ILIndoor Top 40: Jeff Moleski #29

Jeff Moleski, left, is a quiet but effective leader for the Washington Stealth's defensive corps. (Photo: Richard Olson)
Jeff Moleski, left, is a quiet but effective leader for the Washington Stealth's defensive corps. (Photo: Richard Olson)

Year in and year out, Jeff Moleski has been the model of consistency and we’re talking about more than numbers for this lefty D-man out of Prince George, B.C. Sure, he’s played in 63 of a possible 64 regular season games over the last 4 seasons. And sure, he popped in a goal and helped on 6 others last season for the Washington Stealth. You can throw in the 73 loose balls he collected and the 10 forced turnovers, too. But stats, especially for a defenseman, aren’t really the measuring stick as much as they are the product of an attitude and an approach. And the attitude and approach of Moleski is something coaches and GMs around the NLL covet. Opponents, too. Because they’re wishing Moleski was on their side.

Dropping the kind of stick checks that’s “gonna leave a mark” — in the famous words of the late Chris Farley — Moleski goes about his business in a way that most teammates say is underrated. He’s in shape, he’s aggressive, he’s unapologetic and he’s straight up nasty in the classiest possible way. He’s the kind of defensive and team leader that leads by example and rarely speaks in the room.

But he’s been known to share a thought or two and when he does, people listen. That’s the sort of respect he commands among teammates, the guys who have no doubt in their minds that Moleski is the dictionary definition of a teammate, through and through. The Stealth had their share of struggles last season, be it with injuries, wins and losses or coming up short of expectations for a team that had played in the previous 2 NLL title games.

But at 30 years old, Moleski is in his prime as a D-man. He’s got the athleticism to run with anyone and the experience to play angles and anticipate. If you’re looking to build a top-notch indoor lacrosse defense, you’re looking at Jeff Moleski as part of that foundation.

Fact: Moleski’s last 4 NLL goals — 1 in 2012 and 3 in a 2011 game — have all come against the Colorado Mammoth. Eight of his 32 career goals in the regular season have come against Colorado.

Top 40 (last year’s rank in parenthesis)

No. 40: Jeff Gilbert (not ranked)
No. 39: Kevin Crowley (nr)
No. 38: Kevin Ross (nr)
No. 37: Adam Jones (nr)
No. 36: Jordan MacIntosh (nr)
No. 35: Paul Rabil (30)
No. 34: Tyler Richards (17)
No. 33: Scott Ranger (nr)
No. 32: Chris White (20)
No. 31: Sandy Chapman (15)
No. 30: Aaron Bold (nr)

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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