National Lacrosse League 2018-19 Futures - Will Canada Rush The Field?
National Lacrosse League 2019 Futures
NLL Eastern Division
- Rochester Nighthawks +275
- Georgia Swarm +333
- New England Black Wolves +435
- Toronto Rock +1200
- Buffalo Bandits +1400
- Philadelphia Wings +1400
The Toronto Rock were one of the most successful franchises in the early history of the modern NLL, winning five championships and appearing in six finals during the first eight seasons of competition. Toronto last won a cup in 2011, unable to earn a winning record over the last three years.
Saskatchewan may be the best club in the NLL, but the eastern division features tougher competition. Rochester and Georgia field outstanding lacrosse clubs, with the Swarm earning the division title over the past couple of years. Georgia’s the only team able to defeat the Rush in the finals over the past four seasons.
The Buffalo Bandits haven’t acquitted themselves well since their last championship in 2008, while the Philadelphia Wings enter their first season in the NLL. The New England Black Wolves are an outstanding dark horse candidate to win their first championship in franchise history in their fifth year of competition.
Toronto will have difficulty competing for a playoff spot in the deep eastern division. New England, Georgia and Rochester will dominate, while the Rock attempt to differentiate themselves from the mediocre Bandits and newly-founded Wings.
NLL Western Division
- Saskatchewan Rush +200
- Colorado Mammoth +375
- Calgary Roughnecks +1000
- San Diego Seals +1400
- Vancouver Warriors +3000
Saskatchewan continue their dynasty over this decade, winning their third championship in four seasons, defeating the Rochester Nighthawks 2-1 during the National Lacrosse League Cup. The Rush were stationed in Edmonton in 2015, when the franchise won their first cup. Moving to Saskatchewan didn’t turn out to be a distraction, with the franchise earning three more NLL finals appearances consecutively.
Calgary hasn’t won a championship since 2009, with their last finals appearance taking place in 2014, when they lost to the Knighthawks in the first three-game finals series in league history. The Roughnecks managed to squeeze into the last playoff spot last season with a sub-.500 record, which doesn’t bode well this season.
A recent addition to the NLL, Vancouver’s been in the league for only five years, yet to establish an identity or win a considerable volume of games. Don’t expect this club to suddenly breakthrough without a significant talent upgrade. Similar to the Philadelphia Wings, the San Diego Seals enter their first season in the NLL, unlikely to make waves.
The Colorado Mammoth will serve as the main nemesis of the Rush in the western division, but Saskatchewan will enjoy another terrific season in a relatively weak western conference.
Barring a run of injuries, the Saskatchewan Rush will once again rule the NLL in 2019.
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