NLL Fan Poll: Dream quartet chosen for your new franchise

Andrew Suitor is a potential captain for your hypothetical new franchise, chosen by IL Indoor readers. (Photo: Alex Carroll)
Andrew Suitor is a potential captain for your hypothetical new franchise, chosen by IL Indoor readers. (Photo: Alex Carroll)

Voting is complete on the IL Indoor Franchise Player fan polls and we have the core of a team that you’ve put together and that any General Manager in the league would love to have to build his roster around for the next decade. There were some surprises, the biggest two probably being Cody Jamieson and Kevin Crowley not making it to the final group of forwards, but the talent in the group under consideration is so deep that it would be hard to make a wrong choice. Just to remind everyone how the exercise worked, the polls were choosing the young player at each position that you would want to build a brand new franchise around. Players had to be 25 or younger on the last day of the 2012 regular season, so that eliminated some guys who had their 26th birthdays earlier this year, such as Garrett Billings and Stephan Leblanc. After the jump, see how it all played out and how the final four is constructed.

Six players vied for the honour at goalie, defense and transition. A larger group of ten forwards was split in half for an initial round of voting that whittled them down to a final six, from which the winner was chosen. Much like a real franchise will often do, our team was built from the crease out.

<h3>Goalies</h3>

At the time the goalie vote was conducted, only one candidate was established as an NLL starter: Tyler Richards in Washington. None the less, Richards was edged out by another Tyler, Minnesota’s Carlson, and the latter’s crease-mate with the Swarm, Evan Kirk. Buffalo’s Angus Goodleaf came fourth. Since the poll he has been relegated to the practice squad after the Bandits picked up Anthony Cosmo from Minnesota. Edmonton backup Brodie MacDonald, who has only played 23 minutes this season, came fifth, followed by Nick Rose. The current Toronto starter, Rose was sharing backup duties in Calgary with Frankie Scigliano and struggled mightily in his 32 minutes of playing time. Since coming to the Rock, Rose has put up solid numbers and won three of four games, so chances are he might fare better if voting were held now.

Votes

Tyler Carlson 250
Evan Kirk 236
Tyler Richards 220
Angus Goodleaf 78
Brodie MacDonald 61
Nick Rose 46

<h3>Defenders</h3>

The polling for defensive players saw three players run away with a ton of votes, leaving their competitors in the dust. Rory Smith wound up leading the way ahead of Edmonton teammates Brett Mydske and Chris Corbeil. The strength of this category is underlined by the three outstanding back-door men in the wake of the top cohort. Stealth leader Kyle Sorensen and finished a bit ahead of another Rush guy, Kyle Rubisch, in the battle for fourth. Calgary standout Curtis Manning rounded out the group.

Votes

Rory Smith 3,015
Brett Mydske 2,145
Chris Corbeil 1,009
Kyle Sorensen 226
Kyle Rubisch 200
Curtis Manning 99

<h3>Transition</h3>

This may have been the group that held truest to expected form. Minnesota’s super sophomore and fabulous freshman fought for the top spot, with second-year man Andrew Suitor earning the laurel wreath over Jordan MacIntosh. Taken three spots after number four overall MacIntosh in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft, Calgary’s Travis Cornwall sat right behind him in the voting. Next up was a player likely to be taken in the first two or three picks of the 2012 draft, Peterborough Lakers’ Brock Sorensen. In fifth was the established veteran of the group, Philadelphia’s Max Seibald. The Wings and Team USA burner was the only American in the entire contest. Rounding out the group was unheralded but effective Mat MacLeod of the Colorado Mammoth.

Votes

Andrew Suitor 1,629
Jordan MacIntosh 1,097
Travis Cornwall 809
Brock Sorensen 258
Max Seibald 207
Mat MacLeod 104

<h3>Forward</h3>

The depth of qualified candidates at forward for this exercise was impressive, necessitating the preliminary pools which created a few shocks. Johnny Powless is a tremendous rookie who’s only improving as the season goes on. Mark Matthews has been a prodigious talent at the junior and college levels and is the consensus number 1 pick for the 2013 NLL draft. Adam Jones went third overall last year and is a strong candidate for rookie of they year in 2012. All worthy selections to move on to the next round. But, and it’s a big but, the players eliminated in this pool were stunning omissions. 2011’s top two rookies, superstars-in-the-making Jamieson and Curtis Dickson, fell by the wayside.

Votes

Johnny Powless 4,278
Mark Matthews 3,421
Adam Jones 3,231
Curtis Dickson 2,501
Cody Jamieson 1,144

The second group was equally talented and produced an equally big surprise. Once again, the players who moved on were a stellar trio. Rhys Duch was named the top player in the NLL by IL Indoor’s Bob Chavez in his Top 35. Shawn Evans is one of the most complete offensive players in the game with a driving passion to win. Dane Dobbie has produced consistently in his Calgary career and in the WLA. All worthy of moving on, but again that doesn’t entirely diminish the surprise of seeing Wings first-overall pick and 2012 rookie of the year favourite Crowley dropped in the preliminaries. Stephen Keogh is also a fine young player but was just in over his head against this group.

Votes

Rhys Duch 435
Shawn Evans 291
Dane Dobbie 290
Kevin Crowley 156
Stephen Keogh 58

Those preliminary rounds brought us to the final poll. The voters were consistent in their support of the silky smooth Powless, earning him the title of forward you’d want to build a franchise around. Duch’s clutch reputation helped him come second, followed by the tantalizing potential of Matthews. Jones and Dobbie made it four lefties in the top five and Evans pulled up the rear among the top half-dozed forwards.

Votes

Johnny Powless 3,291
Rhys Duch 2,347
Mark Matthews 1,185
Adam Jones 500
Dane Dobbie 200
Shawn Evans 90

So there you have it. Tyler Carlson, Rory Smith, Andrew Suitor and Johnny Powless are the faces of our hypothetical new franchise. The good news for the NLL is that that outstanding quartet against several other groups of four culled from the rest of the candidates to create the cores of a highly competitive and entertaining cadre of teams heading into the future.

Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at stamplax@hotmail.com.

Rate This Story:

Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (-6 rating, 14 votes)
Loading ... Loading ...