May 17, 2012

NLL Announces First, Second Team All-Pro Picks

from press release

Defenseman Kyle Rubisch and goaltender Aaron Bold of the Edmonton Rush and forward Cody Jamieson of the Rochester Knighthawks were among 13 players named to the National Lacrosse League's 2012 All-Pro teams on Thursday. All three are looking to add "2012 NLL Champions" to their resume. The Knighthawks and Rush will play in the NLL Championship Game, presented by Reebok Lacrosse, 7:30 p.m. Saturday night from the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y., in a game that will be televised live on CBS Sports Network.

Rubisch was a First Team pick after being voted the NLL's Defensive Player of the Year. He capped his second season with a league-high 43 forced turnovers in 16 games for the West Division-champion Rush.

Rubisch also was first on the club and sixth in the league with 151 loose balls, and set career highs with four goals and six assists for 10 points.

Bold, a Second-Team pick - was third overall in the league with a 10.47 goals-against average. He and Rubsich were key players in a Rush defense that held opponents to 175 goals during the regular season, the second-lowest total in the league.

Jamieson was also a Second Team selection. The second-year Knighthawks forward set team highs with 36 goals and 49 assists for 85 points in 15 games. He also leads the club with four goals in postseason play.

Besides Rubisch, the remainder of the All-Pro First Team selections are forwards John Grant Jr. of the Colorado Mammoth, Garrett Billings of the Toronto Rock and Dan Dawson of the Philadelphia Wings, transition player Andrew Suitor of the Minnesota Swarm and goaltender Mike Poulin of the Calgary Roughnecks.

Grant was named the league's Most Valuable Player for the second time in his career earlier this month after setting a new single-season record with 116 points (league-leading 50 goals, 66 assists) in just 14 games. Colorado went 11-5 in 2012 after registering a 5-11 record in 2011.
Billings, who was runner-up in the MVP voting, set a new NLL record for assists in a season by registering 82 for the East Division-champion Rock, and his 114 points eclipsed current Toronto captain Colin Doyle's club record of 111. The Rock won the East Division regular season title.

Dawson, who broke his own league record for assists in a season on April 7 before being overtaken by Billings, finished with a club record 103 points (25 goals, 78 assists). Dawson was third in the MVP race.

Suitor was selected as the Transition Player of the Year on Tuesday. The 23-year-old Minnesota captain led the Swarm to the Divisional Finals for the first time as he picked up 120 loose balls, and scored 15 goals with 11 assists in 16 games. He led the NLL with 74 penalty minutes, was third with 25 forced turnovers.

Poulin beat out Bold for Goaltender of the Year after finishing second in the league with a 10.27 goals-against average, tied for second with 10 wins and sixth with 486 saves in 14 games with the Roughnecks. Calgary had the league's best regular-season record at 12-4.

The remainder of the All-Pro Second Team are forwards John Tavares of the Buffalo Bandits and Shawn Evans of the Roughnecks; transition player Brodie Merrill of the Wings and Minnesota's Jeff Gilbert and Calgary's Mike Carnegie in a tie among defensemen.

Tavares completed his 21st NLL season by ranking second with 41 goals – a league-high 21 coming on the power play. The 43-year-old is the NLL's all-time scoring leader with 1,627 points.

Playing his seventh NLL season and first with Calgary following a blockbuster trade, Evans led the Roughnecks in goals (32), assists (47), points (79) and power-play goals (13). He was also fourth on the team with 77 loose balls and tied for third with 13 forced turnovers.

A two-time winner as the Transition Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010, Merrill was fourth in the NLL with 157 loose balls and scored 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) in 16 games with the Wings.

Gilbert finished with 26 forced turnovers and Carnegie averaged one forced turnover while each played all 16 games for the Swarm and Roughnecks, respectively. Gilbert and Carnegie tied for second behind Rubisch for Defensive Player of the Year honors.

The awards are voted on by the league's board of governors, general managers and head coaches.

First Team All-Pro

Forward - John Grant, Colorado (8th selection)
Forward - Garrett Billings, Toronto (1st selection)
Forward - Dan Dawson, Philadelphia (7th selection)
Transition - Andrew Suitor, Minnesota (1st selection)
Defenseman - Kyle Rubisch, Edmonton (1st selection)
Goaltender - Mike Poulin, Calgary (1st selection)

Second Team All-Pro

Forward – John Tavares, Buffalo (18th selection)
Forward – Cody Jamieson, Rochester (1st selection)
Forward – Shawn Evans, Calgary (1st selection)
Transition – Brodie Merrill, Philadelphia (5th selection)
Defenseman – Jeff Gilbert, Minnesota (1st selection)
Defenseman – Mike Carnegie, Calgary (1st selection)
Goaltender – Aaron Bold, Edmonton (1st selection)


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