The Edmonton Rush and Washington Stealth completed a major trade on Monday. Washington has traded Paul Rabil, one of the National Lacrosse League's top transition players, along with a first-round pick in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft to Edmonton in exchange for forward Athan Iannucci and a second-round pick in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft.
Edmonton Rush General Manager/Head Coach Derek was pleased to add a top talent like Rabil to the roster.
"Paul is an exceptional player, one of the league’s best at his position, and he is going to add a lot to our lineup," said Keenan.
"He can move the ball and he can score, but Paul is well-regarded for the heart and hustle he brings to the game, and that is something we are eager to have working for us."
From the Stealth perspective, Head Coach Chris Hall expects the addition of Iannucci will provide a boost to the Stealth’s offense, which is averaging just over nine goals per game this season. The Stealth is off to a 1-4 start.
"It's no secret that our offense has been struggling so far this season," said Hall, who has been absent from the Stealth's bench so far this season as he continues recovery from cancer treatment. "We need some goals, and there was a record-setting goal scorer sitting out there."
Rabil, who has eight points, 27 loose balls, and three forced turnovers in five games this season, is coming off a Week 5 performance that earned him his third career NLL Transition Player of the Week honor. The 26-year-old from Elkton, Maryland, collected six loose balls along with one goal and two assists in the Stealth’s 11-10 overtime win over Buffalo.
The six-foot-three, 225-pounder is coming off an impressive 2011 campaign that saw him earn a career-high 30 assists and 44 points. He also led Washington with 153 loose balls and appeared in the NLL All-Star Game.
Rabil, who has missed just one game in three NLL regular seasons, has notched 44 goals and 52 assists for 123 points in NLL regular-season play, plus 17 points and 50 loose balls in eight playoff matchups.
Iannucci is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous goal-scorers in the game today. In just 54 career NLL games, the 6'4", 215-pounder has 153 goals, including a NLL record 71 goals during his 2008 MVP campaign as a member of the Philadelphia Wings. A first round draft pick by the Wings in 2006, Iannucci tallied 30 goals en route to All-Rookie Team honors during the 2007 season. In 2011, his final season in Philadelphia prior to being traded to Edmonton, the right-handed forward tallied 29 goals and added 32 assists in just 13 games.
"I couldn't be more excited to join the Stealth,”" said Iannucci. "This team consists of players and coaches for which I have the utmost respect. I'm just looking to fit in where I am needed. I'll score goals, set picks, grab loose balls: whatever the team needs. My only goal is to get the Stealth another NLL Championship."
Both teams are in action this weekend on Saturday. Washington travels east to face the Rochester Knighthawks, while Edmonton heads to Calgary for it’s first match of the season against the rival Roughnecks.