Billings & Gamble Named All-Pros
The National Lacrosse League has announced the NLL All-Pro Teams for the 2013 season. Six of the 12 players honored are first-time selections, four teams had two All-Pros and three honorees will play in the 2013 NLL Championship Game presented by Reebok this weekend.
The 2013 NLL All-Pro First Team consists of Toronto Rock forward Garrett Billings, Washington Stealth forward Rhys Duch, Calgary Roughnecks forward Shawn Evans, Minnesota Swarm transition player Jordan MacIntosh, Edmonton Rush defenseman Kyle Rubisch, and Rochester Knighthawks goaltender Matt Vinc.
The All-Pro Second Team includes Minnesota Swarm forward Callum Crawford, Calgary Roughnecks forward Curtis Dickson, Colorado Mammoth forward John Grant, Jr., Toronto Rock transition player Jesse Gamble, Washington Stealth defenseman Mike Grimes, and Philadelphia Wings goaltender Brandon Miller.
First Team All-Pro
Forward – Garrett Billings, Toronto Rock (2nd selection)
Forward – Rhys Duch, Washington Stealth (3rd selection)
Forward – Shawn Evans, Calgary Roughnecks (2nd selection)
Transition – Jordan MacIntosh, Minnesota Swarm (1st selection)
Defense – Kyle Rubisch, Edmonton Rush (2nd selection)
Goaltender – Matt Vinc, Rochester Knighthawks (4th selection)
Billings ranked second in NLL scoring for the second-straight year with 100 points (30+70), finished second in the league with 70 assists and tied for first with 15 power play goals. The Langley, British Columbia native, who played collegiately at the University of Virginia, was the Rock's first-round (6th overall) selection in the 2009 NLL Entry Draft. The three-year NLL veteran won the 2013 NLL Sportsmanship Award and was named First Team All-Pro for the second year in a row.
Duch scored in every game to lead the NLL with 45 goals, finished third in the league with 96 points (45+51), tied for fourth with three shorthanded goals, and eighth in both assists (51) and shooting percentage (.213). The Victoria, British Columbia native, who played collegiately at Stony Brook University, was the Stealth's first-round (3rd overall) selection in the 2008 Draft. The five-year veteran was previously named to the All-Pro Team in 2010 and 2011 and helped lead Washington back to their third Championship Game in the last four years in 2013.
Evans won the league's scoring title with 112 points (32+80), which tied for fifth-most points in NLL single-season history. The Roughnecks forward also led the league with 80 assists, the second-most in a season all-time, and tied for fifth in the NLL with 12 power play goals, and tied for 10th with 32 goals. The Peterborough, Ontario native, who played collegiately at Bellarmine University, was the second overall pick in the 2005 Draft. The eight-year veteran was named to the All-Pro Team for the second-straight season.
MacIntosh recorded 55 points (27+28), second-most among NLL transition players, and ranked second in the league in loose balls (197) and fourth in faceoffs won (241). The Oakville, Ontario native, who played collegiately at RIT, was the Swarm's first-round selection (4th overall) in the 2011 Draft. The second-year pro won Transition Player of the Year in 2013.
Rubisch, the leader of the Rush defense that allowed the second-fewest goals in the league, recorded 11 points (3+8), ranked first among NLL defensemen with 128 loose balls, and led the league with an NLL-record 44 forced turnovers. The three-year veteran won Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season, becoming one of only two NLL players to win the award twice, and was named to the All-Pro First Team for the second consecutive year. The Brampton, Ontario native, who played collegiately at Dowling College, was the second overall selection in the 2010 Draft.
Vinc, who set the new NLL single-season record with 662 saves, also led the league in goals against average (10.17) and save percentage (.803), along with 955:28 minutes played, the second-most in NLL history, out of the team's total of 960:00 (99.5%). Backstopping the Knighthawks defense that allowed the fewest goals in the NLL, the eight-year veteran became the first NLL goalie to win Goaltender of the Year three times and helped lead the defending champions back to the NLL Championship Game in 2013. The St. Catharines, Ontario native, who played collegiately at Canisius College, was drafted in the first round (6th overall) of the 2005 Draft. Vinc was previously named to the All-Pro Team in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
Second Team All-Pro
Forward – Callum Crawford, Minnesota Swarm (1st selection)
Forward – Curtis Dickson, Calgary Roughnecks (1st selection)
Forward – John Grant, Jr., Colorado Mammoth (9th selection)
Transition – Jesse Gamble, Toronto Rock (1st selection)
Defense – Mike Grimes, Washington Stealth (1st selection)
Goaltender – Brandon Miller, Philadelphia Wings (1st selection)
Crawford finished fourth in the NLL with 95 points (32+63), third with 63 assists and tied for 10th with 32 goals in 14 games played. The Swarm's eight-year NLL veteran also ranked fourth in the league in shooting percentage (.239). The Ottawa, Ontario native, who played collegiately at Dowling College, was a second-round pick (18th overall) in the 2005 Draft.
Dickson scored in every game to rank third in the league with 42 goals, led the NLL in both game-winning goals (5) and shorthanded goals (6) and finished 10th in shooting percentage (.203). The three-year veteran and Port Coquitlam, British Columbia native, who played collegiately at the University of Delaware, was selected by the Roughnecks with the third overall pick of the 2010 Draft.
Grant, Jr. ranked fifth in the NLL with 91 points (43+48), second with 43 goals, tied for first with 15 power play goals, and 10th with 48 assists. The Peterborough, Ontario native, who played collegiately at the University of Delaware, was the first overall pick of the 1999 Draft. The Mammoth's 13-year NLL veteran was previously named to the All-Pro Team from 2000-2003, 2005-2007, and 2012.
Gamble finished eighth in the league with 108 loose balls and recorded 15 points (9+6) this season. The second-year pro was the runner up for Transition Player of the Year in 2013. The Rockwood, Ontario native, who played collegiately at Cornell University, was the Rock's second-round (17th overall) selection in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft.
Grimes ranked second among NLL defensemen with 20 points (8+12), tied for second in assists (12), third in goals (8), fourth in loose balls (95), and had 14 forced turnovers. The Peterborough, Ontario native was the sixth overall selection in the 2006 NLL Entry Draft. The seven-year veteran, who was the runner up for Defensive Player of the Year, helped lead the Stealth to their third Championship Game in the last four years in 2013.
Miller, who finished fifth in the league in both saves (556) and minutes played (831:51) in 15 games played for the Wings, was the runner up for Goaltender of the Year this season. The Orangeville, Ontario native and 13-year veteran ranks second among the league's active goalies with 174 career games played.
The 2013 NLL Season Awards are determined by a vote of the league's Board of Governors, General Managers and Head Coaches.
The announcement of Season Awards continues with the Moe's Southwest Grill Rookie of the Year award on Wednesday followed by the Most Valuable Player award presented by Reebok on Thursday.
The East Division champion and defending NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks take on the West Division Champion Washington Stealth in the 2013 NLL Championship Game, presented by Reebok, on Saturday, May 11 at 7 p.m. ET at Langley Events Centre, live exclusively on CBS Sports Network.