The National Lacrosse League has announced a trio of finalists for the 2015 NLL Defensive Player of the Year award. For the second-straight year, two defensemen from the 2015 NLL champion Edmonton Rush, Chris Corbeil and Kyle Rubisch, join Buffalo Bandits defender Steve Priolo as the top three vote recipients for best defenseman in the league.
Corbeil finished fourth among all NLL defensemen in both points (18) and assists (11), and second in goals (7), in 17 games played. With seven goals on 23 shots, the Rush’s captain’s .304 shooting percentage was 14th among all league defenseman who played at least 10 games. The sixth-year pro had 13 penalty minutes recovered 94 loose balls, which ranked seventh-most by a defender, 15th among non-faceoff men and 23rd overall. Corbeil’s 32 caused turnovers tied for fourth among all NLL players. The two-way player helped Edmonton to a 13-5 regular season record, good for first in the West Division and second overall. The Rush’s penalty kill was third-best among all teams at 62%. The Oakville, Ont. native, who attended the University of Western Ontario, was the 15th overall pick in the 2009 NLL Draft.
Priolo was second among NLL defensemen with 15 assists, tied for second with 20 points, and fifth with five goals in 18 games played. The sixth-year veteran’s 104 loose balls were sixth-most among defenders, eighth among non-faceoff men and 16th overall. Priolo’s 18 caused turnovers were 19th-most for his position while his 48 penalty minutes were seventh-most for a defender. An imposing force at 6-foot-5, Priolo helped the Bandits to an 11-7 record en route to the postseason while allowing the fourth-fewest goals (208) of any team. The St. Catharines, Ont. native played collegiately at Brock University and was drafted 21st overall in the 2009 NLL Draft.
Rubisch, the three-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year and first player in league history to win the award three times, led all NLL defensemen with 36 caused turnovers, good for second-most overall. The fifth-year pro had six points (1+5) and 23 penalty minutes in 18 games played, while his 118 loose balls ranked fourth among all defenders and non-faceoff men. The backbone of the Rush’s defense, Rubisch was part of the Rush’s defense that allowed only 177 goals, second-fewest of any NLL team, and helped goalie Aaron Bold lead the league with a 9.44 goals against average. The Brampton, Ont. native played collegiately at Dowling College and was the second overall selection in the 2010 NLL Draft.
The 2015 NLL Season Awards are determined by a vote of the league’s Board of Governors, General Managers and Head Coaches at the end of the regular season. The winners will be announced at the NLL Season Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 29 in Toronto, Ont.
Schedule of finalist announcement for the remaining NLL Season Awards:
Wednesday, June 17: Transition Player of the Year award finalists
Thursday, June 18: Goaltender of the Year award finalists
Friday, June 19: Executive of the Year award finalists
Monday, June 22: Head Coach of the Year (The Les Bartley Award) award finalists
Tuesday, June 23: General Manager of the Year award finalists
Wednesday, June 24: Rookie of the Year award finalists
Thursday, June 25: Most Valuable Player award finalists
Monday, June 29: Teammate of the Year award finalists
Tuesday, June 30: Pinty’s Wingman of the Year award finalists
Monday, July 6: Media Person of the Year (The Tom Borrelli Award) winner
Tuesday, September 29: 2015 NLL Season Awards Ceremony