'NECKS MAKE TOP 50 - Calgary Roughnecks - News

'NECKS MAKE TOP 50
6 Roughnecks players made the Top 50 for the USBOXLA preview of the upcoming season.

| Published: 12/31/2013 at 1:35:24 PM



With the 2014 National Lacrosse League season now underway, the Top 50 NLL Player rankings from the league's three-time Media Person of the Year Paul Tutka (2008-10) have arrived just in time on USBOXLA. Find some of the world's best lacrosse players below and check out the entire rankings to see how your ranks compare to one of the game's most knowledgeable writers.

"While the US Box Lacrosse Association (USBOXLA) continues to strive at developing the best American-born home grown box lacrosse talent ever produced, what is about to take place on the sport’s grandest stage will feature the absolute best lacrosse players on the planet no matter if their glowing green playing surface is made of real or fabricate blades," Tutka writes. "The 50 names that make up this list are truly today’s best-of-the-best, cream of the crop, and the filthiest talent saturated bunch of ball players presently playing the greatest game going. Lacrosse. So, who is the greatest player currently playing the sport? Well, you’ll have to keep reading to find out, but here’s a really quick rewind of who you’ll find below… 

The defending champion Rochester Knighthawks co-lead the pack with 7 players positioned inside the Top 50, their East Division rival the Toronto Rock also with 7 on the board. The rest: Buffalo (6), Calgary (6), Edmonton (6), Minnesota (6), Vancouver (5), Philadelphia (4) and finally Colorado (3)." 

FOR A FULL LIST OF THE PLAYERS, CHECK OUT USBOXLA

37. Mike Poulin
Age: 28
Position: Goalie
Team: Calgary Roughnecks
Constant short-man situations (Calgary were a man or more down last year 107 times while the rest of the league averaged just 75 penalty kills all year) and inconsistent, typically undisciplined play in front of him didn’t give Poulin the support most other starters got in 2013. Almost 30% of the Roughnecks’ goals allowed were when they were outnumbered on the rug. Scene stealing swats (made TSN’s Top 100 plays of 2013) and an increased ability to regroup after a shoulda-woulda, maintains Poulin’s place as a top shot stopper.

Did you know? He’s led all goalies in assists over the past two seasons combined, a bullet outlet coupled with a Calgary cast that can press hard. Last year’s 11a had him ranked tenth in Roughneck point production and also left him with more apples than over 70% of the NLL. Seriously.

24. Geoff Snider
Age: 32
Position: Transition
Team: Calgary Roughnecks
His fists-only reputation that took away from everything else he did so well is long behind him. While he still steams and simmers in the sin bin more than most (led the NLL in PIM last year, again), Snider still dominates the dot to historic levels, plays both ends of the floor like the game was meant to be played, adds some always appreciated goal scoring gravy, and is still one of the toughest SOBs in the sport.

Did you know? Snider has only been beaten at the face-off circle (lower than 50% FO%) two times over the past four years. Who beat him? Lil’ bro Bobby Snider did it last year and former Endicott College (DIII) middie & still professional MMA fighter John Ortolani, who played just 4 games over his short NLL career, edged him out in 2010 while suiting up for the Boston Blazers (miss those jerseys).

18. Dane Dobbie
Age: 27
Position: Forward
Team: Calgary Roughnecks
It’s tough to standout inside Calgary’s star studded forward juggernaut these days. With Curtis Dickson shooting the lights out, Shawn Evans winning MVP nods and Jeff Shattler doing a bit of, well, everything, would it surprise you if we said that Dobbie is still the best pure goal poacher on their roster? While Rhys Duch led the league in goal scoring last year, it was Dobbie’s hat-trick-and-a-bit per game average that was tops in the NLL (missing 3 games thanks to a tweaked knee). Few are as elusive, determined and a pain in your arse antagonizing as Calgary’s scoreboard crippler.

Did you know? While many consider him a British Columbia born product (the NLL’s media guide even listing Dobbie as being from Burnaby), Dobbie is actually from Elora, Ontario and was a pretty decent emerging Junior ‘B’ ball player prior to making B.C. his full-time home. Before B.C., Dobbie spent time with the Elora Mohawks and suited up alongside current NLLers like Jamie RooneyRob Marshall andJamie Lincoln there.

