Edmonton Rush defenseman Kyle Rubisch won the NLL Defensive Player of the Year Award for the second-straight season to become just the second player in league history to earn the award twice. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
The National Lacrosse League has announced that Kyle Rubisch from the Edmonton Rush has won the Defensive Player of the Year Award for the 2013 NLL season.
As the leader of a defensive unit that allowed the second-fewest goals in the league, Rubisch recorded 11 points (3+8), ranked first among NLL defensemen with 128 loose balls, and led the league with 44 forced turnovers to break the NLL single-season record of 43 that he set in 2012.
"Kyle earned this," said Rush general manager and head coach Derek Keenan. "He is the most dominant, shutdown, game-changing defender in all of lacrosse. He is the leader of a very young and talented group of defender and transition guys."
The three-year veteran Rubisch joins Ryan Cousins as the only two NLL players to win the Defensive Player of the Year Award twice, both doing it in consecutive seasons, as Cousins won the award in 2007 and 2008. Rubisch, a Brampton, Ontario native who played collegiately at Dowling College, was the second overall selection in the 2010 NLL Entry Draft.
Mike Grimes from the Washington Stealth was the runner-up for the award while Steve Priolo from the Buffalo Bandits and the Toronto Rock's Patrick Merrill tied for third in the voting.
The seven-year veteran 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.
Priolo posted seven points (2+5), ranked fifth among NLL defensemen with 76 loose balls, and had nine forced turnovers in his fourth career season. The St. Catharines, Ontario native played collegiately at Brock University and was Buffalo's second-round selection (21st overall) in the 2009 NLL Entry Draft.
The 11-year veteran Merrill registered seven points (1+6), 56 loose balls and had eight forced turnovers. The Montreal, Quebec native, who played collegiately at Mercyhurst College, was the first overall selection in the 2002 NLL Entry Draft.
The announcement of 2013 NLL Season Awards continues Thursday with the Goaltender of the Year Award. The 2013 NLL Season Awards are determined by a vote of the league's Board of Governors, General Managers and Head Coaches.