ILIndoor Top 50: Rhys Duch #3

Rhys Duch has averaged 2.4 goals and 5.6 points per game in his 5 NLL seasons. (Photo: Richard Olson)
Rhys Duch has averaged 2.4 goals and 5.6 points per game in his 5 NLL seasons. (Photo: Richard Olson)

“Clutch” certainly does rhyme with Duch, as in Rhys Duch, but that’s just too easy, right? It is, but it’s true. Since bursting on to the National Lacrosse League to set the league’s rooking scoring record in 2009, Duch has done nothing but produce points, and produce them at the most opportune times. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound right-hander out of Victoria, B.C., has averaged nearly 2.5 goals per game over his 5 NLL seasons, an average that was boosted by his career-best 45 goals for the Stealth last winter. It’s much the same for him in summer ball, where he was a producer of points for the Victoria Shamrocks in their bid that fell just short of the Mann Cup in 2013. Summer or winter, Duch is “clutch” and the manner in which he consistently scores goals is the reason he’s so high on ILIndoor’s Top 50.

When it comes to offense, Duch is about as complete as it gets. In his 45-goal effort of last winter, he scored at least 1 goal in all 16 games, with just 3 of those games being 1-goal outings. That means, of course, that he had 2 or more in 14 games with at least a hat trick in 11 of those games. And that included 3 4-goal games and 1 5-goal night. Whew. That’s a lot to digest just reading it, so imagine the effort a defense needs to stop it.

So far, not many defenses have been able to as his 91-point total (45-51) for the Stealth put him over 86 points or more for the 4th time in his 5 NLL seasons. And the task becomes even more monstrous in the postseason, especially last May when he led the Stealth with 17 points in 3 games, 10 of those points being goals.

His summer numbers were off a bit with just 31 points (14-17) but he played just 7 games in the regular season for the Shamrocks before dropping 42 points (17-25) in 15 combined games between the WLA playoffs and the Mann Cup.

Obviously, this is a man who knows how to score. But it doesn’t just happen. Years of dedicated work to the fundamentals makes it happen and Duch is masterful when it comes to the basics of the game. Technique, skill and heart. It all comes together in one lethal package that makes him one of the game’s best and most reliable players.

ILIndoor’s take

“Duch seems to be at his best when his team needs him most. He’s shown a knack for scoring goals at critical times. He gets plenty at other times too, though — Duch has scored at least 33 goals in each of his five seasons in the NLL. He’s not just a shooter, though … Duch also has at least 46 assists in each of those seasons and three times has cracked the 50-assist plateau.” – Stephen Stamp

“There are a few Canadian players with that sick footwork you normally get out of USA born players. Cory Conway is one that comes to mind but Rhys Duch is the full meal deal. At the rookie combine in Boston during the fall of 2008, Duch blew away most of his competition in every aspect. That was an eye popper for me. What he has done consistently since scoring goals and registering points regular season and playoffs is nothing short of all-world. His arrival in San Jose/Washington has elevated that franchise putting them in 3 final in Duch’s 5 years involved with the Stealth. Enough said.” – Marty O’Neill

“Duch is one of the best pure scorers in the game today, the kind of player who is going to get his points no matter what. He works well in whatever system he’s in but 1-on-1, he’s one of those guys for which defenders have no answers. The most impressive part of his game his the consistency. He brings it every game and as his numbers show, every season.” – 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
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
No. 5: John Grant Jr.
No. 4: Kyle Rubisch

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