ILIndoor Top 50: Brett Mydske #41

Brett Mydske's work isn't done once he's made the stop on defense. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Brett Mydske's work isn't done once he's made the stop on defense. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

Brett Mydske is your ideal defenseman. Yeah, he can force turnovers and he’ll shut down an offensive dodger, not falling for dekes and jukes. But the meat of the matter is that Mydske makes his teams better. Since his arrival in 2010 to the National Lacrosse League’s Edmonton Rush, the Rush have been to the NLL playoff party in 3 of his 4 seasons. Before that? The Rush had 0 playoff invites in 4 seasons. Since his arrival in 2010 to the Western Lacrosse Association’s Langley Thunder, the Thunder have been to 3 of the last 4 WLA playoffs. Before that? The Thunder (in Langley) had been to 1 WLA playoff tournament in 6 seasons. It’s tough to argue with that, and we didn’t here at ILIndoor as Mydske cracks the Top 50 list for 2013.

Haters can point out that the Rush are 0-1 in Champion’s Cup games and the Thunder are 0-2 in Mann Cup tournaments, but that’s a bit shallow. Just as it is to give him all the credit for his teams’ success outside of the finals. But there’s no denying that Mydske’s style of play provides a huge spark wherever he’s playing and when he’s in the lineup, opponents understand they’ve got a hell of a defense in front of them to solve.

Mydske was second in the NLL last winer with 28 forced turnovers. Only teammate Kyle Rubisch (44) had more, which gives you an idea of the unit thrown out by the Rush. It’s a similar situation in Langley, where Mydske helps set the tone for an athletic defense that’s delivers punishment and can recover quickly when the rare mistakes are made. That quickness also comes into play in transition, where Mydske can lead the charge after he has helped put the ball or the shooter — or maybe both — on the floor.

He even took on a bit of an offensive role with the Thunder late in the 2013 season, but his work on the back end did not go unnoticed as he was named the WLA’s Defender of the Year for the second straight summer.

It’s a shame that Mydske’s defensive talent is overshadowed at times by others, but he’s no less effective and no less valued by those involved in the game. It’s a name and a game that will be respected for years to come in the world of box lacrosse.

ILIndoor’s take

“Mydske is big, physical, athletic and talented. He’s grown into one of the best two-way defenders in the game over the past few years and is a huge contributor to the Rush’s dominant defence. He also showed mad versatility with the Langley Thunder this summer, getting shifted up to the offence to try to create space for the big names and scoring his share of goals while up there.” – Stephen Stamp

“I liked Mydske in Junior because of his size but he played for an under-achieving team. Saw him play for the Rush in 2010 and noted his potential but instructed our players to go after him. The sport of lacrosse is interesting in the fact that some players improve markedly with year-round play and that is just what Mydske has done since arriving in the NLL and WLA. This past WLA playoff Mydske played shifts of offense and didn’t look out of place adding to his defensive MVP award. He is a solid defensive coverage guy who forces turnovers and knows where to go with them when he gets possession. Look for more improvement still and a higher level on the chart in the future.” – Marty O’Neill

“Mydske’s style fits in perfectly with Edmonton’s style and the success of the Rush in the last few seasons is proof of that. He’s aggressive but precise, physical but in control. There’s a poetic flow to his game when he’s leading a break and we’re going to be hearing about him more and more as his career progresses.” – Bob Chavez

Top 50

No. 50: Aaron Bold
No. 49: Brad Self
No. 48: Jesse Gamble
No. 47: Rory Smith
No. 46: Kiel Matisz
No. 45: Lewis Ratcliff
No. 44: Johnny Powless
No. 43: Tyler Hass
No. 42: Sid Smith

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