By Ty Merrow
The Georgia Swarm today announced that the team has re-signed forward Randy Staats (Six Nations/Mohawk) to a three-year contract. The contract locks up the right-hander through the 2019-20 season.
“Randy followed an incredible Rookie of the Year performance with a great second season in which he has established himself as one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the NLL,” Swarm Owner and General Manager John Arlotta said. “With that said, we are excited to sign him to a three-year agreement as we know the best is yet to come.”
Staats finished 2017 fourth in scoring for the Swarm with 76 points (31G, 45A) despite missing five games due to injury. The Syracuse University alum ended the regular season with a .170 SPCT and collected 67 loose balls. He turned in five games with seven points or more, highlighted by a career-high 11 points (5G, 6A) against the New England Black Wolves on April 7. Staats scored the first goal in every quarter that night.
The Six Nations, ON, native shined in the postseason as he was tied for the team lead in points with assistant captain Shayne Jackson with 22 (9G, 13A). Staats was particularly effective in deciding games. Game 2 of the East Division Finals saw him turn in a seven-point (2G, 5A) performance to help the Swarm sweep the Toronto Rock. In Game 2 of the Champion’s Cup Finals against the two-time defending champion Saskatchewan Rush, Staats led the team with four goals scored.
“It’s unreal,” Staats said. “Coming off a championship and being there for two years already, it’s an unbelievable organization. I think that if we keep our group together, that we can hopefully have a little dynasty going here and win some more championships. I couldn’t be more thankful to have signed for three years with the Swarm, and I’m very excited to see what the future has.”
During the 2017 season, Staats scored the first goal in a game seven times. The Georgia Swarm finished 6-1 in those games. He averaged 2.38 GF/GAME and 3.46 AF/GAME, outpacing his rookie averages of 2 GF/GAME and 3.28 AF/GAME.
Drafted No. 6 overall in the 2015 NLL Draft, Staats made an immediate impact in his rookie season, leading the team with a NLL rookie record of 95 points (36G, 59A). He was named the NLL Rookie of the Year and made the 2016 All-Rookie Team.
So far in his young career, the 24-year-old has played in 31 regular season games and recorded 171 points (67G, 104A), collected 151 loose balls, and caused seven turnovers. In five postseason games, Staats has 27 points (11G, 16A) and collected 21 loose balls.