ILIndoor Top 50: Chris Corbeil #24

Chris Corbeil, left, brings the type of defense opponents have to respect, or pay the price. (Photo: Scott Pierson)
Chris Corbeil, left, brings the type of defense opponents have to respect, or pay the price. (Photo: Scott Pierson)

One of the best compliments you can pay a person is to deem him dependable. And when the topic of Chris Corbeil as a lacrosse defenseman comes up, the word ‘dependable’ is never far behind. At 6-foot-2, 188-pounds, the left-hander out of London, Ont., is an athletic marvel. And he uses every bit of that as a dominant defender for the Edmonton Rush of the National Lacrosse League and the Bramton Excelsiors of Major Series Lacrosse. He also uses that skill as a hockey player, last year signing an ECHL contract before he was cut. But hockey’s loss was the NLL’s gain as Corbeil went to work for the Rush to put on a display of defense that makes him a natural fit for ILIndoor’s list of the Top 50 players in the game today.

Corbeil’s not going to score a lot of goals for you, but he can score. He’s not going to fight a lot for you, but he can. Corbeil’s job is to stop goals and it’s a role he not only understands, but embraces. He had 14 points (9-5) last winter — including a team-high 4 short-handed goals — to lead all Rush defenders in that category, and his 21 forced turnovers and 107 loose balls also lodged him among team leaders.

It’s much of the same in Brampton, where he was a steady presence in the back end while scoring 14 points (4-10) in 18 regular-season games. And the crazy — or great — thing about Corbeil’s work is that he’s there to do it. Defenseman can pile up the PIMs in a hurry, but Corbeil had just 8 for the Rush in 16 games and 8 for the Excels in the regular season. And you know what that means. Yup, he was on the floor, not the penalty box, keeping his valuable skills at service.

There are plenty of great defenders in lacrosse today, but Corbeil’s clearly a step ahead of the pack.

ILIndoor’s take

“Don’t let the smooth style of Corbeil fool you. There’s just as much passion and drive in his game as anyone out there. He’s in your face with discipline and he’s sparking transition with the best in the game. And if it takes a few punches to the grill to get the point across, he can take care of that too. He’s a leader by both example and words, and at just 25 years old, there’s a lot of great lacrosse to come from him.” – Bob Chavez

“Chris Corbiel is the bookend for Edmonton’s Kyle Rubisch, forming the toughest defense in the NLL. There are others who are very good in Edmonton but Corbiel’s athletic game gets him noticed. Chris can take the ball end to end with his quickness and lose ball scooping abilities, making him dangerous in all situations. Great 5-on-5 defender and his man down abilities are solid. Answers the bell for teammates which is a solid leadership quality.” – Marty O’Neill

“Corbeil doesn’t get the attention that some of the other top defenders get, but he’s about as good as anyone out there. He can play solid man-to-man defence, he’s a physical force and he’s athletic enough to make a difference all over the floor. Corbeil is also a great team guy, both on the floor and off. The kind of player you can just write into the lineup every day and know he’ll do his job.” – Stephen Stamp

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
No. 40: Stephan Leblanc
No. 39: Kevin Ross
No. 38: Jeff Moleski
No. 37: Drew Westervelt
No. 36: Jeff Gilbert
No. 35: Ryan Ward
No. 34: Cory Vitarelli
No. 33: Kyle Sorensen
No. 32: Corey Small
No. 31: Shawn Williams
No. 30: Scott Ranger
No. 29: Mark Steenhuis
No. 28: Casey Powell
No. 27: Josh Sanderson
No. 26: Brandon Miller
No. 25: Mike Grimes

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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