The National Lacrosse League has announced three finalists for the 2016 NLL Teammate of the Year award. Vancouver Stealth forward Joel McCready, Calgary Roughnecks goaltender Mike Poulin and Buffalo Bandits transition player Andrew Watt were voted by NLL players as the league’s best teammates in 2016.
McCready finished fifth on the Stealth in scoring with 48 points (29+19) and tied for second in goals (29). The seventh-year pro, who completed his second season with Vancouver, added 19 assists, 45 penalty minutes, 64 loose balls and had a .203 shooting percentage, 12th-best among all players with 10 or more goals. The 28-year-old from St. Catharines, Ont., who played collegiately at Cornell University, was selected in the second round (18th overall) of the 2008 NLL Draft and won NLL Teammate of the Year in 2015.
Poulin ranked fourth in the NLL in goals against average (11.46) and sixth in save percentage (.778) while appearing in 14 games this season. The 10-year veteran, in his seventh year with Calgary, posted a 4-5 record and helped the Roughnecks reach the postseason at 8-10. The 30-year-old from Kitchener, Ont., who was drafted in the second round (21st overall) of the 2005 NLL Draft, won 2012 NLL Goaltender of the Year and was named to the 2012 All-Pro First Team.
Watt played in seven games during an injury-shortened 2016 campaign that saw him register an assist and 17 loose balls as the Bandits finished atop the league standings with a 13-5 record. Buffalo went 7-0 with the eighth-year pro, who finished his third season with the team, in the lineup. The 32-year-old from Kitchener, Ont., who played collegiately at Robert Morris University, was selected in the first round (8th overall) of the 2008 NLL Draft.
The Teammate of the Year award was created to honor players who demonstrate exemplary teamwork and leadership qualities during the course of the regular season. The award recognizes the “ideal teammate” who exemplifies selfless play along with commitment and dedication to their team. The recipient will be an individual considered to be a superior leader within the NLL and as a contributing member of society. The best candidates are those who lead by positive example through on-floor performance, motivation ofteam members, and dedication to community activities and charitable causes.
NLL players voted one teammate from their respective teams into the pool of nine nominees, which was then voted on by players league-wide to determine the three finalists. The winner will be announced at the NLL Season Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 27 in Toronto, Ont.
2016 NLL Teammate of the Year nominees
Andrew Watt (Buffalo Bandits)
Mike Poulin (Calgary Roughnecks)
Dan Coates (Colorado Mammoth)
Kiel Matisz (Georgia Swarm)
Derek Suddons (New England Black Wolves)
Angus Goodleaf (Rochester Knighthawks)
Tyler Carlson (Saskatchewan Rush)
Brodie Merrill (Toronto Rock)
Joel McCready (Vancouver Stealth)
Schedule of finalist announcement for the remaining NLL Season Awards:
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