Breaking news: Athan Iannucci traded to Washington Stealth for Paul Rabil

Athan Iannucci, traded by the Wings to the Rush in the offseason, is now with the Stealth. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Athan Iannucci, traded by the Wings to the Rush in the offseason, is now with the Stealth. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

ILIndoor has learned that the Edmonton Rush have traded forward Athan Iannucci, who hasn’t played a game this season for the Rush after he was dealt there in the offseason by the Philadelphia Wings. Contract talks made little progress with the Rush, so GM Derek Keenan moved the talented scorer and and a 2012 second-round entry draft pick to the Washington Stealth for transition stud Paul Rabil and a first-round entry draft pick in 2012. In Iannucci, the Stealth add another proven scorer to a lineup that’s struggled to score even with Rhys Duch and Lewis Ratcliff up front. Nooch will bring another stick to the right side, perhaps filling the void left by the injured Jeff Zywicki as the 1-4 Stealth look to regain the form that’s taken them to the last 2 NLL title games. Iannucci missed most of the 2009 season and all of 2010 to recover from a severe knee injury. It’s been a long recovery, but Iannucci was in top form in the summer of 2011, leading the Langley Thunder to their first Mann Cup appearance. Turn the page for the official news release from Edmonton.

From the Edmonton Rush:

The Edmonton Rush have acquired Paul Rabil, one of the National Lacrosse League’s top transition players, along with a first-round pick in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft from the Washington Stealth in exchange for Athan Iannucci and a second-round pick in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft.

Edmonton Rush General Manager/Head Coach Derek was pleased to add a top talent like Rabil to the roster.

“Paul is an exceptional player, one of the league’s best at his position, and he is going to add a lot to our lineup,” said Keenan.

“He can move the ball and he can score, but Paul is well-regarded for the heart and hustle he brings to the game, and that is something we are eager to have working for us.”

Rabil, who has eight points, 27 loose balls, and three forced turnovers in five games this season, is coming off a Week 5 performance that earned him his third career NLL Transition Player of the Week honor. The 26-year-old from Elkton, Maryland, collected six loose balls along with one goal and two assists in the Stealth’s 11-10 overtime win over Buffalo.

The six-foot-three, 225-pounder is coming off an impressive 2011 campaign that saw him earn a career-high 30 assists and 44 points. He also led Washington with 153 loose balls and appeared in the NLL All-Star Game.

Rabil, who has missed just one game in three NLL regular seasons, has notched 44 goals and 52 assists for 123 points in NLL regular-season play, plus 17 points and 50 loose balls in eight playoff matchups.

Rabil has saved two of his best single-game performances for outings against the Rush. Rabil set a career-high with a seven-point effort against Edmonton in February of the 2011 season, and he propelled the Stealth to the 2010 NLL Champion’s Cup final by scoring his hat trick goal in overtime as Washington slipped past the Rush in the West Division Final.

The Stealth went on to win the 2010 NLL title with Rabil scoring twice in the final. That was just part of the stellar 2010 campaign that Rabil enjoyed. Rabil was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and to a spot on the All-World team in leading Team USA to the gold medal at the World Field Lacrosse Championship. That summer, Rabil also set a world record, firing a shot at 111 mph (179 km per hour) during the Fastest Shot competition at the Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game.

Rabil has had tremendous success playing for Boston in the MLL, collecting his second MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards in 2011 following up on winning both honors in 2009. He led the Cannons to the MLL title this past summer.

In 2008, Rabil was the second overall pick in the NLL Entry Draft, just a few months after being the first overall pick in the MLL Collegiate Draft out of Johns Hopkins University.

Rabil paced John Hopkins to NCAA championships in both 2005 and 2007. In 2007 and 2008, Rabil was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding player, and in 2007 he earned the McLaughlin Award as the NCAA’s most outstanding midfielder. In three NCAA championship tournaments, Rabil led his school with nine goals and six assists.

Chavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at bob.chavez@nllinsider.com or go to RochesterSports.com.

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