The last remaining piece of the Saskatchewan Rush roster puzzle has been put into place.
Defenceman Nik Bilic has agreed to a new two-year contract, pending league approval, and he will be back with the reigning NLL champions for the 2019 season.
“Nik is not as widely recognized as some of the other players who make up our defence corps, but he is a vital piece of our back end,” said Keenan. “He brings a physical presence for sure, but he is very athletic and has the skill set to be an integral part of our transition game as well.
“In a year that we have some significant changes to our defence, Nik’s seven years of experience will play an even greater role.”
Originally drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 NLL Entry Draft, the Burnaby, B.C. native was traded two seasons later to the Rush by the Minnesota Swarm in a deal that saw the teams exchange first-round picks in 2013 and 2014. The Rush used their newly acquired 2013 selection to acquire Robert Church fifth overall.
Bilic’s first season with the Rush was the best offensive campaign of his career as he finished in the top 10 amongst defenceman in assists (13) and points (16).
The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder has been the rugged backbone of the Rush defence since joining the team. He reached the 100 career-games mark last season and went over the 200 penalty-minute plateau in the process. Despite recovering from a broken leg and missing the bulk of the past two seasons, Bilic still managed 11 points, 28 caused turnovers, and 25 penalty minutes in 24 games.
For his career, Bilic has totaled 13 goals and 39 assists for 52 points along with 331 loose ball scoops and 105 caused turnovers. He has been very effective for the Rush’s championship drives as well, netting five goals and five assists in 15 career playoff games.
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