We knew it was going to come down to Rhys Duch of San Jose and Daryl Veltman of Boston, but it was Duch that wound up taking the National Lacrosse League Rookie of the Year award after finishing with 89 points — good for seventh overall in scoring and a new NLL rookie record.
Here’s the press release from the league:
The National Lacrosse League has announced that San Jose Stealth forward Rhys Duch has won the Rookie of the Year Award for the 2009 season.
Duch made an immediate impact in his first season in the NLL. He played in all 16 regular season games for San Jose, scoring 35 goals and 54 assists for 89 points, the seventh best total in the league. The 89 points represents a new league record for rookie scoring, breaking the mark previously held by Gavin Prout, who scored 82 points as a rookie in 2002. Duch was drafted out of SUNY-Stony Brook (Long Island, NY) by San Jose with the third overall selection in the 2008 Entry Draft. The rookie’s contributions played an important role as San Jose finished 7-9 and made it to the West Division Final.
Duch is a member of the 2009 All-Rookie Team, which the league announced today. The additional members of the All-Rookie Team are as follows:
Kevin Buchanan, Minnesota Swarm (Forward): Buchanan made his way onto the 2009 All-Rookie Team despite only playing in 11 games this year. The Ohio State University grad made the most of his time on the field, finishing third on the Swarm in goals (22) and tied for fourth in points (45). His 45 points during the regular season placed him third amongst all rookies and 50th in the league. Buchanan also picked up 58 loose balls during the season.
Daryl Veltman, Boston Blazers (Forward): Veltman played in 15 games for the expansion Blazers and finished in the top 15 league wide in goals, assists and points. The #1 overall draft pick in 2008 scored 34 goals and tallied 43 assists for 77 points. Veltman also picked up 92 loose balls, the fourth highest total on the Blazers team. He finished a close second to Rhys Duch in the Rookie of the Year voting.
Paul Rabil, San Jose Stealth (Transition): Rabil finished his initial NLL campaign with 34 points (16 goals, 18 assists), good for the fifth highest mark in the 2009 rookie class. Rabil managed to find a niche in the potent Stealth offense, finishing sixth on the team in goals, fifth in assists and fifth in points. The former Johns Hopkins star added 60 loose balls while playing in all 16 games for the Stealth.
Stephen Peyser, New York Titans (Defenseman): Peyser made a name for himself in his first season in the NLL by finishing the regular season with 239 faceoffs won – the second highest total amongst all players. Peyser also finished with the ninth most points amongst all rookies, amassing 17 points (one goal, 16 assists). Additionally, the former Johns Hopkins standout led the Titans in loose balls (137) and finished tied for sixth in the league in the category while playing in 15 regular season games.
Tyler Richards, San Jose (Goaltender): The rookie netminder got an opportunity to play during the second half of the season, and made the most of it. Playing at a position where it’s difficult for rookies to find playing time, Richards became one of the faces of the second-half turnaround for the Stealth. He compiled a 3-1 record, posted a goals against average of 10.08, and a saved 80.3% of shots that he faced. Richards was instrumental in the Stealth turnaround, and was rewarded with starts in both of San Jose’s playoff games.
2009 All-Rookie Team
F Rhys Duch, San Jose (Rookie of the Year)
F Kevin Buchanan, Minnesota
F Daryl Veltman, Boston
T Paul Rabil, San Jose
D Stephen Peyser, New York
G Tyler Richards, San Jose
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