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Saskatchewan Rush protect 11 players ahead of NLL expansion draft

Mark Matthews is one of 11 players protected by the Saskatchewan Rush for the upcoming NLL expansion draft on July 9, 2019.
Mark Matthews is one of 11 players protected by the Saskatchewan Rush for the upcoming NLL expansion draft on July 9, 2019. File / Global News

For the second straight year, the National Lacrosse League is expanding by two teams and that means another expansion draft is coming.

The league’s 11 existing franchises, including the Saskatchewan Rush, released their protected list on Tuesday.

READ MORE: 2 veteran leaders re-signing with Saskatchewan Rush

Teams could protect 11 players, including a maximum of five forwards and one goaltender.

The Rush protected Evan Kirk after signing their top goaltender to a new two-year deal in the spring.

Newly re-signed defenders Chris Corbeil and Kyle Rubisch are also off limits.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Rush season ends with OT loss to Colorado Mammoth

Up front, the Rush protected four of their top five scorers: Mark Matthews, Ben McIntosh, Robert Church and Ryan Keenan.

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Also on Saskatchewan’s protected list are defenders Matt Hossack, Mike Messenger and Ryan Dilks, who is expected to return to the team after missing the 2019 season to train as a firefighter.

Forward Connor Robinson was also protected.

WATCH (April 2019): ‘A’ league minor lacrosse helping to grow game in Saskatchewan

‘A’ league minor lacrosse helping to grow game in Saskatchewan
‘A’ league minor lacrosse helping to grow game in Saskatchewan

Notable names left exposed by the Rush include veteran forwards Jeff Shattler, Curtis Knight and Marty Dinsdale, along with defenders Brett Mydske, Jeremy Thompson and Scott Campbell.

Each team will lose two players in the expansion draft which takes place on July 9.

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