Buffalo Bandits announce 2016 roster

Buffalo Bandits General Manager Steve Dietrich today announced the team’s 20-man roster for the beginning of the 2016 season.

The roster is highlighted by the return of the team’s five leading scorers from last season, including last season’s NLL MVP candidate Ryan Benesch, who returns for his third season with the team. The team will also welcome newcomers such as Daryl Veltman, who spent last season with Calgary and signed with Buffalo as a free agent this past offseason.

“We liked where we were with our roster coming into the offseason and wanted to build on the success we had last year,” Dietrich said. “I think teams that maintain stability have success in this league and we’re hoping that’s the case with our team this season.”

To get the roster down to 20 players, the team placed Andrew Watt on injured reserve, places Steve Hinek on the holdout list and assigned David Brock, Tim Edwards, Craig England and Adam Will to the practice squad. Chad Culp will start the season on the suspended list.

“It’s always difficult to release players, especially guys that have been a part of this organization in the past,” Dietrich said. “The younger players we brought in forced us into some really tough decisions. We were excited to see the development of guys like Matt Bennett and Tyler Ferreira and we’re thrilled with Tim Edwards; he was the surprise of camp.”

The Bandits, who are 2-0 during the preseason, will travel to Allentown, Pennsylvania this weekend to play the New England Black Wolves at the PPL Center. The regular season will open on Jan. 9 when the team hosts Calgary at First Niagara Center at 7:30 p.m.

The roster breakdown follows:

Forwards (8): Ryan Benesch, Tyler Ferreira, Mitch Jones, Anthony Malcolm, Dhane Smith, Mark Steenhuis, Jerome Thompson, Daryl Veltman

Transition (7): Matthew Bennett, Kevin Brownell, Brandon Goodwin, Alex Kedoh Hill, Jay Thorimbert, Nick Weiss, Mitch Wilde

Defensemen (3): Jamie Batson, Steve Priolo, Billy Dee Smith          

Goalies (2): Anthony Cosmo, Davide Diruscio

Practice Squad (4): David Brock, Tim Edwards, Craig England, Adam Will

Injured Reserve (1): Andrew Watt

Suspended List (1): Chad Culp