Archive for the ‘NLL Top 50’ Category


OTCB Podcast: Wings great Jake Bergey finally gets his time in the spotlight

Jake Bergey ranks as the third-highest American scorer in NLL history. (Photo: Len Redkoles)
Jake Bergey ranks as the third-highest American scorer in NLL history. (Photo: Len Redkoles)

I’ve told this story a few times so bare with me; a while back I posted a tweet where I said that Casey Powell was one of the greatest Americans to ever play indoors. In retrospect, I should have said he IS the greatest American to ever play indoors but it was Phil Sanderson’s tweet that made it even more impactful. Powell is absolutely one of the best players to ever step foot on the merciless turf of the National Lacrosse League. With that being said, Jake Bergey needs to start being put in that conversation as the Philadelphia Wings get set to retire his No. 66 to the rafters of the Wells Fargo Arena on Saturday night. READ MORE »


OTCB Podcast with Swarm captain and Team 22 member Andrew Suitor


After a devastating knee injury during a week eight game last year versus the Edmonton Rush, a whole myriad of words and thoughts ran through the young Minnesota Swarm captain’s head. Most were unsafe for young ears while others immediately started to focus on getting back to full health and helping his team.

That’s how unselfish Andrew Suitor is. There he was, sitting in the trainers room with a torn ACL and MCL, learning his fate. That he would be out the reset of the year, that he’d have to face a very common surgery among athletes, then have a long road to recovery, but the most prevalent thought running through his mind was when he could be back on the turf  leading his team.

It wasn’t an easy road to recovery, but it was filled with support from his lacrosse brethren–a very tight inner circle of family–and a drive to be even better than he was before the injury. That’s just how Suits rolls. Always full speed ahead and never alone. This week on the OTCB Podcast we go one-on-one with one of the best two-way players in lacrosse and a very driven young man, Andrew Suitor.

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ILIndoor Top 50: Shawn Evans #1

Shawn Evans does it all on the lacrosse floor, bringing grit and production every single game. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Shawn Evans does it all on the lacrosse floor, bringing grit and production every single game. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

So here stands Shawn Evans, at the top of the Top 50. It’s not an easy list to compile and because of the sheer volume of quality players in the world today. But Evans separated himself from the pack in 2013 with sheer volume. As in points. In 35 combined regular-season games with the National Lacrosse League’s Calgary Roughnecks and the Peterborough Lakers of Major Series Lacrosse, Evans racked up 218 points. That averages out to 6.2 per game. That’s an astounding number by itself, but there is much more to what Evans brings to the rug every game, and that’s why he stands alone this year as the No. 1 player on ILIndoor’s annual list. READ MORE »


ILIndoor Top 50: Cody Jamieson #2

Cody Jamieson is collecting titles the way some people collect stamps: With a passion. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Cody Jamieson is collecting titles the way some people collect stamps: With a passion. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

You’re a defenseman and Cody Jamieson is coming your way. You see him, clear as day. Your job is to stop him, but you’ve got a decision to make and not a lot of time to make it. You can body him up or try to play his hands and neutralize his stick. Good luck. If you think you’ve figured how how to stop this cat, there are 8 National Lacrosse League teams that would like to employ you because simply put, he really can’t be stopped. He’s got the ball, he’s driving to the cage and there’s nothing you can do. Whether it’s with the NLL’s Rochester Knighthawks, Six Nations Chiefs of Major Series Lacrosse or even the Hamilton Nationals of Major League Lacrosse, Jamieson is emerging as one of the best players on the planet. Yes, he scores but the bigger picture here is the one we’re seeing of Jammer holding up championship trophies and MVP trophies. And that’s why he’s helping lead the parade of ILIndoor’s Top 50 players in the game today. READ MORE »


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. READ MORE »


ILIndoor Top 50: Kyle Rubisch #4

Kyle Rubisch is a textbook defender, making life rough for anyone carrying the ball. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Kyle Rubisch is a textbook defender, making life rough for anyone carrying the ball. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

Plenty of offensive players are the topics of highlight reel videos. Should there ever be one for defenders, Kyle Rubisch is your man. You’d wonder how many hits a video like that would garner but no matter what that number is, you can be sure of one thing. Not too many offensive players would watch because there is a long list of O guys that Rubisch has owned along his way to becoming perhaps the most elite defender in the game today. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound right-hander out of Brampton, Ont., has the size, the skill and the technique to wreak havoc on anyone carrying the ball, which usually isn’t for long with Rubisch in the vicinity whether he’s balling for the National Lacrosse League’s Edmonton Rush or the Brampton Excelsiors of Major Series Lacrosse. READ MORE »


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. READ MORE »


ILIndoor Top 50: Curtis Dickson #6

Curtis Dickson (17) has a nose for the net and the hands to finish once he gets there. (Photo: Richard Olson)
Curtis Dickson (17) has a nose for the net and the hands to finish once he gets there. (Photo: Richard Olson)

An injury limited Curtis Dickson to just 2 games in 2012 for the Western Lacrosse Association’s Maple Ridge Burrards, where he still managed an impressive 13 points on 8 goals and 5 assists. The obvious question, then, is what can he do in a full season? How does 103 points (58-45) in 17 games sound? The 6-foot-2, 205-pound right-hander out of Port Coquitlam was pure dominance in 2013, winning the WLA’s 2013 points title by 16 points. That was on the heels of a career-best 42 goals for the National Lacrosse League’s Calgary Roughnecks and both totals are clear indicators as to why he’s called Superman. They’re also clear reasons as to why he’s on ILIndoor’s Top 50 list and considering he’s just 25 years old, is there any reason to think he won’t be at the top of this list anytime soon? READ MORE »


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. READ MORE »


ILIndoor Top 50: Jeff Shattler #8

Jeff Shattler can do a little bit of everything, which adds up to a whole lot of impact. (Photo: Brad Watson)
Jeff Shattler can do a little bit of everything, which adds up to a whole lot of impact. (Photo: Brad Watson)

When you get to this level of a Top 50 list, you look for something a player does better than everyone else. And for Jeff Shattler, that includes just about everything. He scores, he passes, he works, he leads transition and he defends. When Shattler’s on the floor, whether it’s for the National Lacrosse League’s Calgary Roughnecks or the Western Lacrosse Association’s Victoria Shamrocks, he’s a busy man. The 6-foot, 185-pound left-hander who was born in Edmonton is listed as a forward, but his game is not limited to a definition. If you need a goal scored or defended, he’s capable of handling both duties and given the way his game is so universal, the best way to define him is as one of the game’s best in the world today. READ MORE »