On the heels of two major off-season trades, Saskatchewan Rush GM/head coach Derek Keenan made another significant move today via the free-agent market with the signing of former NLL Most Valuable Player Jeff Shattler.
Shattler spent the last 11 seasons with the Rush’s arch-rival, the Calgary Roughnecks, where he was consistently amongst the team’s top performers. Last season, the left-shooting forward scored 20 goals and added 51 assists – 13 of those coming on the power play – for 71 points. One year earlier, the Edmonton, Alberta, product set a career-high with 87 points.
“Versatility is the main reason why we wanted Jeff so much,” said Keenan. “He plays on the faceoff team, power play, any special team, and he’s great about running back in transition on defence which on our left side is important.
“We were very comfortable going forward with our young guys Ryan Keenan and Dan Taylor, but when it became clear that Jeff would be available, we had to make a call. Getting Jeff as a strong secondary scorer takes some pressure off our younger guys and some pressure off Mark (Matthews).”
The Shattler acquisition strengthens the Rush’s left side in the wake of last week’s trade that saw Saskatchewan move Adam Jones to Toronto in exchange for a pair of first-round draft picks. Earlier this week, the Rush landed 2016 NLL Goaltender of the Year Evan Kirk in a trade with New England.
Originally the 10th overall pick in the 2005 NLL Entry Draft by Buffalo, Shattler had a breakout campaign in 2011, notching 29 goals and 75 points which helped him earn the league’s Most Valuable Player and Top Transition Player awards. The 32-year-old posted a career-best 35 goals in 2014.
Through his 12 NLL seasons, Shattler has totaled 268 goals and 685 points in 184 regular-season games. In 26 career playoff games, including the 2009 Champion’s Cup victory, Shattler has notched 27 goals and 85 points.
Shattler Highlight Reel Videos: