Buffalo Bandits forward Shawn Williams was ranked #31 as IL Indoor continues their countdown of the Top 50 NLL players. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
With the 2014 NLL season less than two months away, IL Indoor continues their countdown of the top 50 players in the National Lacrosse League. Find the list of players ranked #30-39 below along with links to their article. Also read commentary from the IL Indoor staff, comprised of Stephen Stamp, Bob Chavez and Marty O'Neill, who each ranked their top 50 players and combined their lists into one overall ranking.
“I’ve always loved this type of game, the guys who do the heavy lifting and pay a big price to clear space for shooting teammates. What makes the game of Ross so cool is that he does that off-ball work so well, but also knows how to finish for himself so he can from time to time share the glory that he helps create for teammates so often. It’s been said before many times and will be said again many times, but the type of work that Ross does for a team is underrated but should never be taken for granted.” – Bob Chavez
“Moleski brings the total package of size, speed, toughness and smarts. Moleski has been so steady and physical over the last 5 years and he doesn’t sit in the box often to prove his points unlike others who play the same style. Jumping up in the rush has been part of Jeff’s game since before it was in vogue and he is dangerous in transition. 2014 should be more of the same.” – Marty O’Neill
“At 6′5” and about 240 pounds, Westervelt is a load to try to stop. He’s also highly athletic, as his variety of creative crease dives and flashy plays have shown. The combination has made him one of the most consistent goal-scoring threats in the league; he’s put up between 27 and 36 goals in each of his five NLL seasons.” – Stephen Stamp
“It’s a clean defensive approach that earns Gilbert the praise he gets. Like Moleski before him in this Top 50 list, what’s not to love about a defender who can get the job done without costing his team minutes in the box? He’s an unsung of a hero as you can find in the NLL, and his contributions are the type that earn him the respect of teammates through and through.” – Bob Chavez
“Ward will let a decade of concrete production do his speaking for him. Consistency in the form of 20+ goals and 40 assists for 60 points a year is what you can count on from Ryan. Ward is a deadly outside marksman and a seasoned PP general where he can hurt you in many ways. Veteran leadership is needed in Edmonton for them to advance to the top and Ward will be happy to supply that to Edmonton’s offensive right side for a couple more seasons in their pursuit of the Champion’s Cup.” – Marty O’Neill
“Vitarelli’s one of the most exciting players to watch in the game today. From the stands, you can almost ‘hear’ his work being done and no matter what his drive to the cage may accomplish, you know he couldn’t have tried any harder. He leaves it all on the floor and that’s all anyone – coaches, teammates and fans – asks for from any player.” – Bob Chavez
“He’s about as dependable as it gets for a defender, but it’s the level he’s at that separates him from the others. Sorensen routinely embraces the challenge of playing defense and he’s captain of the Stealth for a reason. There’s nothing really fancy about his game; it’s all about fundamentals and his ability to stick with them on a consistent basis is what makes him one of the game’s best.” – Bob Chavez
“Corey Small is that guy you can never lave alone for two long or he’ll burn you. Small works the Rush's left side with his outside shooting precision and quick feet. Quietly consistent, Small is no stranger to a 5-point night and can’t be left unmarked. This winter he will be missing on the Rush left side and how the team fares without him will be a big question mark in 2014. Here’s to hoping he makes a full recovery.” – Marty O’Neill
“When you talk about iron men in the sport of indoor lax, you need to have Williams near the top of the list. We could talk for hours about his accomplishments over a decade and a half but I’m always impressed with Shawn’s ability to show up and put out. Williams will go down as one of the great players all time because of his points dictate it, but his toughness and desire are the keys to putting him in all those games.” – Marty O’Neill
“Ranger is an underestimated weapon in the Calgary Roughnecks system. Picked up as a released player from the Stealth in 2006, Scott has made a career in 'Cow Town' as a looming right-handed threat averaging 50 points a year in red and black. Also impressive is his ability to stay healthy given his work ethic and edgy play. Playoff points have always been consistent showing the value he brings to Calgary’s “O” when others are being shut off.” – Marty O’Neill
Find players ranked #40-50 by IL Indoor by clicking here.