DENVER – The boys are officially back in town as the Colorado Mammoth prepares to begin their four-week Training Camp in the greater Denver area ahead of the upcoming 2023-24 National Lacrosse League (NLL) campaign.
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Beginning the opening slate of workouts in Morrison, Colorado, the team is primed to endure some conditioning and exercise within the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheater before shifting gears back to Foothills Fieldhouse for the duration of the weekend as the boys will get the sticks warmed up as a unit for the first time this weekend.
Hitting the road for the second and third week of tune-ups this fall, the team will travel to Vancouver, British Columbia and Toronto, Ontario to participate in some content capturing sessions with broadcast partners at TSN and ESPN before clashing with other NLL squads during a few preseason skirmishes.
Back home inside Foothills Fieldhouse for the final weekend of camp, General Manager Brad Self and the organization’s front office staff will have one last look at this season’s personnel pool, with the team expected to be under or near the 30-player mark as the preseason winds down.
This year’s sessions are closed to the public.
Final roster cuts are expected to be communicated on Monday, Nov. 27, while the NLL will begin its 2023-24 slate with Faceoff Weekend Dec. 1-2. The Mammoth will enjoy the opening weekend off, with the team set to begin its season on the road Saturday, Dec. 9 down south against the Georgia Swarm.
With a quick glance at this year’s anticipated personnel heading into Training Camp, the Mammoth will enter this year’s session with a healthy mix of established veterans and new faces, with a few rookies expected to get a look this month as well, including 2023 NLL Entry Draft selections Ben McDonald, Declan Fitzpatrick (forwards) and Sean Kriwokon (defenseman).
The organization’s 2023-24 Training Camp roster can be viewed below (listed by position, alphabetically).
2023-24 Colorado Mammoth Training Camp Roster:
Forwards: George Downey, Declan Fitzpatrick, Tyson Gibson, Connor Kelly, Dylan Kinnear, Ben McDonald, Brett McIntyre, Eli McLaughlin, Connor Robinson, Ty Thompson, Chris Wardle, Connor Watson, Zed Williams
Defenseman: Jalen Chaster, Brett Craig, Joey Cupido, Paul Dawson, Owen Down, Evan Downey, Brett Draper, Tim Edwards, Tyler Garrison, Jordan Gilles, Robert Hope, Warren Jeffrey, Anthony Joaquim, Sean Kriwokon, Noah Lebar, Josh Sullivan, Bryce Tolmie, Nate Wade, Kris Veltman
Goaltenders: Tyler Carlson, Nate Faccin, Kaleb Martin, Dillon Ward, Ethan Woods
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Expecting All-Pro forward Ryan Lee to miss the entire 2023-24 season after enduring knee surgery during the offseason, Colorado will be without one of its top scoring options this season.
But with the organization acquiring forward Connor Kelly from the Albany FireWolves, who logged a career-high 67 points (35g, 32a), 58 loose balls, one caused turnover and eight penalty minutes in 16 regular season appearances en route to leading Albany in scoring throughout the 2022-23 season, primed to join returning scorers in Eli McLaughlin, Connor Robinson and company, the Mammoth shouldn’t have much problem generating quality looks in the O-zone.
Coached by newcomer Dan MacRae, who was named the club’s Defensive Coordinator in lieu of Andrew McBride accepting his new role as an Assistant General Manager within the organization, Colorado will again bring back a majority of its established defensive core, including the likes of captain Robert Hope, Warren Jeffery, Jordan Gilles and beyond.
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Welcoming 2022 NLL Entry Draft selection Owen Down (first round, 15th overall) to his first professional training camp, Colorado may look to get a bit younger as a unit overall, but not at the expense of experience and comfortability within the team’s system. Notable free agent signees in Nate Wade, Paul Dawson will surely apply some pressure in the decision-making process, but nonetheless, the Mammoth should again be stacked on the defensive end when December rolls around.
As far as netminders are concerned, Colorado is expected to roll with All-World talent Dillon Ward as the team’s starting goaltender, but could be potentially entertaining some competition for this season’s back-up job (s).
Keeping youngster Nate Faccin and journeyman Tyler Carlson on the roster the past two years, the organization has seen Carlton step in and step up in a variety of situations, while Faccin has yet to make his NLL debut. With goaltenders Ethan Woods and Kaleb Martin on the roster heading into Training Camp, it’s possible the duo could see some time during scrimmage action, with Ward being the only current lock at the position after signing a four-year contract agreement over the summer.
Mammoth fans can stay tuned to coloradomammoth.com and Colorado Mammoth social media channels for all sorts of Training Camp coverage and updates. In the meantime, be sure to lock in your tickets for the LOUD HOUSE, as the boys are set to host the Georgia Swarm on Friday, Dec. 22 for this year’s Home Opener inside Ball Arena!