The Vancouver Stealth re-signed Rhys Duch, Athan Iannucci and Lewis Ratcliff pending league approval. (Photo: Richard Olson)
The Vancouver Stealth have announced that the team has re-signed their top three scorers from last season in Rhys Duch, Lewis Ratcliff, and Athan Iannucci, pending league approval. All three players have local connections as Duch and Iannucci are both British Columbia natives while Ratcliff has ties to B.C. as well.
The Stealth should have no problem putting the ball in the net come January as these three were all among the league leaders for goals last season and Vancouver will be looking for more of the same in 2014.
Duch led all scorers in the NLL last season with 45 goals and finished third in league scoring with 96 points. He has accomplished a lot in his career already since being drafted third overall by the Stealth in 2009. He currently sits second on the all-time points list for the Stealth with 440 regular season points (188g, 252a), as well as first for points all-time in the playoffs with 65 (30g, 35a).
"The most clutch player in the NLL, there is no doubt that Rhys is the best young player in the game. He simply gets better each year and we are counting on him heavily heading into the coming season,” said Stealth President and General Manager, Doug Locker. “He is an intense competitor and shines in the toughest situations which is what great players do - and he is a great player."
Ratcliff sat second on the team in scoring with 67 points (31g, 36a) and sat 12th in goal scoring with 31. Ratcliff has been a proven scorer throughout his 11 year career, as he sits 4th on the all-time goal scoring list with 411 goals and 9th all-time in points with 889 (411g, 478a).
"Lewis has a professional résumé that speaks for itself. He is one of the best shooters in the game and has been for the majority of his career. He is extremely focused on the coming year and we are looking for big things from him this year," said Locker.
The final piece up front was Athan Iannucci who was third on the team last season in both goals and total points with 47 (22g, 25a).
"Athan has worked extremely hard this off season to get ready for 2014, and we believe he is poised for a terrific season. He has gotten bigger and stronger which will make him very tough for opposing defenses to deal with,” said Locker.
Iannucci continues to build more and more chemistry with Duch and Ratcliff since joining the team in 2012, as the Stealth are hoping to see even more offense from these three, this year.
"We are thrilled to have three of the top goal scorers in the NLL back for 2014. They have worked together for a year and a half and are now showing signs of chemistry that we believe makes this group very dangerous,” said Locker. “It takes some time to mesh and it's very exciting to watch it come together for this group."
The Stealth’s top three scorers will continue to work their way through training camp in December after showing well at the first training camp this past weekend. The Stealth will begin the 2014 season on the road in Colorado on January 4 followed by their home opener at the Langley Events Centre on January 11 against the Minnesota Swarm.
For information on season tickets and three & four game packs visit StealthLax.com.