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Top 50 NLL players: #1-9

01/01/2014, 10:15pm EST
By NLL.com

IL Indoor counts down the world's most elite with 2014 season underway

With the 2014 NLL season underway, IL Indoor has completed their NLL Top 50 countdown of the world's best lacrosse players. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

The National Lacrosse League features the world's best players and with the 2014 NLL season underway, IL Indoor's countdown of the Top 50 NLL Players has reached the most elite lax players on Earth. Find the IL staff rankings below to check out the best of the best along with commentary and links to their articles.

9) Matt Vinc (Goaltender- Rochester Knighthawks)

“Vinc has been on the short list of top goalies in the game for several years now, largely because he is remarkably consistent. That consistency derives from a combination of fitness, durability and competitiveness. He seems to thrive on facing lots of shots and never wants to come out of the net.” – Stephen Stamp

8) Jeff Shattler (Forward- Calgary Roughnecks)

“In my opinion there is no better all-round player in the game today than Jeff Shattler, he simply does it all. While his creativity and offensive talents continue to develop and improve, Jeff doesn’t sacrifice defense or grit like many others do when the points start to flow. In the Tavares mold, Shattler is a consistent gamer and rarely goes missing in action. “Shats” is destined to be one of the all-time greats and climbed a long way from some humble beginnings. Jeff’s hi tempo 2-way game came before its time in the transition crazy NLL and with it Shattler gives Calgary an edge in the West in 2014 as everyone cuts back to 16 runners per game.” – Marty O’Neill

7) Garrett Billings (Forward- Toronto Rock)

If you’ve ever played the game, you know how tough it can be to score. That’s why it’s so frustrating sometimes when you watch Billings play, because he makes it look so easy. He’s got pinpoint accuracy with his shooting, and the way he keeps everyone involved with the flow makes him a real effective and dangerous leader.” – Bob Chavez

6) Curtis Dickson (Forward- Calgary Roughnecks)

“What’s in a name or a nickname? Superman. Pretty tall order. Well, Curtis Dickson is just that kind of physical presence on the lacrosse floor. While he doesn’t accumulate the points some others in Calgary get, he is every bit as valuable for the work he gets done and the time of the game he does it. Dickson is a clutch performer and the best 1-on-1 option in the game today. His in-tight finishing is Top 5, also making his down-low ability a nightmare for other teams. Footwork, passing, outside shot, this kid has it all not to mention almost all his goals come 5-on-5.” – Marty O’Neill

5) John Grant, Jr. (Forward- Colorado Mammoth)

“Talk about keeping it in the family. One stick wizard of his era passes the torch to his son, who becomes the stick wizard of his own long era. JGJr has amazed us with his stickwork in the NLL since 1999. Fourteen years and he still is going strong. I can safely say that Grant is the most feared power-play guy in the circuit with his pinpoint shooting and trick backhand passing. The Hall of Fame awaits.” – Marty O’Neill

4) Kyle Rubisch (Defenseman- Edmonton Rush)

“The prototype for today’s defender. Rubisch is big and strong to cover the power forwards trying to bull to the net. He’s quick and agile enough to get out and press but recover when the ball is swung. He’s smart enough to know when to take off with a turnover and when to slow things down and hand the ball over to the offence, and skilled enough to help produce goals when he does take off.” – Stephen Stamp

3) Rhys Duch (Forward- Vancouver Stealth)

“Duch seems to be at his best when his team needs him most. He’s shown a knack for scoring goals at critical times. He gets plenty at other times too, though — Duch has scored at least 33 goals in each of his five seasons in the NLL. He’s not just a shooter, though … Duch also has at least 46 assists in each of those seasons and three times has cracked the 50-assist plateau.” – Stephen Stamp

2) Cody Jamieson (Forward- Rochester Knighthawks)

“While Jamieson’s talent is readily apparent, his true value to a team emerges the more you watch him play. He’s an absolute bull, willing and able to work his way inside and causing defensive chaos when he does. He’s also a terrific outside shooter, especially adept at crossing the top of the zone towards his off side and finding the holes that open up as the goalie tracks across his net. He’s also a natural leader, earning respect with the intensity of his play and his focus on winning.” – Stephen Stamp

1) Shawn Evans (Forward- Calgary Roughnecks)

“Evans simply had one of the best offensive seasons in the history of the National Lacrosse League, winning the scoring title and league MVP award. Evans is still a tremendous scorer who can fight through traffic to get off a shot. More often, though, he uses his remarkable vision to set up his teammates with spot-on passes. Evans is also a relentless forechecker, making him one of the leaders in forced turnovers among forwards, and he works his tail off to get loose balls and second-chance possessions. He’s a complete lacrosse player in the prime of his career.” – Stephen Stamp

Top 50 NLL players: #10-19
Top 50 NLL players: #20-29
Top 50 NLL players: #30-39
Top 50 NLL players: #40-50

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