ILIndoor Top 50: Garrett Billings #7

Toronto's Garrett Billings has established himself as a reliable producer of offense. (Photo: Chris Fischbeck)
Toronto's Garrett Billings has established himself as a reliable producer of offense. (Photo: Chris Fischbeck)

One of the surest paths to greatness is consistency. Game after game, season after season. Garrett Billings has just 4 National Lacrosse League seasons under his belt but if there’s one thing he’s been, it’s consistent. The 6-foot, 195-pound right-hander out of Langley, B.C., has scored at least 30 goals in each of those 4 seasons for the Toronto Rock and he’s eclipsed the 100-point mark in his last 2. See the trend? Yeah, it’s a trend of greatness and considering just how money he’s been throughout his young NLL career, there’s no reason to think we won’t be seeing Billings on ILIndoor’s Top 50 list for many seasons to come.

The line reads like this: 30-31-32-30. That’s how many goals Billings has scored from his rookie season onward, giving observers a clear indicator of just how steady he is. Whether he’s shooting on goal from space created for him, or finding the open teammate — he’s had 82 and 70 assists the last 2 seasons — Billings moves the ball with precision. Give him time on the power play with less distraction from the defense and he’s even more dangerous as he led Toronto with 15 extra-man goals last winter.

It’s his awareness of what’s going on around him, and the anticipation of what’s going to unfold that makes him so dangerous. And although the Rock haven’t met with the playoff success they’d like to see recently, he still has 2 NLL title game appearances to his credit and 1 of those trips provided a championship ring.

He came pretty close this past summer to another ring as part of a Langley Thunder team that reached the WLA finals. He played just 5 regular-season games for the Thunder, but dropped an impressive 16 points (6-10) in that span, then turned it up a notch in the WLA playoffs with 36 points (10-26) in 10 games. The Mann Cup goal was not realized, but it’s clear to see just how much of an impact he has for a team’s offensive scheme.

It’s pretty scary to think of what’s ahead for Billings. He’s established himself as an elite offensive producer in just 4 short seasons, so what’s he going to do with a few more seasons of seasoning and experience? We can’t answer that, but it’ll be fun watching to find out the answer.

ILIndoor’s take

“If you’ve ever played the game, you know how tough it can be to score. That’s why it’s so frustrating sometimes when you watch Billings play, because he makes it look so easy. He’s got pinpoint accuracy with his shooting, and the way he keeps everyone involved with the flow makes him a real effective and dangerous leader.” – Bob Chavez

“Billings has evolved from a good spot shooter and solid cog in the offensive zone to a quarterback who is critical to the flow of the Toronto offence. If you give him space, Billings is a dangerous shooter. If you take away his shooting options, he’s adept at making the smart pass that springs someone else for a shot.” – Stephen Stamp

“I like Garrett Billings, I don’t love him. Billings scores a big chunk of his goals on the PP and gets many assists, which is a credit to both he and team. His playoff scoring is average for a go-to guy. Am I being hypercritical of a 100-point-a-year guy? Probably. His upside is large. Billings is becoming the game’s most deadly outside shooter and obviously has wonderful vision. Other guys high on this ranking bring a tad more grit to the rink and this is the only thing Billings needs to work on to be a superstar.” – 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
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
No. 24: Chris Corbeil
No. 23: Kevin Crowley
No. 22: Geoff Snider
No. 21: John Tavares
No. 20: Mark Matthews
No. 19: Dan Dawson
No. 18: Andrew Suitor
No. 17: Jordan MacIntosh
No. 16: Adam Jones
No. 15: Callum Crawford
No. 14: Tyler Richards
No. 13: Ryan Benesch
No. 12: Dane Dobbie
No. 11: Brodie Merrill
No. 10: Colin Doyle
No. 9: Matt Vinc
No. 8: Jeff Shattler

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