Roughnecks re-up NLL’s top transition talent in Zach Currier – Toronto Sun

The Calgary Roughnecks’ Zach Currier, left, is the 2021 NLL Transition Player of the Year.
The Calgary Roughnecks’ Zach Currier, left, is the 2021 NLL Transition Player of the Year. Photo by Gavin Young /Postmedia

Another major piece of their roster puzzle was put in place Friday by the Calgary Roughnecks.

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The National Lacrosse League club has re-signed defencemen Zach Currier to a one-year deal, pending league approval.

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The move to keep the 2021 NLL Transition Player of the Year comes a day after announcing star goalkeeper Christian Del Bianco was inked to a two-year pact.

“It’s very important to have both,” said Roughnecks GM Mike Board. “They are both talented at what they do in their roles on the floor and off the floor. They are both leaders, they have both won championships at various levels in the game. They are important pieces to our core group.”

The 28-year-old Currier has played his entire NLL career with the Roughnecks and is entering his fifth season in the loop.

This past season, he pushed his way into superstardom in the league, earning the league honour as top transition player.

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Currier led the NLL in regular-season loose balls with 237 and caused plenty of turnovers with 62.

Of his 10 goals, many came at critical moments in helping the Riggers into a playoff position.

“I am excited to be back playing in Calgary,” Currier said. “The Roughnecks have the best fans in the league, so I’m looking forward to getting back to the Saddledome to play in front of them.”

A product of Peterborough, Ont., Currier was named to the league’s 2021 all-pro first team. Previously, he was named to the all-pro second team on two occasions — in 2018 and ‘19 — and was also named to the 2018 all-rookie squad. Currier has recorded 79 points — including 28 games — in 64 all-time games with the Roughnecks, while scooping up 530 loose balls and causing 144 turnovers.

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“Zach is a premier player in the league,” added Board. “He’s a buzzsaw on the floor, and we like that he can play in any situation the coaches ask him to.”

The Roughnecks opened training camp Friday at the Calgary Soccer Centre, highlighted by three goalies, 16 defenders and 12 forwards. The first day featured and medicals and fitness evaluations, followed by on-field sessions at 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and wrapping up Sunday with one final practice at 8 a.m.

The Riggers then play one pre-season game against the Saskatchewan Rush on Saturday, Nov. 26, at Scotiabank Saddledome (7 p.m.) before opening the season on Saturday, Dec. 10 against the incoming Vancouver Warriors at the home Dome (7:30 p.m.).