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2016 Nll Season Awards & Hall Of Fame Ceremony

The National Lacrosse League officially announced 2016 NLL Season Awards winners along with All-Pro and All-Rookie Teams on a night that culminated with Tracey Kelusky, Josh Sanderson and John Tavares being inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame Class of 2016 during a ceremony at Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, Ont. on Tuesday night.

Buffalo Bandits forward Dhane Smith was named 2016 NLL Most Valuable Player following his record-breaking campaign where the 23-year-old from Kitchener, Ont. set the new NLL single-season scoring mark with 137 points, including a league-record 72 goals, in his fourth professional season as the Bandits won the East Division after finishing with a 13-5 record.

On the business side, Saskatchewan Rush president Lee Genier won NLL Executive of the Year for his leadership during the Rush’s inaugural season in Saskatoon. Under his direction, the Rush ranked third in league attendance, received significant media coverage, generated substantial revenue, and ultimately earned its second-straight championship. Genier spent 19 years in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders and five years with Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton before joining the Rush in July 2015.

The trio of NLL Hall of Fame inductees in Kelusky, Sanderson and Tavares were enshrined into the Class of 2016 in the ceremony that included video tribute montages, presenting speakers, induction speeches and the unveiling of their Hall of Fame plaques.

Kelusky played 14 seasons in the league with Calgary (2003-2010), where he served as team captain and won two Champion’s Cups (2004 & 2009), Columbus (2001), Montreal (2002), Buffalo (2011-2013) and Philadelphia (2014). He retired with the 11th-most goals (383) and points (823) in league history and 13th-most games played (195) along with 886 loose balls. He won the 2001 NLL Rookie of the Year award and 2007 Sportsmanship Award. The five-time All-Pro (2001-2005) forward ranked 10th all-time in NLL career playoff goals (37). He finished his career second in Roughnecks franchise history in goals, assists and points and had 50 or more points in 10 of his 14 seasons in the league.

Sanderson spent 19 seasons in the league with Toronto (2005-2008 & 2012-2016), Rochester (1998-1999), Albany (2000-2003), San Jose (2004), Calgary (2008-2010) and Boston (2011). Won two Champion’s Cups (2005 & 2009) and retired fourth in NLL career scoring with 1,357 points (449+908). He ranked second in NLL history in games played (268) and assists (908), fifth in goals (449) and 10th in loose balls (1,216). Sanderson finished seventh on NLL all-time playoff scoring list with 100 points (35+65) in 23 games. The nine-time All-Pro (2000, 2002-2006, 2009-2010 & 2015) recorded 60 or more points in every season from 2002 to 2015 including five 100-plus point campaigns.

Tavares played an NLL-record 24 seasons in the league, all with Buffalo (1992-2015). He retired as NLL’s all-time leader in games played (306), goals (815), assists (934) and points (1,749), and ranked second in loose balls (2,169). The four-time Champion’s Cup winner (1992-1993, 1996 & 2008) leads the NLL all-time playoff list in games played (38), goals (84), assists (116) and points (200). He scored 30 or more goals in 16 seasons and had 80 or more points in 12 seasons, including 10-straight years from 2000 to 2009, with four 100-plus point campaigns. The three-time NLL Most Valuable Player (1994, 2000 & 2001) was named NLL All-Pro a league-record 19 times (1993-2009 & 2011-2012).