12. Jeff Shattler
Age: 29
Position: Forward
Team: Calgary Roughnecks
From a purely statistical standpoint, Shattler’s 2013 digit dump was fairly reminiscent of his MVP worthy run in 2011. Almost identical actually. You’ve heard it before, this do-everything, dual-end capable super athlete with a bite is one of the most versatile players in the league’s modern era. While his daily duties are very much front-door heavy these days, Shattler’s unique skill-set gives Calgary the most skilled utility man in the league.

Did you know? While some on this list had more high profile hockey careers, few rubbed shoulders with the type of high profile NHL talent Shattler did during a short stint as a London Knight. Hart and Stanley Cup winner Corey PerryDennis WidemanBrandon PrustMarc MethotKyle Quincey and fellow former Mimico laxer David Bolland played with the Knights that winter. Also on that London team for part of the season was former NLL first rounder Chad Thompson.

6. Shawn Evans
Age: 27
Position: Forward
Team: Calgary Roughnecks
There’s no denying that after an outstanding Junior career and a one of a kind apprenticeship in Rochester as a teen, anyone that lay eyes on Evans knew he was destined for greatness. MVP cinching and flirting with single season point and assist record greatness? Few likely did, but Evans did just that a season ago, the most out of left field MVP run since Athan Iannucci went goal-gun crazy in 2008. The reigning MVP was a one-time Second Team All-Pro previous to last year’s best-of-the-best title, zero other accolades as an NLL vet before that. His apples ballooned in 2013 thanks in large part to co-leading a Calgary cast that led the league in scoring (222g) and features a bevy of the NLL’s top scorers(4 Roughnecks ranked within the NLL’s Top 10 goal scorers last year, including Evans). Peterborough’s pint-sized pest proved he’s leading man capable at the highest level of the sport last year. Next? Playing that exact same role, but this time hoisting the Cup on the last day of class.

Did you know? His 33pt increase from 2012 to last season was by far the biggest climb in the league. Others that saw nice point spikes (that didn’t miss significant time due to injury or otherwise) in 2013 included; Jordan McBride +29, Kevin Buchanan +25, Dane Dobbie +22, Ryan Ward +18, Rhys Duch+17, and Jarrett Davis +13

1. Curtis Dickson
Age:
 25
Position: Forward
Team: Calgary Roughnecks
Some may duplicate his gravity defying antics, once in a while. Some may score the odd dramatic game winner, sending an arena’s worth of supporters home with strained vocals and damaged drums. Some may even flip the switch and score a ship load (ships are big) of highlight after highlight reel worthy goals, doing a roster’s worth of scoring in the blink of an eye. Rare, but it happens. Not so rare, however, if you’re Curtis Dickson, whose quality and quantity of goal scoring has been surpassed by absolutely no one. His helper numbers suck (just 20 assists in 2013). An unselfish disher Dickson is not. What he is though is the definition of a player that needs the ball in his stick 24/7 in order to function. A top off-ball forward too (actually it’s one of his many underrated skills), Dickson is at his best in pressure cooker situations, the odds stacked completely against him, seemingly nowhere to go outside of a clock timeout or a cry on the bench. In those situations, Dickson simply succeeds and leaves the sad sack sulking for the opposition to contend with. He had 5 game winning goals last year, most of those fourth quarter or even OT finishers. His 7g in the span of about 20 minutes in the playoffs was unscripted majesty that is easily one of the league’s greatest individual efforts, ever. Superman? He wishes he had the array of supersensory and unearthly skills to pull from that Dickson destroyed the NLL with last year.

Did you know? A scoring champ and MVP this past summer suiting up for the Maple Ridge Burrards, Dickson’s 58g was the highest WLA regular season total since 2000 when Chris Gill scored 61 for the same Burrards club. Unlike Dickson, however, Gill was not anointed with an MVP mention during his impressive scoring run. Who did? Dickson’s current coach in Calgary, Curt Malawsky.

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ALL HEADLINES

What was the most exciting game of the Roughnecks post-season?

May 3 - 16-15 win over Colorado
May 10 - 12-11 win over Edmonton
May 16 - 15-13 loss to Edmonton
May 16 - 2-1 win over Edmonton
May 24 - 10-7 win over Rochester
May 31 - 3-2 loss to Rochester



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