The National Lacrosse League has announced three finalists for the 2016 NLL Sportsmanship Award. Calgary Roughnecks transition player Karsen Leung, Georgia Swarm forward Kiel Matisz and Saskatchewan Rush forward Ben McIntosh were all deemed to have demonstrated exemplary levels of leadership and sportsmanship to go along with outstanding play on the turf this season.
Leung posted a career-low two penalty minutes while recording 18 points (9+9) and 81 loose balls for the Roughnecks in 15 games played. The three-year veteran’s .250 shooting percentage tied for 17th overall in the league and his 22 caused turnovers were tied for 18th-most in the NLL and sixth-most among transition players. The 26-year-old from Victoria, B.C., who played collegiately at Bellarmine University and was drafted in the second round (10th overall) of the 2013 NLL Draft, won NLL All-Rookie Team honors in 2014.
Matisz finished fifth on the Swarm and tied for 27th in the league in scoring with 62 points (14+48), which tied a career high, plus registered 12 penalty minutes and 65 loose balls in 18 games played. The five-year pro recorded a career-best 48 assists, which ranked 16th-most in the NLL. The 27-year-old from Stoney Creek, Ont., who played collegiately at Robert Morris University, was drafted in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2012 NLL Draft and was a member of the NLL All-Rookie Team in 2013.
McIntosh ranked fourth on the Rush and tied for 27th in the league in scoring with 62 points (36+26) and had nine penalty minutes and a career-high 89 loose balls in 18 games played. The second-year forward’s 36 goals were tied for 14th-most in the league. The 25-year-old from Coquitlam, B.C., who played collegiately at Drexel University, was drafted first overall in the 2014 NLL Draft and won 2015 NLL Rookie of the Year and was an All-Rookie Team member.
The 2016 NLL Season Awards are determined by a vote of the league’s Board of Governors, General Managers and Head Coaches at the end of the regular season. The winners will be announced at the NLL Season Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 27 in Toronto, Ont.
Schedule of finalist announcement for the remaining NLL Season Awards:
Tuesday, June 21: Defensive Player of the Year award finalists
Wednesday, June 22: Transition Player of the Year award finalists
Thursday, June 23: Goaltender of the Year award finalists
Monday, June 27: Head Coach of the Year (The Les Bartley Award) finalists
Tuesday, June 28: General Manager of the Year award finalists
Wednesday, June 29: Rookie of the Year award finalists
Thursday, June 30: Most Valuable Player award finalists
Tuesday, July 5: Teammate of the Year award finalists
Wednesday, July 6: Air Canada Wingman of the Year award finalists
Thursday, July 7: Executive of the Year award finalists
Monday, July 11: Media Person of the Year (The Tom Borrelli Award) winner
Tuesday, September 27: 2016 NLL Season Awards Ceremony