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Bandits acquire Benesch, Watt from Swarm for draft picks

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TSN.ca Staff
7/15/2013 6:05:28 PM
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The Buffalo Bandits acquired forward Ryan Benesch and transition player Andrew Watt from the Minnesota Swarm in exchange for first-round picks in the 2015 and 2016 NLL Entry Draft and a third-round pick in the 2017 NLL Entry Draft.

"We are thrilled to be able to add Ryan and Andrew," said Bandits general manager Steve Dietrich. "I still believe that we are going to build this team through the draft, as we hold four of the top 20 picks in 2014, but adding both Ryan and Andrew helps fill two of our biggest areas of need for both now and the future."

"Both Ryan and Andrew embodied everything that the Minnesota Swarm was looking for both on and off the floor during their tenures with the team," said Swarm head coach and associate general manager Joe Sullivan. "They were ambassadors for our organization and carried themselves as professionals. Buffalo has gained two great people as well as two great lacrosse players."

Benesch, who was named NLL Rookie of the Year as a member of the Toronto Rock in 2007, has ranked in the top 10 in goal scoring in each of the last three NLL seasons, including a league-leading 46 goals and 95 points in 2011.

"Ryan is a top-five scorer in the league who, at 28 years old, is entering the prime of his career," Dietrich said. "He is one of the best left-handed offensive players in the game."

The forward from Kitchener, Ontario has amassed 486 points and 467 loose balls in 103 regular-season games during the course of seven NLL seasons with Minnesota, Edmonton and Toronto. In seven playoff appearances, Benesch has added 35 points (15+20) and 37 loose balls.

Watt, another Kitchener native, has spent his entire five-year NLL career with Minnesota after the Swarm chose him eighth overall in the 2008 NLL Entry Draft.

"Andrew is a very good defensive transition player who will fit into our up-tempo defense and, at 28, also fits into our long term plans," Dietrich said.

Watt has totaled 67 points and 312 loose balls in 68 regular-season games, scoring a career-best 16 goals in 2011 before recording nine points (6+3) in each of the last two seasons. His 13 shorthanded goals are a Swarm franchise record.

Ryan Benesch (Photo: Larry Palumbo/NLL)

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(Photo: Larry Palumbo/NLL)
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