ILIndoor Top 50: Stephan Leblanc #40

Stephan Leblanc brings a big body and big lacrosse IQ to the Rock of Toronto, and Oakville. (Photo: Graig Abel)
Stephan Leblanc brings a big body and big lacrosse IQ to the Rock of Toronto, and Oakville. (Photo: Graig Abel)

Stephan Leblanc burst on to the National Lacrosse League scene in 2010, winning the league’s Rookie of the Year award after his 82-point season with the Toronto Rock. Since then, his stats have steadily declined, but that doesn’t mean his production has. When you’re a left-handed shooter and you have guys like Colin Doyle and Josh Sanderson on your team, who also happen to play on the same side, it means you simply have to wait your turn. But just because you’re not in a starring role doesn’t mean you can’t contribute and Leblanc’s work with the ball and off of it are the reasons he’s here on ILIndoor’s list of the Top 50 players in the game today.

So while Leblanc’s total points have declined each year, his scoring production has been steady. He’s scored 22 or more goals in each of his NLL seasons where he has helped the Rock win the last 2 East Division titles. With a solid and physical presence, he is able to create for himself as well as clear space for teammates with a fearless presence near the cage.

When his fourth NLL season concluded, he took that experience with him to the new Oakville Rock of Major Series and led the team in scoring with 55 points (26-29). He was the only player with more than 20 goals for a team that endured a long summer of growing pains.

He’s build a rep as a solid and dependable scorer in the NLL and MSL while also showing that he’s secure in a support role. That’s all part of his lacrosse IQ that has Rock brass confident that when the time comes for Leblanc to step into that role of top dog, he’ll answer the call.

ILIndoor’s take

“There’s an understated power to Leblanc’s game that’s so pretty to watch. He’s got the muscle to make his own space and the finesse to work around anything blocking his path to the cage. He’s one of the players who alone makes every game he’s in worth the price of admission.” – Bob Chavez

“A big, talented lefty forward who can score, pass and create space for his teammates. Leblanc will drive the net hard or spot up and shoot from outside. He’s struggled a bit to maintain his early success —Leblanc’s goal and assists totals have declined each year he’s been in the NLL since a superb 36/46/82 rookie season line. Back then it looked like he, rather than Garrett Billings, may be the breakout young star on the Rock. He’s still a solid offensive presence who contributes in a lot of ways.” – Stephen Stamp

“LeBlanc is a player that every team desires. A big skilled lefty “O” guy who can work on and off ball and get resets using size and speed. LeBlanc also has good lax IQ which makes him a creative passer and a smart finisher. Stephan has built on a successful junior A career and still has years of pro left to define his place in the game. When Doyle and Sanderson retire, his production on Toronto’s left side should increase dramatically. Until then he needs to support those guys to get his points to keep the Rock in the win column.” – Marty O’Neill

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
No. 41: Brett Mydske

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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