Toronto Rock emerging star Rob Hellyer won NLL Player of the Month for April of the 2014 regular season. (Photo: Graig Abel)
The National Lacrosse League has announced Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month award winners for April of the 2014 NLL regular season. Toronto Rock forward Rob Hellyer won the overall player award, marking three months in a row that a Rock player earned the distinction, while Minnesota Swarm forward Logan Schuss also earned the rookie award for the third-straight month.
Hellyer won NLL Player of the Month after posting 31 points (8+23) in just four games played as Toronto went unbeaten in April. Hellyer recorded seven or more points three times during the month, including a 12-point performance on April 5 at Vancouver, which tied the single-game high for points by an NLL player this season. Hellyer joins Rock teammate Garrett Billings, who won the Player of the Month award in both February and March.
The 21-year-old, who is already in his fourth NLL season, finished third on the Rock with 79 points (29+50) and 93 loose balls this year. Hellyer ranked ninth in the league with 50 assists and 11th in the NLL with 79 points (29+50) in 2014. The Lion's Head, Ontario native, who was Toronto's third-round selection (30th overall) in the 2010 NLL Entry Draft, was part of the Rock's 2011 championship team.
Schuss, who led all rookies in goals (36), assists (37) and points (73) this year and finished fourth with 77 loose balls, won NLL Rookie of the Month for the third-straight month by recording 27 points (15+12) in five games played during April.
"It’s an honor to win this award three months in a row," Schuss said. "Especially since there is such a strong rookie class this year in the NLL with guys like Karsen Leung and Dillon Ward."
The 15 goals scored by Schuss in April led all NLL players for the month.
"We were playing each and every game like it was the championship," Schuss said. "That’s how we go into every game, just trying to win, no matter if we are in the playoffs or out. Our whole team went in there wanting to win, and they got me the ball when we needed it, and I did what I was brought here to do which was score goals."
Schuss finished tied for sixth in the entire league with 36 goals and ranked 16th in the NLL and second on the Swarm in points. His nine power play goals led all rookies and were tied for eighth-most in the league. The Ladner, BC native, who played collegiately at Ohio State University, was the first overall pick in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft.
"I definitely want to come in to training camp the way I left off my NLL rookie season, which was scoring goals and being one of those go-to offensive players with the Swarm," Schuss said. "I plan on coming in prepared, continue with my training this summer, and get ready for training camp once it comes around in November."
Player of the Month
Rob Hellyer, Toronto Rock (4 GP, 8 G, 23 A, 31 PTS, 32 LB, 1 FT): Hellyer recorded a combined 31 points (8+23), with a single-game high of 12 points (3+9) on April 5 against Vancouver, and 32 loose balls and one forced turnover as Toronto posted a 4-0 record in April.
Rookie of the Month
Logan Schuss, Minnesota Swarm (5 GP, 15 G, 12 A, 27 PTS, 22 LB, 1 FT): Schuss recorded a combined 27 points (15+12), with a single-game high of seven points (4+3) on April 19 against Colorado, and 22 loose balls and one forced turnover as Minnesota posted a 1-4 record in April.
NLL Monthly Player Awards are determined by a vote of the league's general managers and head coaches.