The National Lacrosse League has announced three finalists for the 2016 NLL Defensive Player of the Year award. Saskatchewan Rush defensemen Chris Corbeil and Ryan Dilks join Buffalo Bandits defender Steve Priolo, marking Priolo’s fourth-consecutive nod on the finalist ballot, Corbeil’s third-straight and Dilks’ first-ever appearance.
Corbeil finished third among NLL defensemen in points (20), tied for second with a career-high 13 assists, fourth in loose balls (121), which ranked 10th in the league overall and seventh among non-faceoffmen, and tied for fourth in goals (7). The seven-year veteran forced 27 turnovers, tied for seventh-most in the league and tied for fifth among all defenders, tied for third in the league with three shorthanded goals. He helped Saskatchewan allow the fewest goals in the league (190) and finish atop the West Division with a 13-5 record. The 28-year-old from Oakville, Ont., who attended the University of Western Ontario, was a second-round (15th overall) selection in the 2009 NLL Draft and was named to the NLL All-Rookie Team in 2010 and NLL All-Pro Second Team in 2014.
Dilks led the league with 51 caused turnovers, the second-highest total in NLL single-season history, and tied for second among NLL defensemen in assists (13), fifth in points (18) and seventh in goals (5), all career highs. The sixth-year pro recovered 77 loose balls, which ranked tied for 27th among all defenders. He had a .294 shooting percentage, third-best by an NLL defenseman. The Rush sported the league’s top defense and finished in the top spot in the West Division at 13-5 with the league’s second-best penalty kill (51.9%). The 25-year-old from Hamilton, Ont., who attended Conestoga College, was drafted in the fifth round (50th overall) of the 2010 NLL Draft.
Priolo ranked fourth in points (19) among NLL defensemen, tied for fourth in goals (7), fifth in assists (12) and seventh in loose balls (112), which were 16th-most in the league overall. The seventh-year pro caused 28 turnovers, which was fourth among all defenders and sixth-most in the NLL, to go along with a .280 shooting percentage, fourth-best among all defensemen. Buffalo allowed the fourth-fewest goals (214) in the league en route to a 13-5 finish atop the East Division with a league-best penalty kill (60.2%). The 27-year-old from St. Catharines, Ont., who played collegiately at Brock University, was drafted in the second round (21st overall) of the 2009 NLL Draft and was named to the NLL All-Pro Second Team in 2015.
The 2016 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. 27 in Toronto, Ont.
Schedule of finalist announcement for the remaining NLL Season Awards:
Wednesday, June 22: Goaltender of the Year award finalists
Thursday, June 23: Transition Player of the Year award finalists
Monday, June 27: Head Coach of the Year (The Les Bartley Award) finalists
Tuesday, June 28: General Manager of the Year award finalists
Wednesday, June 29: Rookie of the Year award finalists
Thursday, June 30: Most Valuable Player award finalists
Tuesday, July 5: Teammate of the Year award finalists
Wednesday, July 6: Air Canada Wingman of the Year award finalists
Thursday, July 7: Executive of the Year award finalists
Monday, July 11: Media Person of the Year (The Tom Borrelli Award) winner
Tuesday, September 27: 2016 NLL Season Awards Ceremony