The complete list of 2016 NLL Season Awards finalists and recipients are as follows:

Sportsmanship Award
Winner: Ben McIntosh – Saskatchewan Rush
Runner Up: Karsen Leung – Calgary Roughnecks
Third Place: Kiel Matisz – Georgia Swarm

Executive of the Year
Winner: Lee Genier – Saskatchewan Rush
Runner Up: Scott Loffler – Buffalo Bandits
Third Place: Mike French – New England Black Wolves

Media Person of the Year (The Tom Borrelli Award)
Winner: Teddy Jenner

General Manager of the Year
Winner: Steve Dietrich – Buffalo Bandits
Runner Up: Rich Lisk – New England Black Wolves
Third Place: John Arlotta – Georgia Swarm

Head Coach of the Year (The Les Bartley Award)
Winner: Glenn Clark – New England Black Wolves
Runner Up: Troy Cordingley – Buffalo Bandits
Third Place: Derek Keenan – Saskatchewan Rush

Air Canada Wingman of the Year
Winner: Callum Crawford – Colorado Mammoth
Runner Up: Rob Hellyer – Toronto Rock
Third Place: Dhane Smith – Buffalo Bandits

Teammate of the Year
Winner: Mike Poulin – Calgary Roughnecks
Runner Up: Andrew Watt – Buffalo Bandits
Third Place: Joel McCready – Vancouver Stealth

Transition Player of the Year
Winner: Brad Self – Rochester Knighthawks
Runner Up: Jeremy Thompson – Saskatchewan Rush
Third Place: Jordan MacIntosh – Georgia Swarm

Defensive Player of the Year
Winner: Ryan Dilks – Saskatchewan Rush
Runner Up: Chris Corbeil – Saskatchewan Rush
Third Place: Steve Priolo – Buffalo Bandits

Goaltender of the Year
Winner: Evan Kirk – New England Black Wolves
Runner Up: Dillon Ward – Colorado Mammoth|
Third Place: Nick Rose – Toronto Rock

Rookie of the Year
Winner: Randy Staats – Georgia Swarm
Runner Up: Wesley Berg – Calgary Roughnecks
Third Place: Jesse King – Georgia Swarm

Most Valuable Player
Winner: Dhane Smith – Buffalo Bandits
Runner Up: Shawn Evans – New England Black Wolves
Third Place: Mark Matthews – Saskatchewan Rush

All-Pro First Team
Forward – Dhane Smith (Buffalo Bandits)
Forward – Shawn Evans (New England Black Wolves)
Forward – Mark Matthews (Saskatchewan Rush)
Transition – Brad Self (Rochester Knighthawks)
Defense – Ryan Dilks (Saskatchewan Rush)
Goaltender – Evan Kirk (New England Black Wolves)

All-Pro Second Team
Forward – Curtis Dickson (Calgary Roughnecks)
Forward – Callum Crawford (Colorado Mammoth)
Forward – Rob Hellyer (Toronto Rock)
Transition – Jeremy Thompson (Saskatchewan Rush)
Defense – Chris Corbeil (Saskatchewan Rush)
Goaltender – Dillon Ward (Colorado Mammoth)

All-Rookie Team
Forward – Randy Staats (Georgia Swarm)
Forward – Wesley Berg (Calgary Roughnecks)
Forward – Jesse King (Georgia Swarm)
Forward – Lyle Thompson (Georgia Swarm)
Forward – Chad Tutton (Georgia Swarm)
Defense – Graeme Hossack (Rochester Knighthawks)

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.

NLL Hall of Fame ballots were cast by the teams, current members of the NLL Hall of Fame and the league’s senior media members. The NLL Hall of Fame was established in 2006. The 27 current members are:

Class of 2006 (Founding Members)
Les Bartley
Russ Cline
Chris Fritz
Gary Gait
Paul Gait

Class of 2007
Mike French
Darris Kilgour
Tom Marechek

Class of 2008
Sal LoCascio
Johnny Mouradian
Tony Resch

Class of 2009
Dallas Eliuk
Jim Veltman

Class of 2010
Rich Kilgour
Dan Stroup
John Tucker

Class of 2011
Bob Watson

Class of 2012
Steve Dietrich

Class of 2013
Pat O’Toole

Class of 2014
Pat Coyle
Chris Hall

Class of 2015
Terry Sanderson

Class of 2016
Tracey Kelusky
Josh Sanderson
John Tavares

Members of Media Recognized by Hall of Fame
Tom Borrelli (2007)
Neil Stevens (2008)