ILIndoor Top 50: John Grant Jr. #5

John Grant Jr. remains one of the most feared offensive players in the game of lacrosse today. (Photo: Jack Dempsey)
John Grant Jr. remains one of the most feared offensive players in the game of lacrosse today. (Photo: Jack Dempsey)

There really are no secrets to John Grant Jr. Only surprises when you’re trying to defend him and more often than not, that’s proven to be a fruitless effort. That’s because the 6-foot-2, 224-pound left-hander out of Peterborough, Ont., just seems to do what he wants, when he wants. And it doesn’t matter if it’s indoors with the National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth, the Peterborough Lakers of Major Series Lacrosse, or the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse. Junior pours in the points and as he enters his 15th NLL season, he’s showing no signs of slowing his scoring pace.

Grant scored 91 points (43 goals, 48 assists) in 2013 for Colorado, coming off a 116-point that earned him his second MVP award of the NLL. He signed a 4-year contract in the offseason with the Mammoth and said it would be his final pro contract, so it’s difficult to imagine him playing without passion so he can go out in a blaze of offensive glory.

And while the numbers don’t consume Grant, they do define him. He’ll go down as one of the game’s greatest to ever suit up and his stickwork and vision are what sets him apart from mortals. Throw in the ability to use his solid frame to gain position or draw the double-team so he can find an open teammate and you have one of the most complete offensive players to ever play the game.

His summer in Peterborough was limited to just 7 games, where posted 38 points on 17 goals and 21 assists. But to say he had an “off” summer isn’t fair, because he also was toiling in the field for the Bayhawks, scoring 32 points (20-12) in 11 regular-season games to not only lead the Bayhawks to the MLL playoffs, but to the league championship. He led the Bayhawks with 7 points (6-1) in 2 playoff games as the Bayhawks won their 3rd title in 4 summers and 2nd straight. Four of those 6 goals came in the title game and Grant was named MVP.

So clearly, Grant’s still got plenty of game left in his 39-year-old legs. His dedication to a new level of fitness has him primed for another big winter of lacrosse in Colorado and yet another strong chapter to a career that’ll be remembered as legendary.

ILIndoor’s take

“Years ago, a defender said Grant is one of the few, if not the only guy, you can play perfect technical defense against and still get burned. He’s famous for his slick stickwork but he’s got all the fundamental tools down pat. He’s older, for sure, but he’s much wiser and his combination of skills and experience keep him at the top of all lists as one of the best players in the world today.” – Bob Chavez

“Talk about keeping it in the family. One stick wizard of his era passes the torch to his son, who becomes the stick wizard of his own long era. JGJr has amazed us with his stickwork in the NLL since 1999. Fourteen years and he still is going strong. I can safely say that Grant is the most feared power-play guy in the circuit with his pinpoint shooting and trick backhand passing. The Hall of Fame awaits.” – Marty O’Neill

“Probably still the best pure shooter in lacrosse, Grant is dangerous any time he’s on the floor. Give him room and he’ll make you pay. D up tight and he’ll use his strength to hold you off and snake a backhander to the only opening the goalie leaves. Double team him and he’ll make a no-look pass to the player you’ve left open.” – 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
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
No. 7: Garrett Billings
No. 6: Curtis Dickson

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