ZACH MANNS SIGNS 2-YEAR DEAL
2019 2nd Round Pick Returns After Successful Rookie Season
Oakville, ON – Toronto Rock General Manager Jamie Dawick announced today that Rock forward Zach Manns has agreed to a 2-year contract extension. The signing is pending league approval.
Many around the game project that Manns will end up being one of the steals of the 2019 NLL Draft. The Rock were able to select the crafty lefty from Victoria, BC in the second round, 27th overall.
“Zach came out of nowhere and really impressed us,” said Dawick. “He showed those flashes of brilliance at times but he struggled with his consistency and that’s to be expected of a young offensive player. There’s lots of upside with Zach and we saw significant progress in his game over the course of the season. We are committed to each other now and for the future.”
Manns accomplished more than you think in his first season. It’s a rarity that an offensive player selected in the second round comes in as a rookie and plays in every one of his team’s games. Manns did just that, dressing for all 11 games, scoring 7 goals and adding 13 assists for 20 points.
“I am super excited to get back at it with the guys,” said Manns. “I want to build on the momentum of my first season and any success I had is a testament to my teammates on offence, we have a great group that made feel at home. Guys like Dan Dawson, Challen Rogers, Tom Schreiber and Dan Craig, helped me get to another level of confidence that I’ve never felt before. So to have that confidence as a rookie was a pretty good feeling.”
The jump in Manns’ game is pretty significant. He went from 20 points and playing a primarily defensive role in his second to last BCJALL season with his hometown Victoria Shamrocks to an offensive dynamo and a 105-point season that ranked him second-best in the league during his final Junior A campaign in 2019.
Further to the jump theme, Manns’ got game. He is also a very talented basketball player and almost opted to pursue a collegiate career on the hard court rather than playing field lacrosse at Division I Drexel University for the 2019 NCAA season.
“I think basketball and box lacrosse are so similar,” explained Manns. “Both require fast footwork and raw athleticism. The sport of basketball has contributed to my success as a lacrosse player. When I was growing up, I played all sports, because it was something my parents preached and it certainly paid off for me.”
While there is a lot of good from his first NLL season, Manns did make one mistake that his teammates didn’t let him live down very quickly. It’s a mistake he won’t make again.
“Being introduced and running out of the tunnel for the first time at the home opener, I ran out without my helmet on,” remembers Manns. “Being number two, I get introduced right after the goalies and I didn’t know any better. I definitely heard it from the guys for a while about that one, especially after seeing guy after guy coming out with their helmet on after I was introduced.”
The NLL has announced this year’s NLL Draft will be a virtual event on Tuesday, September 17. Fans can watch on Bleacher Report Live, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at 7:00 p.m. ET.
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