our play to the next level.”
“I have a little bit of mixed emotions because I’ll be leaving behind good friends, teammates and coaches in Edmonton,” said Merrill about the trade. “But I’m very excited to be moving closer to home, joining the Philadelphia Wings and helping the team return to the playoffs.”
Merrill is widely regarded as one of the top players in the NLL and was recently named Best Player in the World by Inside Lacrosse. Merrill figures to dramatically improve the Wings transition game as the standout transition player recovered an NLL-best 187 loose balls last season.
Additionally, he was named NLL Transition Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010. Merrill also plays defenseman for the Hamilton Nationals of the outdoor Major League Lacrosse (MLL).
Throughout his MLL career, he has been named to the Great Atlantic All-MLL Team five times and has won three MLL Championships. On the international circuit, Merrill was named to the Team Canada for the 2011 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships after helping his country earn a silver medal at the 2010 FIL World Lacrosse Championships.
At the 2006 World Lacrosse Championships, Merrill helped Team Canada win the gold medal and earned Best Defenseman honors. Additionally, forwards Hill and McLellan will join the Wings after playing for the Edmonton Rush in 2011.
“This trade is really good for both organizations from a talent standpoint, however it also provides an opportunity for western players to play in the west and eastern players to play in the east,” said Mouradian.
Iannucci will join the Edmonton Rush after spending his entire career for the Philadelphia Wings, since being drafted by the team prior to the 2007 season. In 2008 the forward set the NLL single-season scoring record, scoring 71 goals and breaking the previous record set by Gary Gait.
Last season forward Turner contributed 17 goals and 22 assists in 16 games for the Wings, while McDonald did not see any in-game action at goalie during his rookie season.
“We want to wish Athan, Alex and Brodie the best as they transition to Edmonton and a team much closer to where they permanently reside,” said Executive Vice President and Co-owner Mike French.
“I want to especially thank Athan for his contributions during his five years as a Philadelphia Wing. Edmonton will gain one of the most prolific scorers in NLL history. In Athan’s sophomore year he set an NLL League record of 71 goals in a single season, a record that I anticipate will be around for some time.”
“On behalf of our ownership group we want to welcome Brodie, Dean and Mike. All will fill the various roles outlined for improvement by our coaching staff. We simply could not pass up on the opportunity to get Brodie Merrill into our organization.
“His skills in all aspects of the game, his character and his leadership are a perfect fit for our young team. He has the very unique characteristic of making everyone on the floor and in the locker room better players and better teammates,” French added.