Ryan Dilks signs contract extension to remain with the Rush
The Saskatoon Rush find themselves in a different position heading into the 2017-18 National Lacrosse League season. It will be the first time in three years the team will not be starting the campaign as defending champion.
The Rush made several off-season moves including the additions of Calgary sniper Jeff Shattler and New England goalie Evan Kirk. Rush coach and general manager Derek Keenan also decided to bring back defender Ryan Dilks with his signing of a three-year contract extension.
The seven-year veteran from Hamilton, Ont., said returning to the Rush was his first choice.
“This is the team I’ve played with for the majority of my career, these are my friends, this is my (lacrosse) home, if it wasn’t so far I’d move here, but unfortunately I can only spend time here on weekends so I’m really excited to be here for this, another three years.”
The 2016 NLL defender of the year felt Keenan strengthened an already strong returning core with the moves meant to improve now and build for the future.
“Bringing in a guy like Jeff Shattler who has just been a nightmare to guard for the last seven years, he’s such a veteran guy, a guy who can run the floor, he can play defense and he’s got one of the best shots in the league, is such a huge advantage for our offense,” said Dilks who was also happy to hear about the acquisition of Kirk.
“To have Evan Kirk in our net every night is huge,” said Dilks who added the former goaltender of the year in the NLL will now be frustrating opposition shooters.
“Our offense hated shooting against him, he’s such a talented goalie, he’s still young and he wants to be here and he says he’s very excited to play, so it will give us a great momentum boost in games.”
Dilks said all players have been told by Keenan to report to training camp next month in top condition as nothing short of championship will be considered a successful season.
“We defended our title a couple of times, now Georgia (is defending champion), so we become the hunter, so we will have to work twice as hard to bring the cup back and we’re really excited for training camp starting November and it’s going to be a fun year” said Dilks.